JAGUARS DOWN JETS: 5 THINGS
The Jaguars took on the Jets Sunday in the blistering Duval heat. They earned a 31-12 victory and were able to advance their record to 3-1 on the season.
Here's five things to remember from this one.
1. Blake Bortles had THE BEST game of his career.
That's right, Blake Bortles was nearly perfect in this one. Sure, he threw an interception, but that's okay. With no Leonard Fournette for much of the game (we'll get to that later) Bortles and the Jaguars aerial attack put on a show. He finished the game completing 29/38 passes - that's good for an impressive 76 percent completion rate - and threw for a career high 388 yards. He also added three carries for 28 yards with a long of 23. His two touchdown passes came on long plays to Donte Moncrief and TJ Yeldon. There are two things that really stood out to me about Blake's performance. The first was his yards per attempt. After a game against the Titans in which he averaged less than five yards per attempt, Bortles flipped the script and averaged over 10 yards per pass attempt. He also played with consistency throughout the game, leading the offense on scoring drives in each of the four quarters. If Bortles and the rest of the offense can find consistency on a more regular basis moving forward, the Jaguars offense will thrive.
2. The Jaguars receivers had a big bounce back.
Blake Bortles wasn't the only one on the offensive side of the ball that had a bounce back game. The Jaguars receivers had a rough go of it against the Titans in week three, but they had a HUGE performance against the Jets. Donte Moncrief had his first big game as a Jaguar. He caught all five of his targets and racked up 109 yards receiving, including a 67 yard score. This was his first efficient performance as a Jaguar. Dede Westbrook had the biggest performance of his young career. He exploded for nine catches and 130 receiving yards. The rest of the crew was efficient and got the job done. This was a big time performance by the Jaguars receivers against a talented young secondary.
3. Leonard Fournette's injury is now a major concern.
The Jaguars felt good enough about Fournette's injured hamstring to bring him back for week four - He hadn't played a down since the second quarter of the Jaguars season opener - but quickly found out that Fournette might not have been ready to return just yet. Fournette left the game early and made a return for a drive or two, but was then ruled out prior to half time. Doug Marrone said after the game that the re-injury isn't a good sign. The Jaguars might not need Leonard Fournette to win regular season games, but they'll want him back for a potential playoff run. The Jaguars would be wise to rest Fournette for an extended period of time.
4. The kickers were fantastic on the day.
The guys who kick the ball for the Jaguars played a major role in the team's success Sunday. Josh Lambo was perfect, again, making 3/3 field goal attempts (including a 54 yarder), and drilling both of his PATs. Rookie punter Logan Cooke turned in a strong performance too. He punted the ball four times, pinning the Jets inside the twenty three times. His best punt of the day was a 54 yarder that landed inside the Jets five yard line. With performances like this the Jaguars kickers helped the team secure points and field position.
5. Oh yeah - how 'bout that defense?
The Jaguars defense hasn't received as much attention this year as they did last year. The eye popping turnover and sack totals haven't been there this season. But the defense has been great. Against the Jets they gave up just 12 points. It was total domination for the Jaguars "Sacksonville" defense on Sunday. The Jets averaged just 3.5 yards per play (3.9 per pass and 2.4 per rush) on offense and couldn't even eclipse 200 total yards. They held the ball for just 22 minutes the entire game. The Jets have a rookie QB under center and it showed. Darnold had been putting up some nice numbers through the air, but in this one the Jaguars defense was far too much. They still didn't force a turnover and recorded just three sacks, but they did record a safety. The flood gates will eventually open for this playmaking defense and when they do - look out NFL!
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