Yet another agonizing defeat to a team that is inferior in many ways, but Jaguars fans everywhere take solace in the fact that one day in 2017 we’ll have a coach who knows the ways of winners and he’ll take our once promising franchise, abundant with talented youth, to where we’ve always wanted to go…
Jalen Ramsey: It’s a tough task to cover Pro-Bowler DeAndre Hopkins. In the first of many matchups against arguably the AFC South’s best wide-receiver, Jalen Ramsey performed about as well as could be expected. Although he allowed a few key completions, in total Hopkins was targeted 13 times and only came away with five receptions for 48 yards and we can largely attribute that to quality coverage from Ramsey. It’s hard to complain about a guy that is turning out performances like these, week-in and week-out.
Typically I don’t like overanalyzing issues with players too early, but I think it’s time to bring up a potential negative trend. Jalen Ramsey, the supposed spark plug of the team, hasn’t recorded an interception since his sophomore year of college in 2014. At FSU, this lack of interceptions was probably because opposing offensive coordinators actively avoided Ramsey when calling plays. In the NFL it’s the exact opposite. Offensive coordinators have and will continue to target Jalen and test him with their best receivers, so eventually we have to start asking ourselves, where is the turnover production?
To be clear, I’m in no way saying that I don’t appreciate his play, because he’s truthfully the glue holding our secondary and by extension, our defense, together. I just want to see him used more creatively and increase his impact on the defensive side of the ball.
Stats: 6 solo tackles
Dante Fowler Jr & Yannick Ngakoue: The Jaguars finally recorded a sack against the Texans but not surprisingly it was from someone other than the guys we pay to hit the quarterback. We continue the drought of games without a sack for both Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue and it’s starting to be a huge problem. Our defense is the literal embodiment of the word average. No flash, no intensity and no turnovers. Fowler Jr. is beginning to look much more raw than we expected in mini camp when he was embarrassing holding-machine right tackle Jermey Parnell. However, I still expect big things in the future for both Ngakoue and Fowler Jr.
Stats: Fowler Jr: 1 tackle/ Ngakoue: 1 tackle
Myles Jack: Probably one of Myles Jack’s best games so far. No, his stat line doesn’t blow anyone away, especially considering Dan Skuta had a statistically better game than Myles Jack. What we did see, for what seems like the first time this season, was Myles Jack’s athleticism. Jack, our future at inside linebacker, prevented a touchdown on a long run by Lamar Miller by running him down and tackling him on the one yard line. Although the Texans still scored, we got a glimpse at the young speed that will dominate our defense in years to come.
Stats: 3 solo tackles
Sheldon Day: Sheldon day had another week with no recorded tackles. Unfortunately for Day, it’s safe to assume the neglect was by design. The Jaguars didn’t rotate defensive lineman as much as they normally do. Toward the end of the game Houston started blowing our defensive line back and making sure they couldn’t respect their gap assignments. There must be a reason that Todd Wash didn’t let any back up lineman, like Sheldon Day, get in the game even though fatigue was definitely becoming a factor for our defensive line.
Considering the result of the season is fairly well decided at this point, the best we can hope for is continued progression from our rookie class and other young players.
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