As a whole, the Jaguars have been largely disappointing through the first four games of the 2020 season. After a shocking (to some) win over the Colts in week one, the Jaguars have dropped three straight games, allowing 32.3 points per game over that stretch.
But it's not all doom and gloom in Duval — there have been some elite performers through the first quarter of Jacksonville's season. Let's take a look at the top five players for the Jaguars from the first four weeks.
Myles Jack has not only been the best player on the defensive side of the ball for the Jaguars, but he's been the best linebacker in all of football, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF's grading system isn't the be-all and end-all, but it looks like they've got this one right. Jack is eighth in the NFL in tackles despite missing most of the second half of the Bengals game. He's been all over the field when it comes to stopping ball carries. He's also been the guy to make game-changing plays when the Jaguars have needed them. In week one, he sniffed out a Jacoby Brissett designed run and brought him down for a sack when the Jaguars were backed up against their own endzone. In the first half of the Jaguars' loss to the Bengals, Jack made what might have been the defensive play of the year in the NFL so far, intercepting a Joe Burrow pass in the back of the endzone that looked to be a sure touchdown. Jack has allowed a passer rating of just 76 in coverage. The Jaguars have finally slotted Myles Jack in at weakside linebacker, and he's looking like the top-ten talent that he was coming into the league in 2016.
Chark's stats have been impressive, but his real impact comes when you look at what the Jaguars have done with him on the offensive side of the ball as compared to what they've done without him. In the three games Chark has played in 2020, the Jaguars' offense has averaged 27.3 points per game. Without Chark? Just 13 points. When Chark is lined up for the Jaguars' offense, he helps them with his individual performances AND opens up the field for the rest of the offense. He's hauled in 15 of his 16 targets (no, that is not a typo) in 2020, racking up 204 yards and three touchdowns in three games.
This undrafted free agent running back has been a revelation. It's time to stop talking about him as an undrafted free agent, however, and start recognizing him for what he is: an excellent running back in the NFL. He always picks up positive yardage, always makes the first guy miss, shows short-area explosion, and is challenging to bring down in the open field. He's averaging 4.8 yards per carry on 60 attempts to this point. Did I mention he's an outstanding receiver out of the backfield and an ace in pass protection? Robinson has caught 14 of his 15 targets out of the backfield and is averaging 11.5 yards per catch. Robinson has found the endzone three times in his young career.
I fully expected the second-year pass rusher to be higher on this list through four games, but alas, here we are. Allen has been good, make no mistake about it. But for the Jaguars' defense to get where they need to go, Allen needs to be great, which he has not been so far. He's registered 13 pressures in four games, far from where I expected. Now, to be fair, Allen is fourth in the NFL in QB hits with five. But with just two sacks to show for all that, Allen has got to finish more often. He's been a solid run defender, but the Jaguars need more from him if they are going to get their season back on track.
LAVISKA SHENAULT JR.
The Jaguars drafted wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. with their second-round pick in April, and he's been paying dividends ever since. Shenault challenges defenses in multiple ways. He's made his impact felt in each of the Jaguars' first four games, catching 16 of his 20 targets for 191 yards and a score, and rushing the ball nine times for 53 yards. This is a guy that allows the Jaguars to do so much, from lining him up out wide or in the slot, to lining him up at running back or even wild cat quarterback. As he continues to develop in this offense, the sky is the limit for the ultra-physical offensive playmaker.
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