VIKINGS OUTLAST JAGUARS: 10 THINGS
Glennon is Highly Inconsistent
Mike Glennon has made some next level throws down the field. But this game was the perfect example of why he isn't a starting quarterback. He'll make some big-time throws and then follow them up with entirely off-target passes. Glennon turned the ball over four times — two interceptions, a safety, and a fumble — and should have had another one, that ended up turning into the first touchdown of the game for the Jaguars. Glennon will competently lead scoring drives and then come up with an unforced error the very next time. That's what he is. But Doug Marrone said he'd stick with Glennon at quarterback in week 14, despite Gardner Minshew having a clean bill of health.
No Quit in Young Team
The Jaguars' players have remarkably not given up on the season. Credit goes to the players and to Doug Marrone for keeping them together. Marrone's made it clear to his team that they're all auditioning for next year, whether it be for the Jaguars or other teams around the league. Outside of the disastrous loss to the Steelers, the Jaguars haven't been outscored by more than four points in a game over the last five. With 11 straight losses, and a bevy of injuries, it wouldn't be shocking to see things unravel over the next four weeks, but so far, Doug Marrone has kept this inexperienced group together.
DJ Chark Not Involved Enough
Chark was targeted seven times this week and came down with two catches. The Jaguars are doing him a disservice by not having a quality quarterback to feed him the ball. The third-year receiver is consistently open but doesn't get the ball nearly enough. Kudos to Glennon for spreading the ball around, but Chark is the feature guy here, and the Jaguars should be doing everything they can to keep his spirits and confidence high. They're not doing that right now. His rookie contract expires after the 2021 season, and unless the quaterback situation drastically changes, I wouldn't expect him to resign with the Jaguars.
J-Rob Keeps on Trucking
James Robinson had another impressive ball game with 18 carries for 78 yards and six catches for another 30 yards. He also found the endzone late in the game, putting the Jaguars in position to tie the game with a two-point conversion. Robinson remains third in the league in rushing and is tied for eighth among running backs in rushing touchdowns. Despite being an undrafted rookie, Robinson is putting together a Pro-Bowl caliber season.
Collin Johnson: The Real Deal
Rookie Collin Johnson hauled in four of six targets for 66 yards and caught the two-point conversion that sent the game to overtime. Over the last two weeks, Johnson has hauled in eight catches for 162 yards. His progress as a route runner has allowed him to see the field more, and his ability to catch contested passes with hand strength, body positioning, and a massive catch radius, is evident. Johnson may never be a top-two target for the Jaguars, but he's turning into a consistent contributor right before our eyes.
Jack + Scho
The Jaguars' linebackers played their asses off in this one. Against the best running back in the NFC, Joe Schobert and Myles Jack made a huge impact. They helped hold Davlin Cook to 3.8 yards per carry and a long run of only 12 yards. Schobert had his best game as a Jaguar, racking up 12 tackles, a sack, and an interception for a touchdown. He's starting to show flashes of why he was so popular in Cleveland. Myles Jack was a terror defending the boundaries of the field against the run. He tallied 11 tackles and 1.5 for a loss.
Rookie undrafted free agent Luq Barcoo consistently showed off his coverage ability throughout training camp for the Jaguars this year. It was apparent why he led college football in interceptions in 2019. But asking him to cover guys like Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Jarvis Landry over the last couple of weeks was not ideal after receiving limited reps prior. Still, Barcoo has been in position to make plays. The Vikings picked on him and had success, but Barcoo was continually sticky in coverage and was regularly just a fraction of a second slow making a play on the ball. Barcoo's been thrown into the fire the last couple of weeks, and the stats won't show it, but he's been impressive, relatively speaking. He could still have a bright future in front of him.
Dawuane Smoot looked the part of an All-Pro on Sunday, registering two sacks, three quarterback hits, and four total tackles. He's in a contract year and based on his play over the last two seasons, some team out there is going to pay him to be a pass-rush specialist. Smoot's picked up 10.5 sacks over the last two seasons in a limited role.
The Road Ahead
The Jaguars have four games remaining on their schedule. They'll take on the Titans in Jacksonville, the Ravens in Baltimore, the Bears in Jax, and finish the season in Indy against the Colts. The Jaguars will likely be underdogs in all four of the games. The one sneaky contest is against the Bears, who have lost six straight games and struggle to put points on the board. I'd still expect the Bears to figure out a way to take down the Big Cats. And of course, for whatever reason, Doug Marrone has had the Colts number during his time with the Jaguars.
The Jaguars still hold the number two overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jets, who hold the top spot, keep flirting with victory and then finding ways to lose. Yesterday, they had the Raiders dead in the water but then blitzed seven players on a last-ditch hail mary play. And, of course, Derek Carr hit Henry Ruggs for the game-winning score with 30 seconds left. The Jaguars have a buffer in between them and the Bengals, who hold the third pick. Jacksonville can afford to win one more game before their spot at number two get's threatened.
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