The prevailing talk in Jags Land, and rightfully so, is about the team moving up into the number one spot in the 2021 NFL Draft. After a Jaguars loss to the Ravens and an improbable victory for the Jets over the Rams, the Big Cats hold the number one pick in the draft, at least for now.
But let's not forget: the Jaguars DID play a game yesterday. Jacksonville got steamrolled 40-14 by Baltimore, a team in the midst of a playoff race. Star running back James Robinson couldn't find much room to work with, although he did make the play of the game for the Jaguars' offense, hauling in a wheel route down the sideline for a score. And the Jaguars' defense, weakened by attrition, was out-matched against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens' offensive attack. Still, there were some impressive individual performances from the Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium.
The versatile defensive lineman is in the final year of his rookie deal, and fittingly, his level of play is ramping up. Smoot racked up five pressures on 23 pass-rush snaps against the Ravens and also came up with a strip-sack of Lamar Jackson in the third quarter. Smoot now has 5.5 sacks and 31 QB pressures in 14 games this season. He could be in line for a nice payday this offseason.
After a frustrating two catch performance in week 14, DJ Chark bounced back in Baltimore. He didn't have eye-popping numbers, but the third-year receiver hauled in four of his five targets for 53 yards against the Ravens, including an impressive contested grab against Marlon Humphrey, who was flagged for pass interference. I can't figure out why the Jaguars aren't targeting Chark more, but hopefully, he can build off this solid outing.
Pro Football Focus grades for this game don't do Myles Jack the justice he deserves for his effort against the Ravens. He was all over the field, and recorded ten tackles — including one behind the line of scrimmage in pursuit of Lamar Jackson — and broke up a pass in coverage. Without Jack on the field, the Ravens likely would have dropped a 50-burger on the Jags.
Norwell returned to the starting lineup at left guard after a three-week stint on the IR with a forearm injury. Norwell, like the rest of the Jaguars' offensive line, didn't get much push in the running game, but he helped keep Gardner Minshew clean. He only gave up one pressure on the day, which happened to be a sack. Norwell took a lot of flack during his first two years in Jacksonville, and reasonably so given his contract numbers, but he's been an elite pass protector in 2020.
As his rookie season progresses, K'Lavon Chaisson continues to show growth. He racked up three pressures in this one and was close on a couple more plays. He was able to wrangle Lamar Jackson behind the line of scrimmage on a QB keeper in one instance and should have been credited with a half-sack in the third quarter. He's totaled 11 pressures over the last three games and is showing the development you'd hope to see from a first-round pick.
The Jaguars have been using him as a situational pass rusher lately, and Giles-Harris has been producing. He notched two pressures in just six pass rush snaps on Sunday and looks to be carving out a role as an edge defender.
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