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Jaguars, Blake Bortles Bounce Back with 31-12 Win over Jets

Demetrius Harvey

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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws a pass during the first quarter against the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

GAME RECAP

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets took to the field this Sunday with each team looking to keep their season rolling as the Jaguars try to get to 3-1 and the Jets 2-2.

After the Jets punt to the Jaguars six-yard line, the Jaguars were able to muster up a 15-play 80-yard drive that ended in a Josh Lambo 32-yard field goal. The key for this drive was ball control and playing mistake-free. It worked out for the Jaguars, although their drive was stalled by a holding penalty from Jermey Parnell.

The Jaguars second drive of the day ended similarly to their first. With a field goal. The Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles took the ball all the way to the Jets six-yard line. However, they elected to kick a chip-shot field goal over going for it on fourth and one.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette got some tightness in his already injured hamstring on this drive, which could explain why they didn’t go for it.

On the next Jaguars drive Leonard Fournette did seem to be still nursing his hamstring as back up running back T.J. Yeldon came in for much of the drive. Blake Bortles was able to connect with Yeldon short, and Yeldon was able to take the pass all the way to the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown. Fournette would not return.

The Jets were not able to do anything for the entire first half against the Jaguars as they were shut out 16-0. The Jaguars were able to count on a 54-yard Josh Lambo field goal to end the half. Blake Bortles finished the half 16/19 for 192 yards and a touchdown.

After a long Logan Cooke punt to the Jets one-yard line, the Jaguars defense and Calais Campbell came up strong with a safety on running back Isaiah Crowell. Campbell shot through his gap and quickly brought down the back for the safety. 18-0 Jaguars.

Blake Bortles’s first mistake of the game came on a slow wind up which led to a tipped pass/interception deep into Jaguars territory. This set up a field goal for the Jets offense, their first points of the game.

The play of the game came on the Jaguars following possession. Donte Moncrief took a beautiful deep ball down the sidelines from Blake Bortles in for a 67-yard touchdown. Easily Moncrief’s biggest play as a Jaguars wide receiver, and possibly one of Bortles’s best throws. 25-3 Jaguars.

The Jets were able to capitalize on an ill-advised T.J. Yeldon fumble taken to the Jaguars five-yard line. Darold scored a 2-yard touchdown to his tight end, Leggett. 25-12 Jaguars. The Jaguars would fumble again on the very next drive deep into Jets territory.

The Jaguars defense would again get a stop and give the Jaguars offense the ball one last time.

With the Jaguars’ final offensive drive, they would drive down the field eating up clock to score a nice two-yard touchdown with T.J. Yeldon adding an exclamation point to the game. The final score would be 31-12 as the Jaguars failed to score on their two-point conversion.

THREE PLAYS OF THE GAME

  • Calais Campbell gets in for a safety. After a great punt by rookie Logan Cooke to the Jets one-yard line, Calais Campbell is able to get a great jump off the ball right into the running back’s lap to set the tone for the rest of the second half for the Jaguars defense.
  • Blake Bortles to Donte Moncrief 67-yard TD. Words do not do it justice as this was simply a beautiful throw and catch for Blake Bortles and Donte Moncrief. These types of plays are precisely why you bring in a guy like Moncrief.  Check out the play below.

  • T.J. Yeldon puts an exclamation mark on the Jaguars win with a late touchdown.
    The Jaguars did not necessarily need to go for it on fourth and one from the Jets two-yard line with only 30 seconds left, but they did anyway, and it paid off. Yeldon was able to make up for an earlier fumble by getting into the end zone, making the game 31-12.

JAGUARS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Blake Bortles is your Jaguars player of the game today. While he was not perfect the entire game (one interception), he was very efficient throwing for 29/38 for 388 yards (career high) and two touchdowns to go along with the interception. A very crisp and all-around good day from Blake Bortles.

FINAL WHISTLE

The Jaguars came into today desperately needing to get on the right track as far as the offensive side of the ball. They were able to do just that on the back of inconsistent quarterback Blake Bortles. The Jaguars defense did their job as they have all season allowing only 201 yards and one touchdown.

The final score was 31-12 although it could have and should have been a lot worse for the Jets. Rookie Sam Darnold was no match for the Jaguars pass rush and secondary as he was almost picked off at least three times during the day. One Tashaun Gipson interception was called back due to a holding penalty on the defense.

Two concerns heading out of this game are the injury statuses of running back Leonard Fournette, and center Brandon Linder. Both left the game due to injury and will be tracked all next week leading up to their road trip at Kansas City.

Demetrius Harvey is the lead editor for the Locked on Jaguars website covering breaking news, breakdowns, and more. You can follow him at @Demetrius82 on twitter.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue has plenty of leverage, wont use it

Demetrius Harvey

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Jul 26, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) runs a protection route during training camp at the Dream Finder Homes practice facility outside of TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

As the Jaguars began voluntary OTAs today there was at least one major storyline. Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was present at practice today and plans to be present for the entire offseason. With Ngakoue ready for a new contract, many speculated he would be holding out until the contract is signed. That is not the case and Ngakoue stated today at his media presser, “I don’t have to be here, but I chose to be here.”

Showing up for voluntary OTAs is significant as it is typically a time when a player up for a contract would be almost expected to sit out due to the risk of injury. Jalen Ramsey, for example, works out in Nashville where he is most comfortable. Although he would be in Nashville regardless of contract, it is still an incentive to stay away for now.

“Just trying to build some team camaraderie, being a leader — that’s the main reason I came back” Ngakoue stated when asked why he was back for voluntary OTAs. Ngakoue taking more of a leadership role this offseason is already off to a roaring start. Showing up and leading by example for young players such as Josh Allen, Taven Bryan, etc, will pay dividends for the Jaguars future.

Earlier this offseason two players — Frank Clark and Demarcus Lawrence — earned contracts of upwards to $100M and Ngakoue is prepared to accept the same. Although he will ultimately let his agent perform the heavy lifting. When asked about the contracts of Clark and Lawrence and the prospect of getting a similar $100M contract, Ngakoue said, “It’s not a secret, we all can go on the computer and see what they did — that money don’t mean nothing but I know what I’m worth.”

This is great for the Jaguars and sets the tone for a potential future extension for Ngakoue. He is saying all of the right things, and this should give Jaguars fans something good to feel about as they continue throughout the offseason. Ngakoue is entering his fourth year and has accumulated 29.5 sacks through his first three seasons in the NFL. Ngakoue has shown the Jaguars no reason not to pay him as soon as possible. And they absolutely should.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Five significant Jaguars storylines heading into OTAs

Demetrius Harvey

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Jul 26, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) runs with the ball following a catch as Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack (44) runs behind during training camp at the Dream Finder Homes practice facility outside of TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The first of the Jaguars ten Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are starting today.  As the players get set to hit the field, there will be a multitude of storylines worth watching. This will be the first time the Jaguars coaches and their players can take part in 11 on 11 activities. Although there will be no pads for any of these practices.

The Jaguars will use this time to get better in terms of on-the-field performance, but their camaraderie as they get set to go with an abundance of new players, including the starting QB will be just as important.

The team’s OTAs will begin Tuesday (Today), May 21 and conclude on Friday, June 7, while the Jaguars’ three-day mandatory minicamp will take place June 11 – 13.

1. Nick Foles and the Jaguars offense

The Jaguars entered the 2019 offseason with a splash; signing quarterback Nick Foles to the highest guaranteed money a Jaguars player has ever received. Since then, they have made moves to allow for him to succeed, such as selecting tight end Josh Oliver and right tackle Jawaan Taylor in the draft just last month.

Quarterback is the most important position group on the team, and with Nick Foles at the center, all eyes will be on him from now on. It will be important for the Jaguars — and their fans —  to get a good look at the new offense under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, and how well Foles can execute it. Although many fans feel the Jaguars did not adequately address the weapons on offense, there is a possibility the quarterback was holding the team back.

With Marqise Lee not ready yet, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, and D.J. Chark will be the only Jaguars receivers on the Jaguars roster last season participating. It will be interesting to see their connection with Foles even as early as today.

2. How will the linebacker group shake out?

This storyline has almost as much intrigue as the quarterback situation. This is because of Telvin Smith posting an impromptu Instagram post revealing his intentions to sit out the 2019 season. The Jaguars have addressed the position during the offseason seemingly as a response to Smith not being in contact with the team prior to the draft. Selecting LB Quincy Williams at the bottom of the third round was the icing on the cake.

The Jaguars will look for a new weak-side linebacker and there have been plenty of questions of whether they will turn to a rookie, a new vet, or even Myles Jack to take over the position. Who takes over will be very important and we should get an answer sooner rather than later.

3. Rookies

The rookies are always a storyline and with the Jaguars selecting two premier players — Josh Allen and Jawaan Taylor — all eyes will be on them. Rookies are not typically thrust into starting positions too early, so do not it will not be a shock if Taylor is taking second-team reps or if Allen is not out there with the defensive line/linebacker group. However, it will be important to see exactly what position Allen plays as there has been speculation of him playing SAM since they drafted him.

Rookie TE Josh Oliver will be someone worth watching on offense. As mentioned earlier, he was a part of the Jaguars plan to get an influx of talent on offense. Quincy Williams, as previously mentioned, might be one of the more underrated rookies to watch for. How he plays during the offseason could change the entire linebacker group.

Obviously all eyes will be on the Jaguars rookies during the 10 OTAs starting today, however, these are the most important to keep an eye out on how they perform.

4. Safety situation

Probably one of the most talked about situations as far as depth on the roster this offseason has been safety. Before the end of the 2018 season, the Jaguars released strong safety Barry Church and circled back to release Tashaun Gipson earlier this offseason. This allowed then-rookie Ronnie Harrison to start in place of Church, and Jarrod Wilson to start in place of Gipson. How Wilson performs in this new role will be vital to the Jaguars success at free safety.

The Jaguars in this offseason have not addressed the safety position at all besides signing former AAF safety Josh Brown. How Jaguars undrafted rookies and other depth players attack this position will be important to watch out for as we begin OTAs.

5. No injuries, please

Seriously. If there is one thing the Jaguars cannot afford, it is an injury to a pivotal position. These practices are not supposed to be extensive but as we have seen in the past, anything can happen. If the Jaguars come out of these OTAs with no injuries, it will be a huge win entering mandatory minicamp in June, and training camp in July.

Keep a close eye on Jaguars players who are already injured. Players such as Marqise Lee, Jake Ryan, and Cam Robinson will be going through various levels of rehab. Lee will not be on the field, however, Ryan or Robinson might be closer to returning.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Should the Jaguars sign Gerald McCoy when he’s released?

Demetrius Harvey

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Dec 24, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) reacts after a sack in the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive tackle  Gerald McCoy has recently been informed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers according to Adam Schefter at ESPN. According to Schefter, the Jaguars are one of the spots that “make sense”. This list includes the Patriots, Browns, Cowboys, and Chargers. McCoy wants to sign with a playoff team and the Jaguars were in the AFC Championship game in the 2017-2018 season.

There are a variety of factors to take into account if the Jaguars do intend to do their due diligence on Gerald McCoy. McCoy has been one of the most dominant defensive tackles since he was drafted third overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010. Last season, McCoy accounted for 28 combined tackles and six sacks in 14 games. Although his sack production has not fallen off yet, he is 31 years old and has not been as dominant as he was in his younger days.

In 2018, the Jaguars drafted Taven Bryan in the first-round, and due to the salary cap, they released veteran defensive tackle Malik Jackson who immediately signed with the Philidelphia Eagles. If the Jaguars were to bring in McCoy the cost would almost assuredly be steep, and although they have ways to manipulate the cap, the question would be if Dave Caldwell or EVP Tom Coughlin would be willing to pay.

With Taven Bryan already locked into the starting role, it would also come down to how the Jaguars feel about the depth at the defensive tackle — specifically three-tech — position. The Jaguars only have Taven Bryan, Marcell Dareus, and Abry Jones entering this season at DT who have played significant roles. Calais Campbell also plays a role on specific downs.

Would Gerald McCoy make sense for the Jaguars? In theory, sure, but only at the right cost and if the player falls in their laps. The Jaguars released Malik Jackson due to cap reasons. Jackson is a younger player who — although he had a down year in 2018 — has had similar production to Gerald McCoy in recent years. Would they be willing to spend on the older player instead?

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