Connect with us

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Defense Pitches 6-0 Shut Out against Red-Hot Colts

Demetrius Harvey

Published

on

JAGUARS GAME RECAP

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts kicked off in their second matchup of the season, this time in Jacksonville, Florida at TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars came into this matchup playing mostly for pride and respect.

Prior to the game, the Jaguars made multiple lineup changes with the most notable one being Ronnie Harrison starting for Safety Barry Church. Church has struggled all season at the strong safety position.

Other lineup changes included Patrick Omameh starting for injured Guard Andrew Norwell and ahead of last week’s replacement Chris Reed. Malik Jackson was also benched in favor of Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones at Defensive Tackle. Dareus was unable to play last week with an injury.

The Jaguars received the ball first, and after a good couple of check down passes from new starting Quarterback Cody Kessler, Carlos Hyde fumbled the ball in favor of the Colts. Hyde suggested earlier in the week that he wanted more carries and was disappointed with his use.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars defense came out flying. They were able to force Andrew Luck into a costly interception for the Colts. D.J. Hayden made a heck of a play on the right side of the field covering Colts Tight End Eric Ebron.

After the Colts received the ball again, Jaguars rookie safety Ronnie Harrison made his presence known, sniffing out a toss play on third and three allowing Linebacker Telvin Smith to make a play short of the first down.

The Jaguars remained to be undisciplined. After a great stop on third down for the Colts third drive of the game, Ronnie Harrison was called for a late taunting penalty. Rookie mistake or not, it proved to be costly for the Jaguars.

The rookie mistakes wouldn’t stop there. After the Jaguars were able to force the Colts into a field goal situation, Taven Bryan committed a personal foul on the long snapper which gave the Colts new life on offense. That makes it two personal foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on that drive by rookies. A very undisciplined unit overall on defense.

After *all* of that. The Colts decided against better judgment to go for it on fourth and goal. Yannick Ngakoue was able to get in and stop the runner short of the goal line and the Jaguars would receive the ball at their own one-yard line.

After a short punt by the Jaguars and a short drive by the Colts, they decided to go for it again. Luckily Myles Jack and Telvin Smith had something else in mind. In an absolute beauty of a play, they were able to stop the running back short of the line to gain and force a fumble. Words do not do this play justice. Just watch:

After it was all said and done during that first half the Jaguars somehow would enter with a 3-0 lead over the Colts. The Jaguars defense has been lights out today.

Starting in the second half the Jaguars defense continued to make plays. Not allowing the Colts to do much with their first drive. As for the Jaguars offense, Kessler was unable to do much as far as passing the football under pressure all day. On the Jaguars only other scoring drive of the game, the Jaguars were able to use Cody Kessler and the Jaguars run game to get near the red zone. Unfortunately, they could not score a touchdown but they were able to make a field goal, putting the Jaguars up 6-0.

The Jaguars defense was absolute lights out all day. After a great play made by All-Pro Cornerback Jalen Ramsey at the end of the game, the Colts would run out of time. The Jaguars snap a seven-game losing streak to advance to 4-8 on the season and pitching a shutout. A well-deserved shutout at that.

THREE PLAYS OF THE GAME

  • Myles Jack/Telvin Smith tackle for loss/forced fumble
    As noted in the game recap, the Jaguars defense came to play and that included Myles Jack and Telvin Smith. This tackle for loss/forced fumble was probably the best play of the game and set the tone for the rest of the matchup.
  • D.J. Hayden Interception
    Hayden has been one of the better defensive backs for the Jaguars this season, and it showed today. He was able to get his first interception since around 2016 and the Jaguars first interception by a starting nickel defensive back in the regular season in years.
  • Ronnie Harrison game Saving Sack
    Harrison started the game for a struggling Barry Church, and, he did not disappoint. Flying all over the field leading up this his game-changing sack. Because of this, he was able to force the Colts to burn all their timeouts as the Jaguars got the ball back with a little over two minutes remaining.

JAGUARS PLAYER OF THE GAME:

Jalen Ramsey.

Ramsey is absolutely the player of the game today. Not only did he play lights out against T.Y. Hilton holding him to 8 catches for 77 yards. Ramsey was also not on Hilton all game as sometimes Nickel D.J. Hayden was covering Hilton. However, even still holding Hilton to 77 yards is a great feat considering he has had back-to-back 100-yard games entering today’s game.

After the game, Ramsey called today’s game a “complete performance” by the Jaguars defense. And that it was. Holding a red-hot Colts offense to zero points is a great feat.

A little hat-tip to Josh Lambo as he was the only player today to score points for the Jaguars. Josh Lambo absolutely should be in the pro bowl this year as he has only missed three kicks this season.

FINAL WHISTLE

Both of today’s offenses were downright awful, but mostly the Jaguars offense being bad and the Jaguars offense being good. Kessler could not do much, other than check downs all day. His final stats were 18/24 for 150 yards 0 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. He was able to do what the Jaguars asked of him without making a mistake. Although Jaguar fans might not see much promise from him, if he can play similarly and get a little more protection, he could possibly help the Jaguars win more games down the final four-game stretch.

The Jaguars defense played lights out today. They were able to hold the red-hot Colts offense to 265 yards and 0 points. The Jaguars were also able to force a fumble and intercept Andrew Luck being +2 in the turnover ratio. One of the major differences today between Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler was Kessler’s ability to take good care of the ball and taking what the defense gave him. Although Kessler was only able to gain 150 yards, he still completed 18/24 of his passes. Kessler will likely start again against the Titans this upcoming Thursday for Thursday Night Football.

 

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.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Texans: Five observations, red zone issues remain

Demetrius Harvey

Published

on

Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws under pressure from the Houston Texans defensive line men during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) will be left with a lot to work on during their bye week. There was plenty to gather from the team’s 26-3 loss against the Houston Texans (6-3) in London.

1. Jaguars red-zone woes are still prevalent and have no fix in sight

In the red zone this season, the Jaguars have completed 34.5% (10/29) of their opportunities for touchdowns.  This ranks only better than the Cincinnati Bengals (33.33%) in the entire NFL.

While quarterback play is an issue in this area, the Jaguars have not made the most of their play-call opportunities either. The Jaguars entered the Houston Texans’ red zone only twice in 11 drives on Sunday.

During the two drives in the red zone, the Jaguars completed 0 passes and ran the ball one other time with Leonard Fournette for three yards. Simply not good enough.

Jaguars’ offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has spoken about the team’s ineffectiveness on red zone opportunities. “We moved the football well, but we need to do a better job in the red zone,” DeFilippo said on Thursday following the team’s week seven victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. “I need to do a better job of helping our guys get open. We need to do a better job executing and being more detailed and throwing the ball on time and all of those things. Again, all of that starts with me, and I will do a better job with that.”

Two weeks later and the team’s struggles have continued.

2. Gardner Minshew might take a backseat

Already discussed, the Jaguars might be in for a quarterback change coming out of their week 10 bye week. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew struggled mightily in Sunday’s game, and head coach Doug Marrone will have a tough decision to make.

Although Minshew was playing with a sore right shoulder, he was able to practice in full all week leading up to their matchup at Wimbley. Regardless, the Jaguars will have to make a decision, and everything points to Nick Foles being the team’s starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts in week 11.

Now completely Minshew’s fault, his struggles in the red zone have been evident for the past several weeks. Foles — during the 2017 and 2018 seasons when he started for the Philidelphia Eagles — was efficient in the red zone, which could point to his maturity as a passer more than anything.

The Jaguars will want to see what they can get out of their veteran quarterback, and there is a reason to believe the Jaguars’ head coach is leaning in this direction. If Foles is not named the starting quarterback next Sunday, it is very likely the veteran will never start for this Jaguars team, at least not under the current staff.

3. Jaguars’ run-defense regressed

Without starting nickel corner D.J. Hayden and SAM linebacker Leon Jacobs, the Jaguars were forced to remain in their nickel package for much of the day. Rookie cornerback Breon Borders replaced Hayden in the starting lineup and while he was not the reason why the run defense suffered, not having a competent linebacker on the strong side of the ball impacted the team greatly.

Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde gashed the Jaguars’ defense 19 times for 160 yards during Sunday’s matchup. Part of the reason why the Jaguars were unable to stop the Texans’ running game late was the sheer amount of plays the Texans ran to begin the game.

In the first quarter, the Texans ran 20 total plays while the Jaguars offense was only able to produce nine total plays.

4. Jaguars cannot rely on penalties, but two changed the course of the game

While the Jaguars should not, and cannot rely on penalties, the team had two costly controversial calls in the third quarter of Sunday’s matchup.

With an opportunity to score, Minshew threw a beautiful back-shoulder pass to Jaguars’ receiver DJ Chark Jr. who was able to haul in the pass but was called for offensive pass interference. A few plays later the Jaguars would botch a field goal attempt and give the Texans the football at the 50-yard line.

Following the change of possession, Jaguars’ defensive end Calais Campbell was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Specifically, Campbell was called for lowering his head to initiate contact with a defenseless rusher. The Texans would net only a field goal on this drive, but it was a potential 10-point swing as Chark’s interference call was questionable, and Campbell did not even touch Watson on the play.

5. Keelan Cole shines in Dede Westbrook’s absence

Although the Jaguars clearly missed their 1B receiver in Dede Westbrook, rarely-utilized receiver Keelan Cole was able to step up to the plate and put on his best performance of the season, and possibly since 2017.

While it was not sensational, Cole hauled in five out of six of his targets for 80 yards on the day. The Jaguars could not get anything going down the field, however, Cole was able to get open on routine crossing routes.

In the coming weeks, look for Cole to have a bigger role in the Jaguars offense, especially with veteran receiver Chris Conley playing so up-and-down (2 receptions on 7 targets for 32 yards).

DeFilippo recently spoke about Cole and understands the third-year receiver may be frustrated with his snap count.

“I am proud of the way he stayed in it and even though he has not gotten the playing time,” DeFilippo said after the Jaguars victory over Bengals. “Everyone wants to play every snap. I’m sure he wants [more playing time]. He has done a great job staying in it.”

Continue Reading

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars to make tough decision next week, Minshew Mania over for now

Demetrius Harvey

Published

on

Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws a pass in the first half against the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) were embarrassed early Sunday morning via a 26-3 loss to the rival Houston Texans (6-3). Minshew-Mania may be over for now, but it won’t be the last time the rookie sensation starts for the team.

To put it simply, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew did not play well at all yesterday. Completing 27/47 (57%) of his passes for 309 yards, two interceptions, and two fumbles lost, Minshew looked lost during the second half of the game on Sunday.

Minshew has been everything the team could have hoped for — and much more — out of a sixth-round quarterback, but between what transpired yesterday, and a few of his past performances — against winning teams –, the Jaguars will likely see what they can get out of veteran quarterback Nick Foles.

For three quarters, Minshew looked okay. While there was plenty that went wrong, the rookie was able to make key throws, during key situations. One play, in particular, stands out. With a little over five minutes left in the second quarter, the Jaguars could not seem to get anything going before Minshew scrambles around and eventually finds a wide-open Ryquell Armstead in the middle of the field. Armstead would take the ball 31 yards and set the team up for their only points of the game.

Minshew’s ability to improvise has been his bread and butter this season, and although he was not able to work his magic often against the Texans, these were the types of plays that gave pause in the Minshew/Foles debate.

During the fourth quarter, the Jaguars and Minshew were forced to take more shots downfield in a sort of desperation move while trailing 19-3. Although playcalling can certainly be questioned, the decision making of the Jaguars’ rookie quarterback was equally perplexing. Throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles, Minshew had no chance at making a little magic to lead the team to another come-from-behind victory.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be forced to make a decision on his quarterback, but not right now. After the game, Marrone indicated he will wait until the Sunday before the team returns from their week 10 bye week to talk to both quarterbacks.

“I think after those 48 hours are over, I’m going to step away a little bit, take a break because I don’t have to make a decision and have time,” Marrone said shortly after the game when asked about making the quarterback decision. “That’s what I’m going to talk to the quarterbacks about, and then I’ll tell them probably right before we come back on Sunday, we’ll be able to discuss where we’re going to go. That’s pretty much my plan.”

While Minshew did not have a great game yesterday, the decision will be made on more than just one game, Marrone said.

The Jaguars’ head coach is stuck with an incredibly tough decision. At 4-5, the team needs a spark. The Jaguars need to win down the stretch and having to rely on a rookie — still going through ups and downs — is exhausting. While Foles may not be “the answer”, he is the only other option at this moment, and the Jaguars absolutely believe in the veteran.

Although this may be the end of Minshew starting in Jacksonville this season, his achievements — 188/307 (61%) completions for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns, and four interceptions — should not go unnoticed. The team absolutely still believes in the rookie quarterback, and he has a golden opportunity — if not this season — next year to prove everyone wrong.

One of the best, most fun performances out of a Jaguars’ quarterback over the first half of the season ever, is nothing to get upset about. Minshew provided spectators with Minshew-Mania, Minshew-Magic, and any other Minshew-ism one can think of.

For now, it is very likely Foles will make his Jaguars’ debut once again after breaking his left clavicle during the opening game of the season. In 11 plays this season Foles completed five out of eight of his passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

It may be over for now, but this is just the beginning, and having the problem of deciding between a former Superbowl MVP and a rookie sensation at quarterback is a good thing. Depending on how Foles plays — if he is to be named the starter next Sunday –, Minshew could get yet another opportunity as the Jaguars progress from their 4-5 record.

Bonus clip:

Continue Reading

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars fail to seize opportunity in London, falling 26-3 to Houston Texans

Demetrius Harvey

Published

on

Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rushes for a first down during the first half of the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) fell to Houston Texans (6-3) in a disappointing pre-bye week game in London, England. The Jaguars absolutely did not have home-field advantage on the day. 

The Jaguars took to their annual London voyage with a lot of optimism, however, all of that optimism was quickly quieted by the Houston Texans (6-3) as they were able to bottle up Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars, holding the team to just three points on the day.  The Texans would win 26-3 and kill any chances the Jaguars may have had at earning the division title in a few weeks.

To begin the game, the Jaguars opted to start out on defense with the Texans struggling early on in games this season. Holding the Texans to just three points to start the game, the Jaguars defense showed up big, especially as Jaguars’ cornerback A.J. Bouye shadowed Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who finished with just eight receptions for 48 yards. The Jaguars seemed to find a groove early on during the first half of the game, but their inability to score in the red zone reared it’s head yet again.

In what is likely his last game starting for the Jaguars this season — at least for now — Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew completed just 27 out of 47 of his passes for 309 yards and two interceptions. Minshew also fumbled the football two times near the end of the game, which would ultimately end it at Wembley stadium.

While the Jaguars defense played well early on, they stood no chance against Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson who completed 22 out of 28 of his passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Extremely elusive, Watson was able to escape from the Jaguars pass rushers all day long. The Texans effectively ended any chance of the Jaguars coming back after Watson completed a long throw to Hopkins for 21 yards to the Jaguars’ one-yard line. The Texans would score on a one-yard run by Duke Johnson putting the team up 19-3 late in the third quarter.

All four of Minshew’s turnovers would come in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars attempted to climb back in the game. Missing their second-most targetted wide receiver in Dede Westbrook, the Jaguars and Minshew couldn’t seem to get anything going in the passing game.

The Jaguars’ run game was equally disappointing today as running back Leonard Fournette could only edge out 40 yards on 11 rushes.

Perhaps the best play of the game by the Jaguars’ defense, near the end of the game Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde sprinted free and was looking to go into the endzone when Jaguars’ safety Jarrod Wilson showed incredible hustle to force a fumble at the last second, turning the ball over to the Jaguars’ offense.

The good fortune wouldn’t last long, however, as Minshew would go on to throw his final interception of the game to completely seal the game for the Texans offense.

The Jaguars’ offense simply did not get anything going today, similar to their game against the New Orleans Saints in week six earlier this year. Minshew was sacked only four times on the day as the Texans did not want him to escape the pocket.

The team will have a very tough decision to make during their week 10 bye week. Ultimately, the team will need to decide between veteran quarterback Nick Foles or the rookie quarterback in Minshew.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be making the decision, and after falling 26-3 today largely due to the play of the team’s quarterback, it may be a no-brainer.

Continue Reading

Trending