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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Season Wraps up with 20-3 Loss to Texans, Secure Top 10 Pick

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

JAGUARS GAME RECAP

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans kicked off today for their Regular season finale at NRG Stadium. For the Jaguars, they had nothing to play for other than a draft pick. For the Texans, it was for the AFC South Title.

Leonard Fournette would miss his 8th game of the season in what would be probably the most disappointing season of his football career. The Jaguars will have to reevaluate the position in the offseason.

The Jaguars started the day on defense, which set the tone early with a quick three-and-out.  After the Jaguars got the ball back on offense, they proceeded to have a three-and-out of their own. However, during the punt to Houston, the Jaguars would somehow get the ball back. D.J. Chark was blocked into the punt returner which in turn forced a muffed punt. Jaguars ball at the 10-yard line.

Unfortunately, the Jaguars would only secure three points after a batted pass from Blake Bortles which was almost intercepted on third down. 3-0 Jaguars.

The Texans would kick it into overdrive on their ensuing possession. Effortlessly moving down the field on the heels of Deshaun Watson‘s legs. After a long reception by DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans would get it all the way down to the Jaguars three-yard line.

In what looked like a Deshaun Watson touchdown, the ruling on the field was overturned. The Texans would not be able to punch it in on third down and after a false start, were forced to kick a field goal. 3-3 tied ball game.

The Texans would get the ball back after a Jaguars three-and-out and would go down the field and score stemming from a pass interference by Tre Herndon to bring the Texans’ to the 7-yard line. The Texans would score on a Watson designed-run quickly after. 10-3 Texans.

The Jaguars finally got their first, first down of the game after receiving the ball following a missed opportunity by the Texans to add more to their lead off of a muffed punt by Dede Westbrook.

It was all Texans today as they would once again effortlessly score a touchdown by way of a Lamar Miller rushing touchdown. The Jaguars had no chance today, and for some, that was a good thing. The score was 17-3 Texans with two minutes to go in the first half.

Blake Bortles did absolutely nothing to give the Jaguars any confidence going into the 2019 season as he had only 29 yards passing in the entire first half. As reported before, the Jaguars are very likely to simply move on from Bortles and eat the dead money.

From our brothers over at BigCatCountry.com:

Basically, that was how the second half was going for the Jaguars, and nothing of note was happening on the Texans’ side of things either.

It was not all bad news for the Jaguars on defense at least. Calais Campbell extended his sack lead to 10.5 sacks on the season. He was the first Jaguars player in history to have back-to-back double-digit sack seasons. Yannick Ngakoue also got in on the party extending his sack total to 9. Taven Bryan also had his first career sack at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Texans finally got back on the board with a short field goal after being shut out for the second half of the game. 20-3 Texans.

The Jaguars could get nothing going on offense even in garbage time. Around the six-minute mark, Blake Bortles overthrew another open receiver, this time it was picked off by a waiting Texans player as Keelan Cole fell down.

The Jaguars would go onto lose the game 20-3. They secured a top ten pick in the NFL draft and a 5-11 record after being in the AFC title game just last week. The Houston Texans win the AFC South.

THREE PLAYS OF THE GAME

  • D.J. Chark forces a muffed punt
    Although it was almost a complete accident, D.J. Chark continued to be a stud on special teams in his return.
  • Calais Campbell gets another sack
    Calais Campbell is likely the MVP of the Jaguars this season, possibly tied with Jalen Ramsey. With his 10th sack of the season today he’s the only player in Jaguars history to have back-to-back double-digit sack seasons.
  • Yannick Ngakoue gets 30th career sack
    Ngakoue continued to be a menace for opposing quarterbacks after recording 1.5 sacks today getting his total to 9.5 on the season. That is 30 for his career and the most in Jaguars history in a 3-year span.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

The player of the game goes to two players this week. Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell. Campbel has been impressive the entire season, and the season finale was no different.

FINAL WHISTLE

The Jaguars finished the season 5-11 with this loss to the Texans and will go into the NFL draft with a top-10 pick. It is nearly finalized as pick #7 as other teams finish their games today. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, this may not be enough to secure an elite talent in this year’s draft or a quarterback barring a trade up.

This more than likely was Blake Bortles’ last game as a Jacksonville Jaguar and he did not impress going only 15/28 107 yards and an interception.

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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