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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Chiefs preview: Keys to success, matchups to watch

Demetrius Harvey



Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars corner back Jalen Ramsey (20) enters the stadium prior to the game between the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Opening day is the most optimistic day any NFL fan base will have for the remainder of the season. Everyone is on an even playing field. Every team has an opportunity to get to the Super Bowl and will get to the Super Bowl.

For the Jaguars, their week one matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs evokes feelings of optimism and nervousness. It will be the first time this year which fans will see the team showcase their talents on defense, along with a new franchise quarterback in a game that matters.

While Jaguars fans will get their first opportunity to see the first-team offense, starting left tackle Cam Robinson will not be in the starting lineup this week. Robinson injured his knee in practice on Thursday, and will not be able to suit up. Second-year offensive lineman Will Richardson will start at left tackle. The Jaguars must be able to protect quarterback Nick Foles and run the ball if they want to win on Sunday.

Game Time info

  • When: Sunday, September, 8th 1:00 PM  ET
  • Where: TIAA Bank Field Jacksonville, FL
  • Watch: CBS47 (click)
  • Listen: Jacksonville 1010XL AM, 92.5FM

Five Keys to Success

  1. Stay healthy
    Already without starting Robinson for Sunday’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jaguars can ill-afford to lose anyone else. With two pivotal matchups coming up against the Houston Texans and the Tennesse Titans, the Jaguars need to get out of the Chiefs game relatively unscathed, win, lose, or draw.
  2. Prevent big plays
    The Chiefs undoubtedly have the talent around them on offense to put up massive numbers on offense. The key for the Jaguars on Sunday to limit the big plays. Against the Chiefs last season, the Jaguars allowed eight plays of  15 or more yards on the day.
  3. Limit turnovers
    Last season against the Chiefs the Jaguars committed five turnovers including four interceptions and a fumble by then-Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles. If the Jaguars can limit their turnovers to one or less on the game, they have a great shot at winning. The Jaguars defense is still strong enough to propel their team to victory.
  4. Get after the quarterback
    This is a no-brainer. Getting after Patrick Mahomes is no easy task, but if any front-four is prepared, it is the Jaguars. The Jaguars host some of the most talented players on the defensive line in the entire NFL. Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Marcell Dareus/Taven Bryan, and Josh Allen must get after the quarterback.
  5. Start fast on offense
    Whether it be running the football with Leonard Fournette, or passing with Foles, the Jaguars must be able to get off to a fast start on offense. Lagging behind an explosive offense such as the Chiefs is difficult to navigate for the future. If the Jaguars are able to establish themselves on offense early, the defense can do the rest.

Key Matchups 

  • Jalen Ramsey vs. Tyreek Hill
    This is probably the key matchup of the game for the Jaguars this week. Unlike the last time these two teams met, Ramsey didn’t have much to say about his matchup with the pro bowl wide receiver. Instead, Ramsey will let his play do the talking. Last year against Hill Ramsey allowed only one big play against Hill — a 36-yard reception in the third quarter. Other than that, Hill was limited to three receptions for 25 yards.
  • Jaguars defense vs. Travis Kelce
    Jacksonville defensive coordinator Todd Wash suggested more than one player will handle Kelce throughout the game. Defending Kelce will absolutely be a team effort. In their last matchup, Kelce accounted for five receptions for 100 yards on the day. Stopping him will be no easy task, and it will be interesting to see how the Jaguars intend to do it. One clue could come in for the form of the Jaguars new dynamic duo at safetyJarrod Wilson and Ronnie Harrison.
  • Jaguars receivers vs. Chiefs cornerbacks
    Although the Chiefs secondary as a whole has been upgraded with the additions of safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill, the cornerback position leaves a lot to be desired. Jaguars receivers D.J. Chark, and Chris Conley are undoubtedly the fastest receivers on the team. Both players on the boundaries will present major problems for the Chiefs cornerbacks if Foles crack in the secondary.
  • Jaguars offensive line vs. Frank Clark and Chris Jones
    Sort of burying the leade here, but the Jaguars offensive line is going to be challenged on Sunday. As the new addition to the Chiefs defensive line, Frank Clark is a menace in the offensive backfield. As such, Richardson will unquestionably have his hands full. As for Chiefs’ defensive tackle Chris Jones, the Jaguars will need interior linemen Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, and A.J. Cann to step up to the plate in order to keep Foles’ jersey clean on Sunday.

Players to watch

Will Richardson — Richardson is unquestionably the player most fans will want to keep an eye on. Starting at left tackle this will be his first in-game action in the NFL. After practice on Friday Richardson told Locked On Jaguars while he feels he could have used more repetitions at tackle during camp, he feels pretty good about going into Sunday’s matchup against the Chiefs. “Football is football,” Richardson said.

The most difficult aspect of switching positions along the offensive line is not from tackle to guard necessarily. Richardson believes switching from the right side, to the left side is much more difficult similarly to how someone who is right-handed attempts to write with their left hand. “Once I go from the right side to left side I gotta get my feet under me, I gotta get coordinated.” Richardson will need to be very coordinated going against Clark.

Nick Foles — If it weren’t for the injury to Robinson, Foles would have been the number one player to watch. Entering his first year as a true franchise quarterback for the Jaguars, he will have a lot to prove. Going against his former team the Chiefs, and former head coach Andy Reid Foles will need to get off to a fast start on offense. With the offensive line in a state of confusion already, Foles will have to rely on his quick release, and likely more dump-off passes to Fournette than he originally intended.

Quincy Williams — Drafted in the third round this year, Williams will enter his first-ever NFL game against one of the most powerful offenses in professional football. Williams seems confident going into his first in-game action for an NFL team but understands it is a unique situation. “Its crazy man, from going to a small school in college, o getting drafted then all of a sudden now your number [is] getting called to start in your first NFL game period — because I didn’t play in that preseason,” Williams told Locked on Jaguars.

While Williams has not had any on-field playing time, he still has spent plenty of time in the film room. Learning from players such as Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, and Marcell Dareus, he says those three really helped him out in terms of understanding the mental aspect of the NFL. As for nerves? The rookie linebacker says he has no nervousness entering week one, “Most people say it’s a mind thing, there’s a lot of clutter going on, you’re nervous. I’m not really nervous, I know the game plan and at the end of the day it’s still football.” The Jaguars are expecting a lot out of Williams this week, and for the moment, he seems to be doing just fine in adjusting.

“Come Sunday, when its the first play of the game — it’s just back to football.”

Leonard Fournette — Although seldom talked about as of late, Fournette is one of the most important players for the Jaguars this upcoming season. Not only does he need to stay healthy, but he also needs to be able to establish the run for the Jaguars offense early on. While the Jaguars spent big money on a quarterback this offseason, their offense is still going to rely heavily on the former fourth-overall pick. If Fournette plays well on Sunday, so will the Jaguars offense.

Josh Allen — The rookie defensive end/outside linebacker looks to be a star in the making. Even though he has not played a snap during the regular season, it is easy to see the potential he has. During the third preseason game against the Dolphins, Allen was all over the field whether it be playing in coverage as an outside linebacker, or at defensive end, Allen was able to wreak havoc on for the Jaguars. If he gets off to a hot start against the Chiefs’ offensive line the Jaguar shave a very good chance of winning this game.

Official game prediction: Jaguars 14, Chiefs 23

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 vs. Texans preview: Keys to success, matchups to watch

Demetrius Harvey



Aug 29, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) works out during warmups before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars look to rebound in a major way this Sunday against the Houston Texans. It all starts with rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, II who will start in place of the injured Nick Foles.

Nick Foles is out, and Gardner Minshew is in. The outcome for Sunday’s game against the Texans will likely be determined by the ability of the rookie quarterback. In order to be successful, the team must play better on defense and around Minshew.

Game Time info

  • When: Sunday, September, 15th 1:00 PM  ET
  • Where: NRG Stadium, Houston Texas
  • Watch: CBS47 (click)
  • Listen: Jacksonville 1010XL AM, 92.5FM

Five Keys to Success

  1. Stay healthy
    We put this every week, but I suppose the Jaguars are not listening. The Jaguars will be without at least six players due to various injuries on Sunday including offensive linemen Cam Robinson and Cedric Ogbuehi, cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, tight end Josh Oliver, and wide receiver Marqise Lee. No matter how hard the Jaguars tried to escape it, the injury bug has most definitely caught up.
  2. Stop (limit?) DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller
    Last week, the Jaguars faced probably the best offense in the NFL in the Kansas City Chiefs. This week, they face another daunting challenge with Texans receivers DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller. Fuller is one of five players in the NFL to record 10 receiving touchdowns on 100-or-less targets since 2017.
  3. Protect Minshew at all costs
    The Jaguars absolutely cannot afford another injury at the quarterback position. Last week, the team sent a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for quarterback Josh Dobbs. There is no reason for anyone to want Dobbs to take the field on Sunday. While the Texans got rid of defensive end Jadevon Clowney, they are still a force to be reckoned with along the front seven with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
  4. Get after the quarterback
    Last week, the Jaguars were unable to bring down Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. This week, they will be tasked with bringing down Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson. The good news for the Jaguars defensive line is Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson holds onto the ball (2.73 seconds per pass) much longer than Mahomes (2.42 seconds). The advantage should go to Jacksonville against Houston’s offensive line even without Ngakoue.
  5. Keep it simple
    Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash admitted he might have gotten a little “too cute” when playing the Chiefs explosive offense last week. This week, the defensive play-callers needs to keep it simple and allow his defense to just play their game. The Jaguars gave up seven straight scoring drives to the Chiefs last week.

Key Matchups 

  • Jalen Ramsey vs. DeAndre Hopkins
    This is fun. Every time these two players meet, something happens. Both players will get the best of each other, and Ramsey is likely to follow Hopkins around the field as he did with Hill last week. Hopkins spoke to the media last week and complimented the cornerback, and unsurprisingly, Ramsey did the same.
  • Josh Allen vs. Laremy Tunsil
    With Ngakoue out, Allen will be the Jaguars number one pass rusher going up against Houston Texans’ offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Allen was highly complimentary of Tunsil last week and is looking forward to playing much better this week than he did in week one.
  • Jaguars receivers vs. Texans defensive backs
    Lee being out for Sunday’s matchup is inconsequential. The Jaguars top three receivers, Chris Conley, D.J. Chark, and Dede Westbrook are good to go. Chark put on a show last week against the Chiefs after hauling in four passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. The Texans secondary is suspect at best and should be a terrific matchup to watch on Sunday.
  • Jaguars secondary vs. Texans’ receivers
    The Jaguar secondary last week was, for lack of a better word, awful. Giving up 378 passing yards will not get it done. The Jaguars ranked second in pass defense last year, and currently rank 29th after their week one loss. Something’s gotta give this week against the Texans and the Jaguars will see — even without Bouye — how they will move forward on defense.

Players to watch

Gardner Minshew — Minshew Mania ran rampant in Jacksonville this week, off of a loss. If the mustache wearing, jorts sporting, rockstar from Mississippi can lead the Jaguars to victory there may be a parade. Absolutely the key player of the week, and the number one player to watch against the Texans on Sunday. Minshew will need to stay within himself and lead the Jaguars offense to scoring drives early and often. His old ball coach believes in him, do you?

Tre Herndon — Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon needs to be ready against the Texans on Sunday. Going up against DeAndre Hopkins and/or Will Fuller is no easy task. Herndon said after practice on Friday that his preparation for Sunday’s game has not changed and he has leaned on Bouye for how he should cover Fuller and Hopkins. Both receivers present different, but equally effective difficulties.

Leonard Fournette — Fournette was off to a rather stellar game against the Chiefs last week before the Jaguars defense put them in a hole forcing the team to turn to the passing game. If the Jaguars can remain balanced on Sunday, Fournette should be in for another solid game, adding onto his 5.3 yards-per-carry average for the season.

Marcell Dareus — Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus missed last week’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs due to an elbow injury. Now that he’s back, the 331-pound defensive tackle should provide a force in the middle of the field, eating up blockers and allowing the linebackers to move more freely to the ball carrier. It will be important to keep a close eye on him as the game moves forward to see how healthy he truly is.

Official game prediction: Jaguars 10, Texans 24

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars officially rule out Bouye, Lee against Texans

Demetrius Harvey



Sep 8, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye (21) warms up prior to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars have officially ruled out cornerback A.J. Bouye and receiver Marqise Lee for Sunday’s matchup against the Houston Texans.

After being listed as questionable following Friday’s practice both A.J. Bouye (hip) and Marqise Lee (knee) have been ruled out for the Jaguars match against the Houston Texans tomorrow.

Lee came into the week after playing in his first regular-season game since December 2017 with progress on his surgically repaired knee. After being limited in practice on Thursday for “precautionary reasons”, Lee did not participate on Friday.

Coming into this season there were legitimate questions whether or not Lee would be ready for week one. There are not legitimate concerns on whether the receiver has suffered a setback on his knee or if this was in the plans all along. The latter seems unlikely.

Receivers Keelan Cole and C.J. Board will step up in place of Lee on Sunday.

Bouye battled through a hip injury all week and was limited in both Thursday and Friday’s practices for the team. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone all but ruled him out after being asked about the chances of the cornerback playing on Sunday during his post-practice press conference yesterday stating, “I’d probably think, probably doubtful. We’ll be ready to go. We’re planning on him probably not playing. I’m sure he’s going to give it everything he has to be healthy.”

With Bouye out, second-year cornerback Tre Herndon will likely start in his place with D.J. Hayden remaining in the slot. Herndon spoke about the prospect of him playing a bigger role on Sunday shortly after practice concluded on Friday.

“In the position that I’m in, being that fourth corner, that’s kinda my card. Anyone get down, get tired, [I] gotta be able to step in and cut no slack. That’s my mindset, treating it like another game. Blessed with the opportunity and try to make the most out of it.”

Herndon will need to be on his A-game during Sunday’s matchup as he is likely to be covering Will Fuller or DeAndre Hopkins. Both players pose a significant threat to the Jaguars secondary.

The Jaguars have now ruled out six players for Sunday’s matchup including Bouye, Lee, tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring), offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring), defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (hamstring), and left tackle Cam Robinson (coaches decision).

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Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen is just getting started

Demetrius Harvey



Sep 8, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) looks on during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Selecting defensive end Josh Allen at seventh overall was — by many observers — a complete steal by the Jaguars. Now, the young pass rusher is honing his craft to become one of the best in the league.

Throughout the offseason, preseason, and now shortly into the regular season, Jaguars fans and the Jaguars coaching staff have seen the type of versatility, pass rush, and skill set  Josh Allen can provide to the team.

Whether it’s playing linebacker, defensive end, or defensive tackle, Allen can do it all. Coming into the 2019 NFL Draft, Allen was thought of as more of a 3-4 outside linebacker. However, in just a few months the now-275-pound athlete is proving otherwise.

“The most I can do man is the better I can be,” Allen told Locked on Jaguars shortly after practice this week when asked about his versatility. “It means I can be out there on the field more, doing more things. I love being a versatile player, I love being able to do a lot of different things so I can stay on that field as much as I can and make plays for my team.”

The Jaguars rookie played 75% of the team’s defensive snaps last week (51/68 plays) while seeing action at three separate positions — defensive end, defensive tackle, and outside linebacker. Allen has also shown he can defend the pass, especially in the flats as seen during the team’s third preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.

The fiery pass-rusher dons the number 41, a number in which he himself admits is unconventional, and while at first, he did not care for it, it eventually grew on him.

“My freshman year I thought it was my locker number,” Allen said while laughing. “I wasn’t happy when I got it. I was trying to change it, to be real. You know they told me I couldn’t and it just stuck with me and I just kept wearing it.”

Typically a player’s number has some sort of significance to it, but that is not the case for Allen. What is significant to him, however, is his son. The absolute reason why he suits up and plays with the intensity that he does on the gridiron. While Allen wants to be the best player, his son has always, and will always come first.

“You know I got in this game to give my family a better opportunity at life, and now that I’m here man, it’s just my main focus is to provide for my family and provide for myself.”

While at Kentucky, Allen nearly entered the draft as a junior, but once his son was born he had a different perspective on life, and on football. As a junior, Allen posted seven sacks and 10.5 tackles-for-loss. Respectable numbers which likely would slot him in the first to the third-round range. Allen took it as a challenge and flourished.

During his senior year, Allen posted record-setting numbers with 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles-for-loss which — for a Kentucky defensive player — is unheard of. To that end, Allen quickly climbed draft boards, many slotting him in as a top-three pick.

Now in the NFL, Allen is striving for even more. “Of course I want to be the best,” Allen said. “I got a little bit on my shoulders, but I’m willing to go a long mile with that.”

The defensive end will have a lot on his shoulders this Sunday. With his partner-in-crime Yannick Ngakoue out with a hamstring issue, many assume Allen will need to pick up the slack left by the pro bowler’s absence, but that is not his mentality at all. Instead, Allen looks at it in a rather selfless, team-oriented perspective.

“It is what it is,” Allen said when asked about Ngakoue being out on Sunday and him playing a little more. “I pray he gets better. That’s main priority number one, is for him to get healthy. It’s not about me playing more or him not being here. It’s about him being healthy and us playing 100% on the defense.”

Allen has been about the team more than himself since college, illustrating that with his desire to suit up in a bowl game he didn’t necessarily have to play in. Now in Jacksonville, that perspective has not changed. Similar to his role on Sunday.

“My role hasn’t changed any,” Allen said. “I played when he was in the game, played when he (Ngakoue) wasn’t in the game. It’s not gonna be a big change for me, but I just pray he gets better so we can be a complete unit.”

While Allen’s role may not change for Sunday, not having Ngakoue will most definitely affect the Jaguars chances of winning. Ngakoue has yet to miss a game during his four-year career, and has been the most productive edge rusher on the team during that span, along with defensive end Calais Campbell.

Allen didn’t grow up a football player, and instead played basketball the majority of his life. Once he put the football pads on, however, Allen says he started studying all kinds of pass rushers. Allen would go on to list them off. (Bears defensive end) Khalil Mack, (Broncos outside linebacker) Von Miller, (Former Broncos outside linebacker) DeMarcus Ware, (Colts defensive end) Justin Houston. Some of the best defensive ends, and football players of the past decade. “I feel like I can do the stuff they do,” Allen quipped.

Allen has drawn comparisons to Mack and Miller throughout the draft process and even now shortly into his professional career. If Allen can “do the stuff they do”, he will have been an absolute steal as many pundits predicted.

For now, Allen will continue to hone his craft and stay under the wings of Campbell and Ngakoue. He has leaned on both players for guidance throughout the offseason, and into the regular season. “Calais has been in the league for a long time, Yan for a little bit of time — he’s one of those primetime players,” Allen said. “Having them in my corner has been a blessing, a big help. Not only is it gonna help me, but they’re gonna help the whole team as well.”

Now, going into his second career game, his next test will be against one of the best offensive tackle’s in the game in Texans offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil. “He’s a big guy, he’s real physical on the point of attack,” Allen said when asked what he’s seen out of Tunsil on tape. “It makes a lot of big plays. He’s [a] real athletic tackle — that doesn’t discredit anything — so we’re still gonna have to put the pressure on him and get to the quarterback.”

It’s clear former Wildcat thinks highly of himself. Last week, Allen was credited with having three pressures and one quarterback hit according to Pro Football Focus — the most amount of overall pressures on the team. Yet, the defensive end described his play as just “alright”, when asked about it.

“I know I can work on some things to get better and plan to do those this week.”

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