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Jaguars vs Jets: 2018 Preview and Information (and bonus Q&A!)

Demetrius Harvey

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Oct 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) runs the ball and is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee during the 4th quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars vs New York Jets

Sunday, 9/30/18 @ 1pm, TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL

You can watch the game on CBS47.

Odds: Jaguars -7.5

Preview:

Just going to touch on a couple of points today, as I have a special Q&A as part of this week’s preview.

Leonard Fournette will be back and ready to play for the first time since week one. Fournette’s return comes just in time, as the Jaguars offense looked stale during his week three absence.

The offensive line should be in better shape with the likely return of RG AJ Cann. While Cann is officially listed as questionable, I fully expect to see him on the field.

Q&A:

I caught up with Paul Harris (make sure to give him a follow) of The Jet Press to find out a little more about this Jets team. Paul is a Jets writer, as well as a Duval native, so I believe he offers a unique perspective on this upcoming game.

The Jaguars defense will be a difficult early test for the rookie Sam Darnold. Do you feel that the rookie QB will outperform expectations on Sunday? Or is he due for a rocky performance?

Coming off a mediocre performance against the Browns, expectations are pretty low going into Jacksonville who is currently the 4th best defense in the NFL. I expect Darnold to be blitzed early and often, giving the Jaguars secondary a chance to wreak havoc. Although Darnold may cough up the ball once or twice through the air, he has proved to be able to bounce back from mistakes, and often times even make his best plays after turnovers. E.g. Darnold’s first career NFL pass resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown, but lead the Jets on a touchdown drive immediately after his disastrous start. With that being said, I expect him to outperform these low expectations, and perform at a high enough level to keep the Jets in this game, especially after a long week of preparation.

The Jets offensive pieces look to be in decent shape after regaining Quincy Enunwa from injury and signing Isaiah Crowell in the offseason. Is there any weapon on the Jets offense that Jags fans should be particularly worried about?

Last year, Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire were able to run all over the Jaguars defense, putting up 256 yards and 2 touchdowns on 31 combined carries. With the loss of McGuire to injury and the addition of Isaiah Crowell, this two-headed monster should be the Jaguars No. 1 concern heading into Week 4. Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates has made it very clear that in order to put Sam Darnold in the best position to succeed, they have to establish the run. Which is something they were only able to do thus far in Week 1 against the Lions, which happens to be their only win.

The Jets defense is currently sitting at 7th best in the NFL on a YPG-allowed basis. Is there any player on the Jets defense that the Jaguars will have to specifically gameplan against?

When watching the Jets defense on film, the player that jumps off the screen is Jamal Adams. After a solid rookie year, Adams has tallied 19 TACK, 3 PD, 1 INT, & 1 FF so far in 2018. Adams excels at sniffing out the run, and meeting running backs in the backfield. With Leonard Fournette returning from injury, this will be a key matchup to watch.

Name one bold prediction for a player on either team.

Sam Darnold will silence the critics and throw for 350 yards and 2 touchdowns against the highly praised Jaguar defense.

The Jets shocked the Jaguars last season in a 23-20 OT win. Do the Jets pull off the upset again this year?

My score prediction for this game is 27-24 Jaguars. Sam Darnold will keep the Jets in this game and show everyone why he deserved to be drafted 3rd overall. At the end of the day I expect Leonard Fournette to jumpstart the Jaguar offense and get them back on track, proving to be too much to handle for the young Jets defense.

 

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

Film Room: Why Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue deserves to be paid

Brandon Carroll

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Dec 2, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) motions to the fans during the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

A big Jaguars storyline headed into the offseason break within the NFL is the looming contract negotiation between premier pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue and the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Ngakoue burst onto the scene after being drafted in the third round by the Jaguars in the 2016 draft. He quickly asserted himself into the competition for a starting role with Dante Fowler Jr. — a former 1st round pick and a guy the Jaguars looked at as a perennial defensive end from his days at Florida. 

Due to Fowler struggling to climb back his ACL tear during his rookie season, Ngakoue took advantage of the opportunity of being on a level playing field with Fowler when he touched down in Jacksonville. 

Soon after, Ngakoue took the starting defensive end spot and never looked back. 

In the 2018 season, Ngakoue recorded 25 tackles and 9.5 sacks for a Jacksonville team that disappointed not only their fans but many of those around the league. After a quick start to the season, they hit a wall and began to roll downhill. 

Throughout all of the ups and downs in Ngakoue’s first three seasons in the NFL, he has stayed committed and healthy to play in all 48 regular season games. Not to mention the three playoff games in 2017. Over those 48 games, he has recorded 80 total tackles, 29.5 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles. Monstrous numbers for a guy that came into the league with low expectations. He blew those expectations out of the water and continues to be a force on the defensive side of the ball for Jacksonville. 

Ngakoue presents a very interesting skill set as a pass rusher. While a multitude of edge rushers look to throw away the blocker and pressure the quarterback through pure strength and technique, Yannick has used his undeniable speed and length to get underneath the pass protection and hurry the quarterback. He has made a name for himself as one of the most feared defensive players in the eyes of quarterbacks in the NFL while focusing on parts of the game that are vital for winning. 

Ngakoue uses three approaches in particular to his pass rushing technique. He looks to jump off the line of scrimmage as the ball is snapped and utilizes his quickness to cause pressure in the pocket, create turnovers to flip field position for his offense to flourish, and has a never say die attitude when it comes to every down. 

In this play, Ngakoue fires off the line of scrimmage and gets underneath the offensive lineman before they even have the chance to get a hold of his pads to execute the block. By doing this, he is able to use his momentum gained from his jump off the line to push back the defender and get him on his heels early in the play. Ngakoue then blows past him and is able to get the strip sack on the quarterback. His speed on this play allows him to drop off the offensive lineman and have a straight path to the QB. Being lined up on the quarterback’s blind side, Ngakoue shows that he can shed off blocks and surprise the quarterback with forceful hits or bat the ball out of his hands for a potential swing in momentum. 

Yannick has shown a knack of being able to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands. Leading the NFL in forced fumbles in the 2017 season, he showed his talent of creating turnovers and giving the offense great starting field position, if those forced fumbles don’t result in a score by the defense. 

In these plays, Yannick displays that knack by rounding the corner and using his reach to knock the ball out of Kiser’s hand not once but twice. 

Creating this type of pressure in a game where the offense hasn’t had much production is too much to go unnoticed. Ngakoue has a zeal to be able to shift the momentum of the game to his teams’ favor. Especially in the second play where he wraps around the outside of the offensive line, knocks the ball out of Kiser’s hand, and allows Telvin Smith to recover the fumble in the end zone to escape a near upset loss to the Cleveland Browns. 

Ngakoue commented on that game by saying “To be elite, to do it consistently in one game, that’s pretty special.” And he’s definitely right about that. 

Ngakoue is a generational talent at defensive end and continues to lead by example on a Jaguars team that at times can lack a leader in the locker room. He shows the uncanny ability to do whatever it takes for his team to win. In 2017, Yannick was one of only 2 players in the NFL with 10+ sacks and 5+ forced fumbles (six). Who was the only other player? None other than Aaron Donald, who’s arguably the best defensive player in the NFL at the moment. Yannick’s skill set and production on the field are up there with the best. Therefore, his salary should be as well. 

“Being able to change the game, and being able to get that ball out the quarterback’s hand, that wins games and for a player to be able to do that, that’s pretty special,” Yannick says during his interview with NFL network after being voted the number 88 player of the season in 2017. 

While there are many abilities that the former Maryland student-athlete possesses, one that may be the most important to his success may be his mindset. He has a mamba mentality of never quitting. Not on a play, not in a game, not in a season. You will never see the man give up. This may be the biggest reason as to why the Jaguars need to pay him. For all 60 minutes of the game, he will give his team 110%. 

In this clip, Ngakoue shows that never-say-die attitude by overcoming being initially taken out of the play by the offensive lineman. It looks like he may have been out of an impactful position but, he wills his way back into the play to make a big stop on third down. Seeing Jacoby Brissett step up in the pocket as Yannick is making his way around the outside, he plants his foot and comes back towards the play to turn what could’ve resulted in positive yardage from a quarterback scramble into being a loss of a yard. Being able to fight past adversity from play to play is what separates the good from the great. Yannick has proven that he is a great player, especially in his last two years. 

In this play against the Bengals, Ngakoue shows great perseverance as it looks like he overshot the play. Despite hitting the ground he has the strength and ability to bounce up and get a tackle for loss. A play that could’ve turned into a big run if Yannick had not given so much effort. Being able to bounce back up and make a play as big as this one shows how hard he works to be one of the best in the league. 

Ngakoue continues to be one of the most under-appreciated players in the NFL and is an elite rusher who will do anything to help his team win. While we saw a bit of a drop off from him in 2018, he still ranked 23rd in total sacks throughout the NFL with 9.5 and was a gigantic piece to the puzzle on a defense that ranked top 5 in a 5-11 season. 

With many players in today’s NFL going in and out due to injury or off the field issues, Yannick has stayed consistent and put his heart and soul into the Jaguars organization. He’s shown his potential and consistency needed to really be a solid playmaker for this strong Jacksonville defense for years to come. This creates even more of a reason to sign him to a big contract extension this offseason. 

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith apparently fined by team

Demetrius Harvey

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Dec 2, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith (50) reacts during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have apparently fined LB Telvin Smith for missing three days of mandatory minicamp. This amount, according to Telvin Smith on Instagram, was for a total of $88,650. Telvin Smith decided to leave the game of football for a year last month and has not shown up to any team activities since the season ended in January.

https://www.instagram.com/stories/telvinsmith50/

Smith stated in his Instagram post “Oh y’all  thght [sic] it was a game!!! You say you wanna sit & get ya life right. . . they say nah […] you pay me!!!” also stating “It’s still love!!”

The Jaguars have every right to fine Smith under the current CBA signed in 2011 regarding mandatory participation in team activities. Smith has not yet informed the Jaguars officially of his intentions for the 2019 season, thus he is still considered a part of the team and on the 90-man roster.

It is not yet known whether or not the team has opted to fine DE Yannick Ngakoue who was also missing from mandatory minicamp last week as he resolves his contract with the team.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

REPORT: Jaguars sign WR Tre McBride and DT Kalani Vakameilao

Demetrius Harvey

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The Jacksonville Jaguars announced today the signings of WR Tre McBride and Rookie DT Kalani Vakameilalo. Both players had a tryout during yesterday’s minicamp practice. They have waived LB Nick DeLuca and LS Christian Kuntz to make room.

McBride has played for the Tennesee Titans, Chicago Bears, and the New York Jets during his time in the NFL. In 2017 he hauled in eight receptions for 144 yards. His lone touchdown came in 2015 with the Tennesee Titans. The Jaguars currently have 12 WRs on the roster including McBride. They will enter training camp for a battle for possibly five or six spots. Currently, it would be a surprise if McBride makes the team.

Vakameilao went undrafted out of Oregon State where he posted 75 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss.

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