Jaguars Week 1 Stock Risers: T.J. Yeldon a major bright spot

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Sep 13, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) cuts between Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Sergio Brown (38) and Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (51) for a long gain in the fourth quarter of their game at EverBank Field. The Carolina Panthers won 20-9. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

2) Paul Posluszny, middle linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars

If any player needed to step up, it was Paul Posluszny. The aging middle linebacker is criticized heavily for his play in coverage and he was even considered a possible cut candidate heading into the season because he’s too much of a “classic” (expensive) middle linebacker in a game that has passed him by.

The captain of the defense, Poz did everything in his power to single-handedly win this game for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He did everything in his power to inspire a young defense to play better.

Sadly, it was all for naught.

Finishing the day with one interception, two batted passes, and nine tackles, Posluszny was all over the field for the Jaguars. He looked like a younger version of himself and he moved much better – especially in coverage – than he has over the last couple of seasons.

Losing Posluszny was a major blow for the Jaguars in 2014. His torn pectoral muscle is now healed and he showed that a healthy middle linebacker with his level of knowledge and experience is invaluable. While the defense ultimately wore down and allowed the Carolina Panthers to put together a few strong drives, Posluszny is not to blame.

Next: Father Time shows up