Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake head up an impressive Miami Dolphins defensive line and they are likely looking to dominate the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line in the Week 2 matchup at Jacksonville.
After last week’s surprisingly close 17-10 victory over the Washington Redskins, the Dolphins will me looking for a statement win against a Jags team that came out flat to start the season.
For the Jaguars, this is a serious concern. Guys like Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake are tough to handle on regular days, but they are even harder to handle with chips on their shoulders.
Last week the two of them combined for just two tackles. In fact, Suh was the only one of the two on the stat sheet. The Jaguars have got to be thinking they can blank them both in Week 2 if the Washington Redskins could. While I’m hopeful based on last week’s performance, it’s important to note that last week’s performance for these two dominant linemen was far from the norm.
Last season, Cameron Wake finished the year with 11.5 sacks (his third double digit sack season), three fumbles forced, and three passed defensed. Ndamukong Suh finished the year with 8.5 sacks (his highest since 2010). These two are forces to be reckoned with.More importantly, it isn’t always the stat sheet that shows what these two players can do.
Suh wreaks havoc on offensive lines, forcing them to double him or pay the consequence. This opens up opportunities for players like Wake to step in and make plays. While this wasn’t the result for Wake in Week 1, it did open up opportunities for others resulting in one sack by Jordan Phillips and four tackles for a loss.
The Jags O-line is going to be busy blocking Suh and Wake and will also have to contend with other defensive linemen and linebackers at the same time.
Last week the Jags offensive line looked pretty sharp, especially guards Zane Beadles and Brandon Linder and right tackle Jermey Parnell. Center Stefen Wisniewski didn’t play poorly either, but didn’t stand out.
The big question for the Jaguars will be at left tackle with Luke Joeckel’s ankle sprain (which is reportedly not severe) and replacement Sam Young. Young was credited with giving up two sacks of Blake Bortles by Pro Football Focus. This is especially concerning considering that he was only in for 28 snaps.
While one game certainly is not indicative of how a unit will play in the rest of the season, left tackle was a concern going into the year and tackle depth was also a concern. Further, the rest of the unit could struggle against superior defensive lines or if they have to compensate for a weak link.
The Jaguars offensive line also has to compensate for Blake Bortles holding onto the ball and playing poorly. Week 1 was a near disaster for Bortles and he looked like a rookie out on the field, failing to feel pressure, holding onto the ball, and taking sacks due to poor movement. The offensive line cannot save him from himself.
Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake are going to be hungry defensive linemen when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars and they may cause problems. Whether they reap the benefits or others do is up in the air, but hopefully the Jaguars’ offensive line will be able to hold them off enough for the passing game and rushing attack to get underway.
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