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The Jacksonville Jaguars enter the bye week at 2-5, a stark contrast from where they’ve been 7 games into recent seasons. While 2-5 would be a discouraging record for most teams, it signals improvement for a team that only won 7 games in the last 2 seasons, and it’s somehow good enough to stay in the hunt in a downright horrific AFC South.
As we slow things down for the bye week, we can take some time to look back and grade out each position group to help piece together how the Jaguars got to this point.
Let’s move on to an area with several holes – the secondary.
Here are the overall defensive back statistics after 7 games:
- Davon House – 20 tackles, 11 passes defensed (4th in the NFL)
- Aaron Colvin – 32 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 pass defensed, 1 forced fumble
- Dwayne Gratz – 13 tackles
- Jonathan Cyprien – 35 tackles, 1 forced fumble
- Sergio Brown – 14 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 pass defensed
- James Sample – 15 tackles, 1 pass defensed
- Josh Evans – 27 tackles, 1 pass defensed, 1 forced fumble
- Demetrius McCray – 16 tackles
That’s a lot of names up there, and that’s not a good thing. The Jaguars have had a healthy rotation as far as their defensive backs and that’s a big reason why they have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The Jaguars have a league low 3 interceptions (none of which have come from a defensive back) and they are giving up a 99.1 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks.
Far and away the best player in the secondary is Aaron Colvin. The second year player is starting to come into his own and flashing big-time ability in coverage as well as versatility in a pass rushing role. Embarrassingly enough, his 3 sacks leads all Jaguars players, which is really more of an indictment on the Jaguars’ defensive ends.
In arguably one of the most confusing coaching moves, the Jaguars “benched” Davon House after he got lit up by DeAndre Hopkins, a move that looked even stupider as EJ Manuel torched Dwayne Gratz on multiple occasions last week in London. House has been solid and should be entrenched as a starter moving forward.
The complete opposite could be said of Dwayne Gratz, a player who has no business being on the field again, especially with Demetrius McCray available as a much better option.
The safety position has been a revolving door with Cyprien, Brown, Sample, and Evans all playing significant snaps thanks to injury and poor play. Sample is finally back and healthy as we head out of the bye, so hopefully he and Cyprien can find some kind of rhythm together and help the Jaguars stabilize their secondary.
Bye Week Grades: Defensive backs – C-minus
- Davon House – B
- Aaron Colvin – B-plus
- Dwayne Gratz – F
- Johnathan Cyprien – C-minus
- Sergio Brown – C
- James Sample – B-minus
- Josh Evans – C-minus
- Demetrius McCray – B