Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue haven’t been particularly impressive thus far in 2016 but are finally starting to deliver for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Amidst the messy loss to the San Diego Chargers in Week 2 was a small silver lining for the Jacksonville Jaguars. While Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue didn’t quite deliver on the unleashing of the pass rush, they did start to make an impact.
Fowler in particular needed some strong work to show he’s been worth the early reps in his career at the pass rushing defensive end spot. Fowler displayed some of his ability in Week 2, finishing the game with two sacks and getting in on six tackles.
Ngakoue also started to light things up with three tackles and a strip sack on Philip Rivers. He made sure that Fowler wasn’t going to outshine him.
Unfortunately, both of these explosions of production for the two young players came in a game that was already out of reach by the time they were able to contribute. They got to the quarterback, yes, but they didn’t necessarily make a significant impact in the game.
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The Jaguars desperately need them to do so if they hope to not have a repeat of the Week 2 meltdown.
Perhaps more importantly, the production came against a Chargers squad that has been mediocre at best over the last season and into 2016. If this had been production against a better unit it would get far more attention.
It is also worth noting at this point that Fowler has been stepping up in the run game. The young Jaguar has the second-best run stop percentage in the NFL (15.2 percent) among 4-3 linebackers (per Pro Football Focus). While he was brought to Jacksonville to rush the passer, it’s good to see he has held up well against the run, too. He has come up with five stops on 33 run snaps thus far. Look to see how he’ll perform in future efforts as the sample size grows.