Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler Jr. weren’t particularly impressive in Week 1 but have begun a productive streak in recent weeks including a dominant performance in Week 4.
Any time two defensive ends can meet at the quarterback good things are bound to happen.
That was surely the case for Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler Jr. in Week 4’s victory over the Indianapolis Colts in London. The two Jacksonville Jaguars defenders had the turning point of the game when Fowler blocked a pass into Ngakoue’s open arms and the Jags capitalized.
It’s that kind of play that earns player of the week and rookie of the week honors (or at least a nomination).
Ngakoue finished the day with four tackles, a sack, tackle for a loss, a fumble forced, and an interception. That’s the kind of impact play the Jags need from its young pass rushers.
In comparison, Fowler’s two tackles look rather modest. But he was in quarterback Andrew Luck‘s face for most of the day and his hand blocking the pass was a huge momentum shift in the game.
On the whole, Ngakoue in particular led a dominant performance from the defensive front seven. The Jags had six sacks spread across the defense (Paul Posluszny with 1.5, Ngakoue with one, Josh Johnson with .5, and Sen’Derrick Marks, Chris Smith, and Tyson Alualu adding the other three) when it was all said and done. That’s the kind of productive rushing Todd Wash and the Jags defense has been craving since they rebuilt the team.
In fact, it’s the kind of results the team has been craving since Gus Bradley arrived in 2013.
To say the recent years have been embarrassing wouldn’t be wholly true on defense, though they have been historically bad in most regards. Still, the current production that Ngakoue and Fowler are leading is almost entirely new ground for the young Jaguars.
Credit to general manager Dave Caldwell for finding such a gem in Ngakoue and credit to the coaching staff for finding a way to get him involved.
Most of all, though, credit to Yannick Ngakoue for balling out so hard and making a statement game in Week 4.