Jalen Ramsey played superbly in Week 15 even though he was matched up against one of the NFL’s best in DeAndre Hopkins and, in his mind, some terrible officiating.
There are few Jacksonville Jaguars players willing to speak out as much as Jalen Ramsey. Still, he does enough for those who don’t.
Fortunately, Ramsey can back up his talk with play on the field.
One of the rising stars on a roster taking shape around unproven talent, Ramsey is doing everything in his power to turn the Jags into winners. In Week 15, that meant out-battling DeAndre Hopkins, one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
That was a task Ramsey did well for most of the game, limiting Hopkins to just six receptions on 14 targets, nabbing an interception and defending four passes. That is Pro Bowl level play from a rookie.
Ramsey was so disruptive that Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson named him the second best player of the week, writing:
"The Texans certainly weren’t shy about going after rookie CB Jalen Ramsey – targeting him 14 times in the game – but perhaps they should have been given how he played. He did allow 78 yards across six catches, but broke up four of the incompletions and notched an interception to counter that yardage, and was very effective in the run game, one of the hallmarks of his college play. Ramsey and the Jags lost the game, with head coach Gus Bradley being fired after the game, but he is a promising building block moving forward."
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Apparently able to do it all, Ramsey may have been able to do more if he had his way. Ramsey ripped into the officials post-game, per Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union, citing pass interference calls and inconsistent calls. Based on the game, who can blame him?
It’s always tough when a close call goes against your team, but it’s a lot tougher when those calls are influential (as some were) and when your team ultimately loses. Losing just isn’t in Ramsey’s nature and if he feels he or his team was slighted, he’s going to mention it.
Would Ramsey have been able to do more without officials holding him back? Most likely. He’s been disruptive enough at this point to justify keeping an eye on him and how much the officials will let him play going forward. For now, it’s not enough in his mind. If he gets enough star power he may be able to do even more.