In a statement win over the Seattle Seahawks, many Jaguars rose to the occasion in a major way.
Any hesitancy to buy into the Jacksonville Jaguars was erased after the 30-24 physical victory at home over the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle received a heavy dose of their own medicine as the bully became the bullied. The Jaguars never backed down, and delivered blow after blow to the body of the Seahawks. Jacksonville proved their worth, and showed the rest of the league the days of the Jaguars being a stepping stone are long gone.
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In the biggest win for the team in recent memory, many players stepped up and shined on the biggest stage. Let’s take a look at the top three performers from Sunday:
Blake Bortles is without a doubt playing his best football right now, and Sunday was his Pièce De Résistance.
Bortles played cool and collected all game, and was fully in control of the offense. From dropping the ball in the bucket, to pinpoint back-shoulder throws, Bortles was placing the football in the hands of his receivers like they were hand-offs.
His best throw came in the third quarter. After the Seahawks quickly tied the game at ten, the momentum seemed to shift drastically in Seattle’s favor. But on the first play on the ensuring possession, Bortles lofted perhaps the prettiest pass of his career over the Seahawks defense, a 75-yard strike to Keelan Cole for a touchdown to regain the lead.
Overall, Blake Bortles went 18-27 for 268 and two touchdowns. The Bortles of late is a quarterback who can lift the Jaguars into making serious noise in the playoffs.
The running game in recent weeks had become stagnant, and was beginning to be a cause for concern. But that stress was laid to rest on Sunday on the feet of Leonard Fournette.
Fournette had 101 yards on 24 carries, and punched in a touchdown run. Fournette got back on track, and looked like the locomotive we witnessed running wild earlier in the season. Fournette churning out yards against the Seahawks defense allowed the offense get back to the style in which they like to play, and helped open up the passing game.
The biggest run of the afternoon for Leonard Fournette came at the most crucial moment of the game. Up six with under two minutes to go, and facing a third down and 11, the Jaguars were on the brink of having to give the ball back to Seattle with a chance for them to lead a game winning drive. But Fournette hammered in the final nail in the Seahawks coffin, bursting for a 13-yard first down run and sealing the win.
3. A.J. Bouye
A.J. Bouye had himself a day patrolling in the secondary against Russell Wilson. The cornerback took lockdown coverage to heart, and shut down any and all air traffic thrown his way.
From stats collected by Pro Football Focus, on seven targets Bouye allowed only two catches for just eight yards. In an almost unbelievable stat-line, Bouye posted a passer rating against of 0.0. ZERO POINT ZERO. Bouye baited Russell Wilson on his first interception covering Jimmy Graham, and played the deep ball to perfection on his second pick.
You can’t ask much more from a defensive back than A.J. Bouye provided for the Jaguars against the Settle Seahawks.
There were many worthy candidates this week for a spot in the top three, which is always a welcomed and positive sign. Rookie receivers Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook had a coming out party, showing the receiver group isn’t as maligned as some had thought, and Yannick Ngakoue and Malik Jackson had big days on the defensive line. Can never forget about Jalen Ramsey as well, who pulled down an interception in the endzone covering leading receiver Doug Baldwin.