Leonard Fournette’s a career day may be a sign of things to come for the Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars looked flat and uninspired in the first half in Denver but came out like gangbusters in the second half to defeat the Denver Broncos at Mile-High stadium. The Jaguars looked like a different team. Was it an inspiring speech from the coaching staff? Was it an adjustment to the thin air? The Jaguars team had many contributors to this victory.
Gardner Minshew II once again showed his leadership. His calm positive demeanor seems to keep the offense going even in the face of adversity. His stats were what we have come to expect from him. He completed 19 of 33 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns. His quarterback rating was 97.2.
Running back Leonard Fournette had a career-defining game with 29 rushes for 225 yards plus he caught two passes for 20 yards. Coach Doug Marrone and staff ran several plays in the first half with a lead blocker and substituted Will Richardson at right guard in the second half. The coaches also added Cedric Ogbuehi as an extra tight end and lead blocker. Those moves opened up running lanes and gave Fournette a chance to shine.
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Josh Lambo provided another impressive performance by kicking four field goals. The air in Denver often improves a kicker’s performance but windy weather could have been an issue. Not for Lambo. He kicked the game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock.
"As John Oehser of Jaguars.com wrote, “Josh Lambo’s field goal with no time on the clock seemed like a formality but a game winning kick in the final seconds is never a given.”"
Linebacker Quincy Williams was impressive once again. The rookie who made his own highlight film after college is providing highlights for the Jaguars every week. He is relentless in his pursuit and seems to always be around the ball. He had eight tackles in the game.
There were a few problems that the coaching staff still needs to address. The first is the team commits too many penalties. The team did well last week but reverted to their penalty plagued ways in Denver with 12 for 104 yards. The good news is they were mostly on the offensive side and not the unnecessary roughness penalties that have hurt us before.
Next, the difficulties that Cam Robinson, left tackle, continues to face. Again the good news is that they may be the result of rust due to injuries. Because of his time away from the game he may be adjusting to playing in live action.
The final problem is defensive coordinator Todd Wash’s idea to play a soft zone/prevent defense in the final minutes of the game that allowed Denver to score with ease. Can anyone else remember the fourth quarter of the Jaguars vs. the New England Patriots in the AFC title game after the 2017 season?
The best news of all is that every team in the AFC South has a record of 2-2. The Jaguars are in the hunt for the playoffs and have a chance to win the division.