The Jaguars offense is much-improved thanks to the game plan offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has installed down in North Florida.
Everything the team worked on this off-season, especially in training camp, was done so with the idea that quarterback Nick Foles would be leading the charge. As we all know things have changed, and Gardner Minshew is taking this offense by the reins and proving to everyone that he can be a very productive NFL quarterback.
The Jaguars have a tough task ahead of them this week against the New Orleans saints. Under the guidance of head coach Sean Payton, the Saints are one of the more complete teams in the league and offer the Jaguars another tough opponent with a stinging defense.
"“They are really good. They are really good. You look at ’92’ [Marcus Davenport], ‘94’ [Cameron Jordan] and ‘98’ [Sheldon Rankins] – all of those guys,” DeFillipo explained this week while talking to the media on Thursday.More from Jacksonville Jaguars NewsJacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdomJaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect nowJaguars News: This division rival might be making a big moveFormer Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways“They do a great job of rotating guys in there. I think that you see a lot of speed and power. Those guys are powerful dudes. ‘56’ [Demario Davis] is a blitzing [line]backer, I include him as almost part of the front because when he blitzes the [running] back, he tries to punish the back. They do a really nice job. They try to press the pocket up the middle so the quarterback doesn’t have room to press up and it allows the edge rushers to do the work. We’re going to need to do a good job being solid at the first level and you know, [Demario] Davis is a damn good blitzer.”"
The best way to prove DeFilippo‘s brand of football is working is by looking at the scoreboard. Jacksonville is averaging 22.2 points a game, which dwarfs last year‘s output, where the Jaguars barely average 15 points per contest. The Jaguars rank 10th in passing at 254.6 yards a game. The run game has become is a solid part of what they’re trying to accomplish inside TIAA Bank Field and average 138 yards a game, which is eighth in the league.
We know, based on what we have seen from the scoreboard, things are heating up at the right time.
All things aside, this is a unit opponents must be concerned about. Regardless of the fact the Jaguars are playing with their back up in charge, everything appears to still be rolling along smoothly with a combination of new players and veterans who have bought into the system.
Leonard Fournette has rushed for over 100 yards in consecutive games, which is something he has not done since his rookie season. DJ Chark has emerged as a top 10 wide receiver. DeFilippo is a strong proponent of using tight ends in his arsenal. And if the team could get the offensive line to play with more consistency and fewer penalties, who knows what will happen over the next 11 weeks.
The focus this weekend is on the Saints and how to get past their front seven and a secondary that is better than many thought should be.
DeFilippo is well aware of how good Lattimore has been since his arrival in the NFL.
"“He’s a darn good cover guy. Obviously, his accolades, Pro Bowls, All-Pro, all of that stuff speaks for itself,” DeFilippo said. “He’s fast, he’s physical. He wants to get his hands on you at the line of scrimmage and does a darn good job at it. It will be interesting to see how we match up against those guys.”"
While everyone here in Jacksonville is still riding the Minshew mania train, the team as a whole is still growing. That alone makes this weekend’s game against the Saints the biggest game of the season so far. A win and a continuation of this offensive growth will tell us a lot about where the team is going and how good DeFilippo has been at pushing all the right buttons.