The Jacksonville Jaguars defense stepped up in a big way on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Jaguars had to win at least two of their three games prior to the bye week. hey won the first game in convincing fashion against the Cincinnati Bengals. Gardner Minshew had a good day and showed he could shake off the poor performance against the Saints last week.
"As Jon Kurland of Big Cat Country wrote, “Fournette showed forceful runs and decisive cuts that has allowed him to leap into the league lead in rushing yards on the year.”"
He rushed for 131 yards on 29 carries and made some great blocks to help Minshew and the passing game.
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Westbrook despite being questionable with a shoulder injury had an amazing game. He ran the ball two times for 14 yards. In addition, he caught six balls for 103 yards and an impressive 17.2 yards per catch. He ran back three punts for 15 yards.
The Jaguar defense as a group played possibly their best game of the season. The team had two sacks, five tackles for a loss, five quarterback hits, three interceptions, 10 passes defended, and scored a touchdown on an interception. This is the second week in a row that the unit help their opponent in check for the majority of the game There were several standouts.
Myles Jack was everywhere during this game. He had five tackles, two passes defended and intercepted one pass and returned it for 14 yards.
Yannick Ngakoue intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown. He was a factor in the Bengals backfield all day including a tackle for a 10-yard loss on an end-around play. This was a breakout day for him after a rather quiet year to date.
Ronnie Harrison had three tackles, three passes defended and one interception he returned for 35 yards. He had another potential interception overturned. He also recovered a fumble. This is his second season as a starter in the Jaguars secondary and is improving with each game on the field.
Taven Bryan may have had the best game of his career. The much-maligned, former first-round draft choice showed some hope for the future. He had three tackles and one quarterback hit. He only played part-time but made his presence known when in the game.
There are a few things the Jaguars must still work on. A lack of pass protection early on forced the Jaguars into several punting situations. Also, the team had11 penalties for 130 yards. It must improve moving forward.
The biggest thing about yesterday’s game was the Jaguars won the first of the three critical games leading up to the bye week. A 3-4 record looks much better on paper and moves the team closer to the playoffs. The New York Jets are next and play in Jacksonville on Sunday.
Jacksonville needs this win before they travel to London to face the Houston Texans before their bye week.