The Jacksonville Jaguars defense once again showed it could be as dominant as the 2017 version in a 29-15 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
The saying is turnovers come in bunches, which is especially true for the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Against the New York Jets in week 7, the Jaguars defense compiled eight sacks and three interceptions.
Since trading Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams, the Jaguars defense has racked up 10 sacks, six interceptions, and one fumble recovery. Yes, the team has played both the Bengals and Jets — combined 1-13 record — but to play this hard and generate turnovers without its top star really shows what the problem actually was for the Jaguars defense.
Losing Ramsey wasn’t a death sentence for the team’s defensive unit, as the team still boast the talents of linebacker Myles Jack, safeties Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson, and pass rushers Yannick Ngakoue, Josh Allen and Calais Campbell.
It all starts up front with the Jaguars, pressuring the quarterback and forcing him into tough passing situations. This is exactly what Ngakoue and Allen have done the last six games, who have 11 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and an interception during that span.
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Allen has a good shot to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, with 16 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles, and ranking third in the NFL in pressuring the quarterback. Yes, the talk has been mostly about Nick Bosa, but here in Duuuval, we live to think Allen is as good if not better at getting to the quarterback.
With defensive tackle Marcell Dareus out for the rest of the season with a core muscle injury, second-year defensive tackle Taven Bryan is expected to be a major component to the team’s interior line. Bryan has shown promise when called upon during the regular season.
It also seems to be getting better for the secondary with cornerback Tre Herndon putting a stamp on the game with two interceptions — the first of his career. A.J. Bouye and D.J. Hayden have also quietly over performed at their position.
Now is the perfect time for the Jaguars defense to come together, With the final half of the season on the horizon. Jacksonville takes on an easier schedule its last eight games, facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons.
But it’s within the AFC South where Jacksonville’s defense needs to step up, with two games against the Indianapolis Colts, and one matchup against the Houston Texans (in London) and at the Tennessee Titans.
Jacksonville’s defense certainly isn’t the best in the NFL, but the unit has performed admirably considering the Ramsey drama and a flurry of injuries that left three linebackers out this past week. It’s a tough unit that continues to push forward and get better as the season progresses, a major credit to head coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Todd Wash.