Jaguars return specialist Jamal Agnew playing at historic level

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew (39) (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew (39) (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) /

Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3, they made several plays worth a highlight reel. The best of the bunch was arguably the 109-yard touchdown return by Jamal Agnew, who made NFL history.

Near the end of the second quarter, Cardinals kicker Matt Prater attempted a 68-yard field goal. The kick fell short, Agnew saw an opportunity and took it back for a 109-yard touchdown. The Jaguars announced after the game that his cleats would be headed to the Hall of Fame.

Agnew is the third player in league history to post a 109-yard return. Former New York Jets and Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie also returned a missed field goal 109 yards in 2007 while former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson logged the same amount of yards on a kickoff return back in 2013. What makes this more impressive is the fact that this was the second consecutive week the 2017 fifth-round pick had a touchdown return.

Against the Broncos in Week 2, Agnew had a 102-yard kickoff return. He’s the first player in NFL history to record 100-plus yard touchdowns per the team’s official Twitter account. Here’s a video of the electrifying plays.

Jamal Agnew is arguably the Jaguars’ best free-agent acquisition in 2021.

Although Agnew is listed as a wide receiver, he’s only appeared in 20 offensive snaps in 2021. Then again, the team’s brass brought him in because of the impact he would have on special teams, not his pass-catching prowess. In three games, he’s already proven he’s worth every cent of the three-year deal. $14.25 million deal he signed this offseason.

On the other hand, it’s unrealistic to expect Agnew to keep scoring at this pace. Otherwise, he would finish the season with ten touchdown returns. Devin Hester registered six touchdown returns in 2007. Dante Hall posted four in 2003, and Josh Cribbs had the same amount in 2009. All of them were named First-Team All-Pro in those years. There’s a good chance Agnew will also get the honors in 2021. He’s already got a nod back in 2017, this would be his second one.

Jamal Agnew wants to play meaningful games with the Jaguars.

Agnew told the local media that this was the first time he ever returned a missed field goal. He also said that everyone that the score provided a spark and everyone in the locker room was pumped up ahead of the second half.

"The locker room was hyped up. We came out second half, ‘Dewey’ [safety Andrew Wingard] got the pick first drive, the morale was way up. I just think we got to be more consistent throughout the game. We talk a lot about riding the roller coaster of emotions throughout the game. NFL games are so up and down. You can’t let the good things take you too up, and then, you can’t let the bad thing take you all the way down. So we’ve got to be consistent and it’s a long season."

In the end, the Jags couldn’t keep up with the Cardinals in the second half. But it’s good to know that they have a player in Agnew that can provide a spark at any time. The return specialist says he wants to win. He’s been in the league for five seasons and hasn’t been to a postseason game, “I want to play in the playoffs, meaningful games in December and January.”

This is a young Jaguars team in the early stages of a rebuild. They will have to take one step at a time if they want to start winning games. For the time being, Agnew is focused on their Week 4 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, “we got a short week coming up and we just got to focus on Cincinnati, clean up what we got to clean up and get right to Cincinnati”.

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