Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 players who must show out vs Bengals

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars DE Dawuane Smoot (91) and ​Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (10) (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

Jacksonville Jaguars who must show out No. 4 – DE Dawuane Smoot.

Edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson has been a non-factor in the first three games of the 2021 season, posting a measly three pressures in that span. However, the team’s brass must feel good about re-signing outside linebacker Dawuane Smoot, who currently has a team-high 10 pressures and has picked up the slack.

Smoot’s performance isn’t surprising. Last season, he lead the team in sacks, and this year, he’s been the perfect complement to outside linebacker Josh Allen, who has logged nine pressures. The Bengals have given up the third-most sacks in the NFL, so it will be imperative for the Jaguars to control the trenches.

Even though Smoot has started just one game in 2021, he’s seen his playing time go up. After appearing in 46 percent of the team’s total snaps in the season opener, he played 52 percent in Week 2 and that number went up to 61 percent against the Cardinals. The 2017 third-round also has to step up against the run. Bengals running back Joe Mixon ran over the Jaguars’ defense last season and he’s currently second in the league in rushing yards behind Derrick Henry.

If the Jaguars want to stop Mixon, Smoot will have to do a good job of containing the edges and clog up the Bengals’ running lanes. Jacksonville has given up less than 100 rushing yards in the last two games, and if they don’t want to end that streak, Smoot and the rest of the defensive front will have to step up in Week 4..