Although the Jacksonville Jaguars had some talented pieces in 2020, you could count them all with one hand and probably had fingers to spare. Edge rusher Josh Allen was one of few playmakers but was hindered by a knee injury for most of the year and wasn’t the same player he was in 2019.
Allen is now 100 percent healthy and has been arguably the Jaguars’ best defensive player in 2021. As head coach Urban Meyer recently told the local media, the Kentucky product has been playing hard, even if it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. In Week 9, it was clear how dominant he is, logging a sack, eight total tackles, two tackles for a loss, one interception, and a fumble recovery.
Even though it was a team effort, Allen stood out, becoming the first playing in NFL to sack a player with the same name. His impact in the Jaguars’ Week 9 win went beyond that play though. He set the tone for the defensive in what was a stunning upset, limiting the Bills’ high-gear offense to just six points.
After the game, Allen met with the local media and was asked what kind of message the win sent to the rest of the league. The 2019 first-round pick was straightforward, and maybe even blunt.
"We’re not going nowhere. We got to build, we’re going to build on this. I’m glad I’m not up here saying ‘We got to do better. When we on our stuff, we can be a really great defense and it showed today."
The Jaguars’ defense has played well at times. You could even argue that Joe Cullen’s unit has been better than their offensive counterpart but they hadn’t performed the way they did in Week 9. The fact that it was against the Bills’ top scoring offense makes it even noteworthy.
So what was different if Allen and edge rusher Dawuane Smoot have played the same way in recent weeks? Head coach Urban Meyer has a clear idea. He told the local media Allen got help from the Jags’ interior defensive front, “the interior pressure really set up a lot of things”.
Meyer is right. The Jaguars’ defensive front constantly disrupt Bills quarterback Josh Allen and forced him into making mistakes throughout the game. Here are other observations from the Jaguars’ 9-6 win over the Bills.