NFL teams want to snag as many interceptions as possible. Besides, stopping drives, they also get their offense the ball back, often in favorable field position. The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t have many in 2021 but cornerback Shaquill Griffin wants to rise the bar for this upcoming season.
Griffin recently joined the Jaguars’ Happy Hour and touched on several topics, such as head coach Doug Pederson’s leadership and his goals for the 2022 season, which include leading the league in interceptions. He doesn’t know the exact number but says it will be high.
"Our goal is to lead the league. So whatever that number is gonna be a lot cut. We got to lead the league and we want to be number one. And that’s our goal. So I can’t really put a number on it, but it’s gonna be a lot."
Last season, the Jaguars logged seven interceptions as a team, which was the second-fewest total in the league, per StatMuse. Only the Cleveland Browns have less with six. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys snagged 26 and the New England Patriots had 23, so Jacksonville would need to register 15 to 18 more in 2022 to have a shot.
Can the Jaguars lead the NFL in interceptions in 2022?
Tyson Campbell was the only Jaguar that had more than one interception in 2021. Josh Allen, Nevin Lawson, Damien Wilson, Andrew Wingard, and Rudy Ford registered one each. Coincidentally, Lawson and Wilson had never intercepted a pass despite the fact that they’ve been in the league since 2014 and 2015, respectively.
While leading the league in interceptions this upcoming season might be a tough task for the Jags, they should definitely see an uptick. Griffin himself has acknowledged that he needs to improve but so does the rest of the secondary. Safety Andre Cisco was a ballhawk in college and if he ends up winning the starting role next to Rayshawn Jenkins, he will get the chance to make plays.
Griffin intercepted three passes in the 2020 season, and getting the same numbers in 2022 is reasonable. The same is true for Jenkins. He had two in 2020 and three the year before. He needs to post a similar amount. The X-Factor of the bunch could be Campbell. He showed flashes as a rookie and should continue improving this upcoming season. Moreover, the Jaguars’ front seven should disrupt opposing quarterbacks more often, which in turn will help the secondary to make more plays.
It’s hard to see the Jaguars leading the NFL in interceptions this upcoming season but they don’t have to. Something around 15 to 20 would be a significant improvement, but as long as they spoil a few drives, make plays in key situations and give the offense more chances to score, the total number might not matter much.