Sweeping a division opponent in a season is no easy feat but the Jacksonville Jaguars managed to pull it off when they beat the Indianapolis Colts 37-20 in Week 6. John Breech of CBS Sports liked what he saw in the dominant win and gave the Jags a high grade for it.
Breech assigned grades to all NFL teams in Week 6 and gave Jacksonville an A-, noting that the offense wasn't anything to write about but the defense stepped up and took control of the game.
"On a day where the Jags mostly sputtered on offense, it was the defense that came up with the big plays. The Jags forced four turnovers, including a second-quarter fumble recovery that set up a 22-yard TD drive. Although the offense struggled, the unit did come up with some big plays including a 22-yard TD run by Travis Etienne and a 29-yard scoring catch by Christian Kirk. "
Breech goes on to say that the Jaguars are "going to be a scary team going forward" if the defense can keep playing the way they have in recent games.
Following the win over the Colts, the Jaguars' defense ranks 15th in points allowed and 21st in total yards. While those numbers don't necessarily pop off the stat sheet, a close look shows that Jacksonville's defense is flying under the radar. In Week 5, they held the Buffalo Bills to seven points until the fourth quarter. And when Buffalo scored, Jacksonville quickly answered back with a touchdown of their own.
Something similar happened against Indianapolis in Week 6. The Jaguars gave up three points on the Colts' opening drive but they kept them in check for most of the game, taking away their running game and forcing Gardner Minshew into making mistakes.
In the end, Jacksonville limited the dynamic duo of Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss to a measly 40 yards. Minshew didn't fare much better, turning the ball four times (one lost fumble, and three interceptions).
Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and his group deserve lots of credit. As center Ryan Kelly noted after the bout, the Colts offense wanted to set the tone and force Jacksonville into making defensive adjustments but couldn't do it. The Jags had control for most of the game and only allowed Indianapolis to reach the end zone when they had already built a comfortable lead.
The Jacksonville Jaguars showcased their defensive talent vs. the Colts
The Jags low-key have one of the best defenses in the league. They don't currently rank among the top 10 but they make up for it by creating turnovers at a high rate. Currently, they lead the NFL with 15, and three of their players already have three interceptions: Andre Cisco, Darious Williams, and Rayshawn Jenkins.
If that wasn't enough, outside linebacker Josh Allen is playing at an absurdly high. Besides having a strip sack in Week 6, he's logged seven sacks this season (as many as last year) and leads the league in total pressures. Add the return of defensive end Dawuane Smoot (and soon DaVon Hamilton) and the Jaguars' defense stacks up favorably against any in the league.
Their offense, coming off a relatively quiet day, has also shown the ability to put points on the scoreboard at ease. Trevor Lawrence's numbers this year aren't jaw-dropping but he's consistently made sound decisions and avoided turning the ball over. After a rough start to the season, the wide receivers are no longer being hampered by drops while Evan Engram is among the top tight ends in the league. Furthermore, the running game is clicking, with Travis Etienne scoring four rushing touchdowns the last two games.
Simply, the Jaguars are a complete team, one that can go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights in the league. Next on their schedule is an inconsistent New Orleans team that is looking to return to the win column after falling to the Houston Texans in Week 6.