It took a team effort to beat the Buffalo Bills in Week 5 but the Jacksonville Jaguars were up to the challenge. Whether it was the offense or the defense, the Jags answered the call and came on top. One player who had a pivotal role in the 25-20 win was running back Travis Etienne, who totaled 184 yards from scrimmage. While Etienne was most definitely pleased with his on-field performance, he wasn't particularly enthused that he had to play himself in his Fantasy Football league.
Etienne was a stud against the Bills, toting the rock 26 times for 146 yards with two touchdowns. He also added 48 yards through the air on four receptions. If you had him in your lineup on your Fantasy squad, you know how valuable his performance was. He knows firsthand, as he confided after the game that he had to play against himself in his Fantasy league.
This was arguably one of Etienne's best performances of his young career. His previous season high was 88 yards on 19 carries against the Houston Texans in Week 3. Just last week, he racked up a measly 55 yards on 20 carries for an average of 2.8 yards per carry. Before Week 5, his season average was 3.8 yards. Now, he sits at a more healthy 4.2 yards.
Now, Etienne's previous performances weren't necessarily his fault. The offensive line had failed to execute and without anywhere to go, he already had a defender on his face by the time he reached the line of scrimmage. That changed Sunday, when he had enough room to work his magic. If the offensive line can keep opening lanes like they did against Buffalo, the former Clemson Tiger should be able to keep posting 100+ yard games the rest of the way.
The win vs. the Bills was huge for the Jaguars, but the work isn't over
The Bills are one of the top teams in the AFC, so the Jaguars should feel good about themselves following the win. However, they can't afford to rest on their laurels. There are still 12 games left on the schedule and if they want to make noise, they must keep their foot on the gas pedal. Travis Etienne knows this.
Following the game, Etienne told the media that he felt great about being 3-2 after winning two in a row but he also pointed out that the season is just getting started.
"It's going to feel great, but we have to understand that we are 3-2 and the season is still ahead of us, Etienne said. "We are going to enjoy this, we're going to enjoy the plane ride. But whenever we touch down, we have to understand that we have to get ready for the coaches, it's a new game. NFL is week to week. We can't bask in this because it's still early in the season. Two weeks from now, nobody will remember this game and we have to understand that and keep moving."
Etienne is right. Next on the Jaguars schedule are the 3-2 Indianapolis Colts. There's a chance Anthony Richardson, who suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5, won't make the start but that doesn't mean Jacksonville can take them lightly.
If Richardson isn't good to go, which is the most likely outcome, Gardner Minshew will get the nod in Week 6. Add the return of running back Jonathan Taylor, and this could be a tough matchup, even though it will be held at EverBank Stadium.
The Jaguars won back-to-back games in London and they'll have the chance to extend their winning streak when they welcome the Colts in Week 6. If Etienne has a day like the one against Buffalo, the Jags will have a favorable chance of getting their third straight W.