If you’ve watched all three of the Jaguars games you’re confused about what kind of team the Jaguars are in 2017. In London against the Ravens they looked a lot like the team that dominated the Texans in week one.
In a stadium full of NFL, Jaguars and plenty of Ravens fans, the Jaguars dominated the first half unlike anything they’ve done in 10 years. The Ravens had one first down, -4 yards passing and 19 yards rushing as the Jaguars took a 23-0 halftime lead. The Jaguars offense had Leonard Fournette carrying the ball 12 times for 55 yards and Blake Bortles going16 for 24 for 184 yards and two touchdowns. The first half was a total beat down by the Jaguars.
Their speed on defense is impressive. They looked un-intimidated by anything the Ravens threw at them. Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler and Paul Posluszny were all playing sideline-to-sideline, chasing down running backs and receivers without too much difficulty early in the game. Pressure on Ravens QB Joe Flacco forced some quick throws and some incompletions and one interception on a tipped ball by CB A.J. Bouye.
If you had asked VP of Football operations Tom Coughlin after the draft and free agency this year what kind of football team he envisioned, the one that played against the Ravens at Wembley would be it. Dominating on both lines of scrimmage, run the football with a power back like Fournette, have the quarterback be accurate and patient and the defense pressure the opposition and create turnovers.
Simple formula but hard to execute. Coughlin and Head Coach Doug Marrone preach toughness and there’s no question the Jaguars have that. Add talent and speed to the equation and a lot of “want to” by guys like Telvin Smith, Calais Campbell and Paul Posluszny, and you get a dominating performance like they had against the Ravens.
It continued in the second half as the offense scored two TD’s, both on throws to Marcedes Lewis giving him three for the game. The first was set up by a Jalen Ramsey interception where he undercut the route and made a diving catch. As Doug Marrone said earlier in the week, “He’s a good football player.” The second was after a Ravens fumble, picked up by Telvin Smith and returned to the 2-yard line.
You can take into account that it was the Ravens first time playing a game in London and it takes some getting used to. But the Jaguars looked faster, bigger, stronger, tougher and more determined than Baltimore from the start. Joe Flacco was ineffective, so much so that Ryan Mallet played the fourth quarter.
Up 37-0, Doug Marrone called for a fake punt, and it worked. Corey Grant sped down the right sideline inside the 10. That’s where Leonard Fournette scored off left tackle, his third TD in his first three NFL games. Not sure why Marrone would call for a fake there but there’s no mercy in the NFL. Points scored is one of the tiebreakers for the playoffs if you want to start talking about that. Still, that’ll open up some eyes around the league, and make a lot of Jaguars fans happy.
Which I’m sure they are now.
The Jaguars are 2-1 and headed to New York next week to play the Jets. It might be the first time the Jaguars are favored in a while.