We interrupt our coverage of how the sky is falling to take a look at something positive for the Jaguars.
One of the few positives lost in the Monday Night Massacre was the continued great play of Terrance Knighton. After the first few games of 2010, questions arose about if he could be a dominant defensive tackle. After coming into camp overweight and then underwhelming to start the season, those questions seemed valid. Now? No.
During the first two weeks of the regular season, Knighton's stat line was 3 combined tackles and a half a sack. The low point for his season came in the San Diego game. For the majority of the game, the roles of Knighton and Tyson Alualu were reversed. Alualu was the one getting the double teams while Knighton wasn't able to fight off single blockers. It caused both fans and coaches alike to wonder what was going on.
However, the more damning part was what people saw on tape. According to Jeff Lageman, Knighton was "Lazy" and should've been benched. For one of the top rookies in 2009, it was quite a shock. It seems that it was the kick Terrance needed.
Since then, Knighton has put up some top notch stats, getting 2.5 sacks, 10 tackles, and 2 passes defended. His coming out party was the Week 3 loss to Philadelphia. He was one of the only defenders worth mentioning, getting 1.5 sacks on Michael Vick. During the Monday Night game he was in the backfield often, getting after Titans RB Chris Johnson.
The defensive line has been easily the best unit for the Jaguars this season and their play has probably kept the Jaguars from being even worse off than they are right now. Knighton has to continue to be the powerful force in the middle. Not only is he counted on as being the Jaguars main run stuffer, he has to open the opportunities for Alualu and Kampman to get to the Quarterback.
If the Chiefs do indeed plan on running the football, rather than gashing the Jaguars secondary, this is going to be the kind of game the Jaguars will need Knighton big time. If the Chiefs are unable to run the ball, then the Jaguars will have a chance on Sunday.
Is Knighton, or the defensive line going to magically solve the cluster**** the Jaguars QB position is this week? No. However, it is worth pointing out the arrow is pointing up in areas.