Derek Cox has only started three games this season due to a rib injury that held him out against the Jets in week two and a groin injury that held him out against the Saints, Bengals and Steelers. While William Middleton played admirably in his place during those times, Cox's impact while on the field was never more evident than it was last night.
Traditionally the Jaguars have relied on zone coverages to force QBs into small zones and not allow big plays to happen. With Cox out of the lineup, the Jaguars continued to use this kind of scheme and it was effective, but not nearly as effective as the Jaguars defense was against the Ravens.
Against the Ravens, the Jaguars defense suffocated the offense with man coverages by both Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox that set the tone of the entire defense. Mel Tucker trusted that Cox and Mathis could stay on the man across from them by themselves which allowed the Jaguars to send several different blitzes.
Two of the three sacks on the night came from blitzes with Daryl Smith and Dwight Lowery each taking down Joe Flacco. Had the Ravens receivers been able to beat Cox or Mathis they would've had easy throws and conversions. But they weren't able to.
Assuming Cox and Mathis both stay healthy, the Jaguars could very likely look to continue using the man coverages they were successful with on Monday night. Namely against the Texans who may be without All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson.