Through the first half of the Jacksonville Jaguars victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, it appeared as if rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey was finally going to have his “welcome to the NFL” moment as he was continuously beat by veteran wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. We all knew there would be a game where Ramsey would just get beat for most of the game, but I don’t think many expected it to be against one of the bigger more physical receivers in the NFL, which should play right into Ramsey’s strengths. Most thought it would be the little fast guys, but none the less Ramsey struggled for the first half shadowing Jeffery.
Shadowing a receiver is also pretty atypical of what the Jaguars do on defense, normally playing just left and right corner, but Ramsey apparently asked for the assignment.
“I remember at the beginning of the week, going up to the coaches and asking them for this matchup. I asked them,” Ramsey told reporters after the game on Sunday. “I want Alshon. I know Alshon. Alshon is going to want that ball, they going to give Alshon that ball. Match me up on him. They gave me what I wanted and it was a great battle out there throughout the entire game.”
“First half, check off for him. Second half, check for me.”
The bravado of Ramsey is one of the best traits he has, because as a cornerback you can’t ever thing a guy has one on you. Ramsey was beaten a lot in the first half, but he adjusted at half time and shut down Jeffery in the second half, and it wasn’t because suddenly the Bears and Brian Hoyer stopped looking his way. He was targeted six times in the second half with just a single catch for three yards.
“He made a great play. He’s going to be a great one,” Jeffery told reporters after the game when asked about Ramsey sealing the game with a pass breakup.
A lot of people have gotten their feathers ruffled by how Ramsey talks trash before and after games, talking himself up, but to be perfectly honest I love it and it’s something that’s been missing from the Jaguars defense for a long time. The Jaguars have lacked the attitude on defense and with players like Ramsey, it’s back. A player with an attitude like that is infectious. They think they’re great, they know they’re great and they want everyone to know they’re great.
Ramsey and Jeffery also exchanged jerseys after the game.