The two key factors in the Jaguars come-from-behind victory against the Bears on Sunday were the miracle touchdown by Arrelious Benn and the game-sealing pass breakup by Jalen Ramsey on the Bears’ final drive.
So, I had difficulty choosing who deserves the game ball. Both of those guys’ impacts on the game were crucial in allowing the Jaguars to win. I decided to take it to Twitter and let the fans decide:
Ok I'm having trouble with choosing who wins the game ball. Y'all help me out. Article on BCC early this week— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) October 16, 2016
The more I read into the responses and the poll turnout, as well as breaking down Ramsey’s stats, I had a clear winner: Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey had his true “Welcome to the NFL” game — no, half — during the first half of the game. He had specifically asked the coaching staff to let him cover Alshon Jeffrey, with practically no help. He wanted to show the world what he could do, and in his mind, he believed he could shut down a true No. 1 NFL receiver.
Here’s the thing: To start the game, he didn’t.
With Ramsey covering him, Jeffrey was targeted seven times in the first half — catching six passes for 90 yards. Ramsey looked like a rookie. And, for the cocky, mouth-running guy that Ramsey naturally is that we all love about him, he looked dumb.
He looked like a rookie having a rookie game....
...until he didn’t.
Two praises I will raise for the Jaguars coaching staff — something I almost never do — is that they made adjustments going into the second half, and they let the players have it for their miserable first half performance. The staff made things change for the better in this ball game.
One of the things that benefited from the coaching staff lighting a fire under the players’ asses: The performance of young Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey went from playing like me in the secondary (background info: I never got past playing JV football) to the cornerback we’ve been impressed by over, and over, and over again in the transition from the first to the second half.
With Ramsey covering him, Jeffrey was targeted five times in the second half — catching one pass for three yards. And, although it will be counted against Ramsey, the catch shouldn’t fall on Ramsey — Jeffrey’s route was an in route that was left for Telvin Smith to cover. However, since Jeffrey was technically Ramsey’s guy all day, those extra three yards will most likely negatively affect Ramsey’s PFF grade (so it literally means nothing, oh).
And, of course, who could forget the last target — the one in which Jalen Ramsey sealed the victory for the Jaguars?
Here’s another All-22 angle:
Ramsey’s break on this ball was textbook. The pass was as accurate as it needed to be for Chicago to have gotten a first down and much more, but Ramsey made a perfect read and guaranteed the Jaguars their second win in a row.
“First half, check off for him [Jeffrey]. Second half, check for me” was the way Ramsey described his performance after the game. After looking into the stats and watching the film, I must say: I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Hats off to you, Jalen Ramsey. You win the Week 6 game ball, and here’s to many more.