Wait, a Jaguars’ pass rusher wins the game ball?
Yes. A Jaguars’ pass rusher wins the game ball. After years of failure at the position, the team finally has some talent at the LEO pass rusher position.
As we entered the season, fans were questioning whether or not the pass rush would be improved this year. In the past two years, Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue have been drafted by the Jaguars to improve the team’s pass rush, but both entered the season without playing an NFL snap. No one knew how well they would perform.
Well, they’ve been good. In some cases, they’ve been phenomenal.
Fowler Jr., the Jaguars’ first round draft pick in 2015, has done well in rush stunts by shooting the gap and creating pressure, and has credited himself with two sacks so far. His run defense has also been great, which has translated well from his college game. All in all, he’s done well, but can certainly get better in bull and pure rushing, as well as becoming a more mature football player.
Yannick Ngakoue, the team’s third round pick this year, has been an all-star.
Ngakoue has accumulated three sacks, three forced fumbles, an interception off of a batted pass off of Andrew Luck by Fowler Jr, and has been a presence in the run game as well, which was a concern heading into the draft, causing his draft stock to drop. To be short, he’s been awesome.
Here’s a GIF of Ngakoue’s interception vs. the Colts (GIF credits go to Christian (@FBLRave) on Twitter, who you should follow immediately for his weekly Jaguars GIFs):
Dante the stunt master forcing an INT to Ngakoue. pic.twitter.com/ENpYDpYOnL— Christian (@FBLRave) October 3, 2016
Fowler Jr. shoots the gap and forces an extremely quick toss from Andrew Luck, which he tips and Ngakoue quickly finds in the air to intercept.
Ngakoue also displayed his speed rush throughout the game, creating several pressures and getting his third sack of the season:
Yannick Ngakoue sack #3 on the season. pic.twitter.com/XwpfkAtfFq— Christian (@FBLRave) October 3, 2016
On the final play of the game, the Colts attempted a lateral-play as a last effort to somehow score from the other side of the field. It wasn’t going to work anyway as a Jaguar certainly would have made a tackle, but Ngakoue further embarrassed the Colts on that play by forcing a fumble to ensure victory for the Jaguars.
Sunday’s game vs. the Colts was a career game for Yannick Ngakoue and it was only his fourth game, so I’m sure there’s plenty more coming.