It’s the holiday season, the holiday season...
However, if you’re a Jaguars fan, it’s not so “whoop-de-do and hickory dock”. The team sits at 2-12, as the “year of high expectations” is coming to a close. I mean really, there is not much positive stuff to take away from this season, due to our high expectations heading into the season.
However, since it’s the holiday season — the time of year to spread joy and cheer — I’m going to go over what three presents the Jaguars have given us this year! I certainly hope this brightens your spirits for the holidays, because if you’re a Jaguars fan, you’re probably going to be pissed on Christmas Eve after the Jaguars-Titans game.
I won’t include Gus Bradley being fired as a “present”. As good as it was for Bradley to be fired for the organization, as well as the fans’ sanity, I feel that it would be against my morals to include him in this. I want him to enjoy his holidays as much as I want all of you to enjoy yours.
Let’s get to it!
Jalen Ramsey: The present that was highest on your list
Jalen Ramsey has been an absolute stud for the Jaguars -- he’s been everything we’ve wanted and more in his rookie season. The Jaguars’ very own Han Solo is already viewed as a lockdown cornerback by teams and national analysts, and continues to get better every week.
Ramsey had a career game against the Texans last week, where he had his first career interception, a forced fumble, five defended passes, and four tackles.
All in all, Ramsey has provided the fans with a bunch of fun this season -- something we’ve desperately needed. He’s a mouthy player who will never accept defeat, and is what hopes to be beginning of the return of fun football in Jacksonville.
Yannick Ngakoue: The present you weren’t expecting that ended up being your favorite
Yannick Ngakoue is only a rookie — and while it normally takes rookie pass rushers a while to get used to the flow of the NFL game, Ngakoue has given the Jaguars a true presence at edge rusher.
Obviously, one player is not going to do enough to give a team a constantly impactful pass rush, but Ngakoue has done all he could, and more, to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
So far this year, the third round “project” pass rusher has collected six sacks, four forced fumbles, an interception, a consistent presence in the run game (which was unexpected, due to his struggles at that in college), and 24 QB hurries, which ranks 10th in the league.
By all accounts, Ngakoue has been a huge contributor to the Jaguars’ defense this year, as well as a total surprise — a true draft steal.
Marqise Lee: The present you had low on your list that ended up being great
Lee made a huge turnaround this year. We were all aware of his talent heading into the 2016 season, but there were bets back in July on how long it would take for him to suffer from an injury that ruled him out ten weeks.
We’re in week 15, and Lee hasn’t missed a game yet.
Lee has been the Jaguars most effective receiver all year, which no one expected entering the season with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns receiving all of the hype. As Robinson and Hurns have dramatically regressed, Lee has been a star.
Entering week 15, Lee has totaled 54 receptions for 728 yards and two touchdowns. For perspective, Lee only had 52 career catches and 613 career receiving yards entering the season.
We all wanted Lee to do great things this season as we entered it, but had low expectations. He proved us all wrong, and has been phenomenal.
What presents have the Jaguars given you that you’re thankful for this year?