It was a Christmas miracle indeed.
The Jaguars, as you most likely know by now, knocked the Titans out of playoff contention yesterday in their 38-17 win — their first home win since December 13th of 2015.
The offense was in sync and looked dynamic yesterday, almost reminiscent of the 2015 season where the Jaguars had one of the most thrilling passing offenses in the league. The defense held the Titans threatening rushing attack to a mere 58 rushing yards on 20 attempts. Hell, even the special teams lacked any big mistakes. It was an all-round great game by the Jaguars.
However, the icing on the Christmas cookies — the star on top of the tree — was none other than the rookie who is taking the NFL by storm: Jalen Ramsey.
Last week, Jalen Ramsey had the best game of his career, as he shut Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins down and totaled five defended passes, his first career interception, and a forced fumble. I didn’t think he could play much better than he did last week...
...and he proved me wrong.
Ramsey had another career game against the Titans, recording yet another interception — which he returned to the house for his first career pick-six. He also had four defended passes, and four tackles in yesterday’s game. PFF gave him a 92.8 grade for the game, the highest grade out of all Jaguars players.
Jalen Ramsey’s season stats heading into the final game of the season are as follows:
- 61 tackles
- 13 defended passes
- Two interceptions (one pick six)
- One forced fumble.
Over the past two games, Ramsey has had two interceptions, nine defended passes, the forced fumble, and eight tackles, per Tad Dickman, who is the Jaguars’ Senior Manager of Public Relations. He has also allowed nine catches for only 66 yards — that’s a mere 7.3 yards per catch over the two game span.
Ramsey has already been considered a shut-down cornerback this season by teams and national analysts, and considering the impact he’s had over the past two games, he’s most certainly improving his stock for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. As of right now, I’d say his only competition is Chargers pass rusher Joey Bosa.
You can watch all of his impact plays from the Titans game below.
The following thread is strictly a Jalen Ramsey appreciation thread pic.twitter.com/RGHPF3a8Cj— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) December 25, 2016
This first play is a pass breakup he had on 3rd and 10 that forced the Titans to punt. He was patient in allowing the receiver to become “open” across the middle of the field -- only to give himself a prime set up to make a play on the ball. Here’s another angle of the play:
Next up is a play from the second quarter. QB Marcus Mariota was targeting a deep Harry Douglas in the endzone, but Ramsey made an athletic leap on the ball and broke up the pass.
Beautiful. Here’s an up-close view of the play.
The next play was one of Jalen’s best plays of the game in my opinion. Mariota threw a flat route that is routinely hard to defend, but that didn’t stop Ramsey from making an impact. He laid the wood on his tackle at the end of the play so well that he actually knocked the ball loose, and the play was ruled an incomplete catch.
And the way Ramsey looks up at the camera after he made the play? CB1 forever.
Finally, we get to Jalen Ramsey’s first career pick six. The pass from Matt Cassel, who filled in for Marcus Mariota when he went out with an ankle injury, was decent at best, but what was most impressive was Ramsey’s break on the ball from about five yards behind, coming from the 36 yard line to pick it off at the 31.
Defensive rookie of the year? YOU TELL MEEEEE pic.twitter.com/2qEIb0M8vE— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) December 25, 2016
Ramsey’s catch was tremendous as he fully extended his body to intercept the pass, and used his momentum to take the ball back 31 yards to the house. This play put the nail in the Titans coffin, as it raised the Jaguars lead to 38-17 with 5:17 left in the fourth quarter.
So, if may ask one question: Should Jalen Ramsey win the prestigious award of NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year?
In Jalen Ramsey’s famous words:
“YOU TELL MEEEEE!”