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Jaguars pass rush will still be Achilles heel, but Aaron Rodgers was difference

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars sacked Aaron Rodgers just one time in Sunday's 27-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but it was more than just a lack of overall pass rush that kept Rodgers clean. The Jaguars didn't get great pressure on the Packers quarterback, but it was more a function of Rodgers ability to get outside the pocket and avoid pressure than him just sitting in the pocket and picking the secondary apart.

"We tried to keep him in the pocket. He got a touchdown by scrambling on us," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said Sunday after the loss about the pass rush. "He got outside the pocket, and he extended some plays. You know without going back, I'm playing it over in my head right now. I know there's times I thought we did a really nice job on the extended plays, on plays downfield, you know, covering. And that was the big thing. We knew he had the ability to extend it, so a lot of times those are pressures. He doesn't take many sacks. In this game he didn't."

It shouldn't have been realistic to have expected for rookies Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue to get a bunch of quarterback pressures, hits and sacks in their regular season debuts, but for the most part they did about what you'd expect from rookies. The Jaguars interior defensive line also did what you would expect, collapsing the pocket and making Rodgers move outside the pocket, which he did, but Rodgers is one of those players who is exceptional on the move and outside the pocket. He's not someone you want extending plays and as Bradley said, that's exactly what happened.

Hell, Rodgers even threw an insane touchdown pass into tight coverage with Jalen Ramsey hanging off his back. I'm of the firm belief that if the Jaguars had played a team with just about anyone else at quarterback, they'd have won the game on Sunday. They, for the most part, held the Packers offense in check with only 27 points, seven of which were gifted due to field position from an early tipped pass that was intercepted.

While the pass rush wasn't great and will likely be the Achilles heel for most of the Jaguars season, Rodgers ability to extend plays and play outside the pocket killed them more than anything else.