In what turned into an exciting 30-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks, the Jacksonville Jaguars have all but punched their ticket into the playoffs and officially guaranteed them a winning record this season. With a convincing victory over one of the best teams the Jaguars will play all season, they showed why they are considered a dark horse for a Super Bowl run.
Although the Seahawks showed signs of life towards the end, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars were able to hold them off. The key to success is consistency, and that is exactly what this offense showed after last weeks impressive performance. This team seems to be hitting their peak at the right time. So, who impressed the most with this win?
Let’s get to it.
1. Blake Bortles
As stated above, if the Jaguars are wanting to find success in the playoffs, the key will start with consistency. Blake Bortles’ biggest flaw is his consistency, so it is extremely optimistic to see him have back-to-back impressive games. With a stat line of 18-27, along with 268 yards and two touchdowns, he was one of the main contributors to this victory. Regularly making big plays when it was necessary while including several perfectly placed throws, the fourth-year quarterback has had a great last two games. A factor that goes amiss is that many of his attacking weapons are rookies. Amassing 281 total yards with rookies, Blake Bortles is showing to be a leader in that offense. With a QB rating of 123.7, hopefully the Jaguars can go forward with confidence in Bortles.
LOOK AT THE BEAUTIFUL TOUCH ON THIS PASS BY BLAKE. GOOD GUYS UP 10-0!— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) December 10, 2017
2. Leonard Fournette
After a couple of stressful weeks, the rookie running back once again found his groove. Going 24 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown, Fournette was another key contributor to this win. Although the long runs were critical, his biggest contributions came on his short yardage. Regularly getting the short first downs when it mattered, along with the game clinching first down in the final two-minutes, he was able to put the game away. The strategy behind this offense is reliant upon the power running game. Without it, we rely on the traits that Bortles does not exactly thrive upon. When Fournette gets going, it’s going to be hard to stop this team. Great to see him step up.
3. Dede Westbrook
Although Keelan Cole had the long touchdown catch, Westbrook seemed to be Bortles go-to man this game. The rookie wide receiver out of Oklahoma finally showed what he is capable of, catching five of his eight targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. Bortles regularly looked for Westbrook when a big play was needed near the goal-line and on third down situations. The development of Westbrook in these final games will be critical to monitor, as the rapport between Bortles and Westbrook could be essential to a successful playoff run.
4. A.J. Bouye
Take a bow, A.J. Bouye. The fourth-year corner back posted an impressive performance today, allowing Russell Wilson to complete a minuscule 19.4 QBR when throwing the ball his way. On top of that, he was able to bring in two interceptions, bringing his total to six on the year. This defense is what the Jaguars are built on. The necessity for them to perform day in and day out is critical to the success. With the consistency and talent of a player like Bouye, it is a piece on the field that puts you at ease. The perfection of his technique in coverage is the best in the league, and it once again showed on this performance.
5. Yannick Ngakoue
Ngakoue was everywhere on the field against the Seahawks. The second-year defensive end had an impressive day, regularly putting pressure on Russell Wilson. It was in a way, expected that the Jaguars would take advantage of the weak Seahawks’ offensive-line, but no one did it as well as Ngakoue. Posting 10 total pressures on Wilson, and rushing on 97.1 percent of his 134 total snaps, he did his part in never allowing the Seahawks to feel comfortable. He also got in on a sack as well, which was done at a critical time in the fourth-quarter, stopping the Seahawks drive.