The Jacksonville Jaguars displayed almost a perfect performance this last Sunday, thumping the Indianapolis Colts to the tune of a 30-10 victory. These are the types of performances that are necessary for them to compete in the playoffs. This offense showed the type of productivity that can be achieved when they are playing at their best, regardless of how putrid this Colts defense is in the grand scheme of things.
When you combine consistency to the offense, along with the quality the defense brings on a weekly basis, this team is a scary one to face. Next week brings a much tougher challenge: The Seattle Seahawks. To beat them, the Jaguars must be their best, and there are a few players who need to improve on their performance from last week.
1. Aaron Colvin
One of the worst defensive performances of the season, Colvin was a mess on the field. The ball was targeted to him six times, and Colts quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, was able to complete all six of his targets. He was regularly beaten in man coverage and allowed the Colts to make a multitude of big plays. Additionally, there were several open field tackles that he missed that ended up turning into bigger gains because of these misses.
Overall, this is as bad of a performance from a slot corner that you’re going to see. With a QB Rating of 89.2 when targeted, he needs to be much better going forward.
2. Leonard Fournette
This is the second week in the row that Fournette finds himself on this list. The foundation of this offense is intended to be established on a power-run game. Explained last week, there seems to be a negative trend of power-running games within the NFL that may not be sustainable.
While Fournette had the sixth-highest breakaway percentage in the NFL on Sunday, he was only able to accumulate 57-yards rushing on 20 carries. This also includes one of his runs being 24-yards. Without this rush, he was averaging 0.6 yards-per-carry.
Whether it’s because of an ankle injury, teams beginning to stack-the-box, or other confounding variables, Fournette needs to get going at the end of the season if a playoff-run is even going to be an option.
3. Dante Fowler
Fowler had a game to forget this last Sunday. His 18 pass-rush snaps led the team, but looking at the stat box you wouldn’t have even thought he played a down this whole game. Lining up 90 percent of the time on the left side of the defensive line, he had a fairly easy match-up against Denzelle Good. Fowler ended up with zero sacks, zero tackles, zero hits, and zero total pressures.
That’s not going to cut it if you’re trying to carve out a more significant role in this defense.
He has the most pass-rush snaps out of any player this season for the Jaguars (including Calais Campbell) and needs to be overall a more disruptive and effective player. The talent is there, the production just needs to come with that. This week is a chance to bounce back against one of the worst offensive lines in football.
4. Abry Jones
The fourth-year nose tackle has been extremely consistent this season, and a major reason for the improved run-defense progression throughout the year. This game was one to forget, however, as Pro Football Focus has got him ranked outside of the top-80 in this weeks “Interior Defender” category. It showed with his production on the field as well.
Being in on 14 total run snaps, and that only amounting to two tackles, shows he was not very effective in run-stopping. The Colts were also able to accumulate an average tote of 5.4 yards-per-carry on the ground with one of the weaker run-blocking offensive lines in football.
The run defense was the one weakness that this defense had been pronounced throughout this season, and although it was trending upwards, now is not the time to take a step backwards. Jones must be a force in that interior alongside Marcell Dareus and not allow teams to stay in the game because of their rushing attack.