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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans: Week 7 sack analysis


NFL: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars offense got to the point last week that they had to switch quarterbacks shortly after halftime. Blake Bortles was looking abysmal for the third straight week so a change to Cody Kessler was needed — and it (kind of) worked! Kessler completed 70 percent of his passes and threw for a touchdown.

But with 30 pass attempts coming in the final quarter-and-a-half, the Houston Texans defense was able to pin their ears back and just pass rush the hell out of Kessler, resulting in four sacks in the fourth quarter.

Who was responsible for those sacks? Let’s take a look.

Sack #1: 2nd & 4 at JAX 22, 13:30 in 4Q

(Shotgun) C. Kessler sacked at JAX 14 for -8 yards (J. Clowney).

Jadeveon Clowney makes a good inside move on right guard A.J. Cann who could have used some help from running back T.J. Yeldon but the protection called for him to help the left side of the line. Either way, Cann should have been able to handle this by himself.

Fault: A.J. Cann

Sack #2: 1st & 10 at JAX 20, 11:19 in 4Q

(Shotgun) C. Kessler sacked at JAX 12 for -8 yards (W. Mercilus). FUMBLES (W. Mercilus), recovered by JAX-J.Walker at JAX 10. J.Walker to JAX 10 for no gain (W. Mercilus).

Newly installed left tackle Josh Walker has struggled in recent weeks and last Sunday was no exception. Kessler had a hair over three seconds before Whitney Mercilus was on top of him — an inexcusably short amount of time.

Fault: Josh Walker

Sack #3: 1st & 10 at HOU 30, 6:32 in 4Q

(Shotgun) C. Kessler sacked at HST 36 for -6 yards (J. Clowney).

Different play, same result. This time it’s Jadeveon Clowney on the edge getting around Josh Walker in three seconds for the sack.

Fault: Josh Walker

Sack #4: 1st & 10 at JAX 30, 1:41 in 4Q

(Shotgun) C. Kessler sacked at JAX 26 for -4 yards (T. Mathieu).

T.J. Yeldon looks to hesitate in pass protection and besides him I don’t know who else would have picked up a blitzing Tyrann Mathieu. Should Jermey Parnell have not slid over to the left? Should Cody Kessler have changed the protection pre-snap when he saw Mathieu was undoubtedly going to blitz? I can’t say for certain so I’ll spread the blame around.

Fault: Team


One thing Blake Bortles is consistently praised for is his pre-snap recognition — changing protections, blitz pickups, and more at the line when he reads the defense. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when Cody Kessler was thrown into the game and given 30 pass attempts over the course of a quarter-and-a-half he was sacked four times. Maybe he deserves a bit more of the blame on the fourth sack, but the first three look like breakdowns on individual offensive linemen.

2018 sack totals

Player Sacks
Player Sacks
Blake Bortles 5
Jermey Parnell 4
Chris Reed 4
A.J. Cann 3.5
Josh Walker 3.5
Team 2
Andrew Norwell 2
Ereck Flowers 1.5
Brandon Wilds 1
Carlos Hyde 1
Brandon Linder 0.5

Up next: The Philadelphia Eagles!