The Jacksonville Jaguars defense of the 2017 NFL season was good. Really good. More talented and more impactful than we could have possibly imagined going into the season.
And most of all, they were a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
NFL.com recently posted a video of their top 25 defensive plays of the season and the Jaguars had three (THREE!) plays on the list. Although it could be argued they deserved one or two more, taking up 12% of the list is an accomplishment unto itself.
So, what were the plays? We’ve got you covered down below.
No. 18: Telvin Smith’s touchdown vs. Cleveland
In a game that was closer than it should have been between a team that ended up one bad quarter away from the Super Bowl and one who went 0-16, the Cleveland Browns were never more than six points down on the Jaguars. That changed when DeShone Kizer was strip-sacked by Yannick Ngakoue (surprise, surprise!) and the ball was recovered by Telvin Smith for the game-sealing touchdown.
No. 6: Barry Church’s pick-six in Pittsburgh
Again, the offense couldn’t get it going and it would be up to the defense to win the day — and did they ever. With five interceptions (and more touchdowns than the offense) this was the game where the rest of the league got to see just how good Jacksonville’s secondary really was. Barry Church was the recipient of a batted ball by Jalen Ramsey and took it to the house, jumping into the end zone and showing Ben Roethlisberger how he really felt as he did so.
No. 2: The Point in Pittsburgh
By the time the Jaguars got to the AFC Divisional Round in the playoffs, strip-sacks by Yannick Ngakoue to lead to Jaguars touchdowns were a bit commonplace. He ended the season with seven, but none was more impactful than this one. And The Point will go down in Jacksonville lore, much the same way The Wave did earlier in the season by Leonard Fournette.