The Jacksonville Jaguars are traveling to play the New York Giants. It’s 53 players — plus coaches, trainers, staff, and more — that make up a team and they will face a comparable assortment of probably over 100 people.
It’s not Jalen Ramsey vs. Odell Beckham, Jr.
We know that because Jalen said as much after practice today.
“I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to beginning the season with the whole team. A lot of people try to make it me and him specifically. That is not what it is about. Football is a team game. It is going to be 11 guys out there for us, 11 guys out there for them. We are going to have to come together and do what we have to do to try to get a win. I will try to do my part ... I think it is a team game. It is 11 versus 11. It is not me versus him all game. I will be on him my fair amount, but I am sure other guys will be on him as well.”
Compare that with Ramsey’s comments in July about how the two were going to “give the people a show” in the season opener.
“We are going to give the people a show the first game of the season. He is going to have some wins, I am going to have some wins. I just plan on having more wins. That is the plan I am going to go in there with. I am going to work my ass off to get to that point to, like I just said, not let anybody down. I am sure he is doing that on the other side too. That is what you all asked for as fans of the game, as [fans of] the NFL, everybody. That is what you all asked for. We are going to give it to you, for sure. I know I am.”
Ramsey has a method to his madness — he realizes there is a time and place for the pageantry and it isn’t 72 hours before kickoff, it’s training camp when everyone is tired and starving for something to get excited about.
While Ramsey’s right, there is a uniqueness to the receiver vs. cornerback dynamic that isn’t present anywhere else on the football field. Running backs and linebackers don’t meet head-to-head — there are offensive linemen and defensive linemen and maybe a fullback in the way. Safeties support. Quarterbacks scan the field. Offensive tackles and edge rushers are probably a close second.
But receivers and cornerbacks are as individualized a matchup as there is in professional sports, and we’re about to be treated to two of the greatest at their respective positions going against one another.
Go Jaguars. (And Jalen.)