Whenever a defense in the NFL has struggled to generate turnovers, you always hear a coach or a veteran player say something along the lines of “they come in bunches”. For most of the 2019 season the Jaguars defense struggled to force turnovers, but the last two games have shown exactly why coaches and players say that.
The turnovers come in bunches.
A big reason for the Jaguars success the last two weeks is simply because the pass rush has finally started to get going, in large part due to Yannick Ngakoue finally being healthy, and it allows the back seven of the defense to play aggressive. The pass rush has forced the opposing team’s quarterbacks to make quick decisions and force pass that are ill-advised and the defenders have taken advantage of it.
On Sunday against the Jets, after an easy opening drive, Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash dialed up the pressures and quarterback Sam Darnold folded. The Jaguars battered Darnold all day with pressure and he started making poor decisions and forcing passes he shouldn’t have, and guys like Tre Herndon took advantage of it.
Through the last two games the Jaguars defense has generated seven turnovers and 10 sacks, and the keys to all of those games are that the team has gotten an early lead and dialed up the pressures. Even against the Cincinnati Bengals, where the Jaguars didn’t have a big lead/lost the lead, they knew the Bengals offense wasn’t going to do much and got super aggressive.
Going forward, if teams have a struggling offensive line, it’s going to be highly likely that the Jaguars defense puts tons of pressure on the quarterback and they’ll be forced into mistakes.