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Big Cat Country Q&A: What’s up with Yannick Ngakoue?

Kansas City Chiefs v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Let’s answer some questions ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars facing the Carolina Panthers in Week 5 of the NFL!

Josh from Dayton, OH

Q: Does either young quarterback have their inexperience exposed this week or do they both continue their hot play?

A: That’s a great question. Short answer, probably not. Kyle Allen gets the luxury of Christian McCaffery to take the pressure off and Gardner Minshew is one of the most accurate, risk-averse quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. If I had to put money on it, I’d say Allen only because of his propensity for fumbles. But I would expect a good day out of both, especially if Jalen Ramsey misses his second straight game.

James from Eastern Kentucky, KY

Q: How has Yannick Ngakoue looked? Is there a change in his play? Is it a nagging hamstring? A combination? Or is he actually playing really well and it’s just not reflective on stat sheet?

A: Yannick Ngakoue’s production has dropped off, no question. He has just one quarterback hit and zero sacks through the first four weeks of the season. That’s not good enough. But I don’t think it’s a talent issue. I’d attribute it largely to injury — the Jaguars locker room has made no effort to hide the fact that Ngakoue is playing hurt and that a leg injury has hampered him. If there’s a get right game for him, it’s this week against a quarterback like Kyle Allen who has a problem with fumbles.

Ian from Elgin, IL

Q: First, is the relationship between Jalen Ramsey and Tom Khan, Tom Coughlin, Dave Caldwell, and Doug Marrone as bad as the national media makes it out to be? Second, at what point do the Jags cut their losses with Ramsey and just take those two late first round picks? Because it definitely seems like he does not want to be anywhere near Jacksonville.

A: In answer to your first question, Jalen Ramsey’s relationship with Tom Coughlin and this front office is strained enough that he wants out of Jacksonville. And he will get out if the Jaguars find someone willing to part with two first round draft picks. That hasn’t even come close to happening. Shad Khan wants him here. Doug Marrone wants him here. This is a very specific problem between Ramsey and the organizational structure in Jacksonville.

Chevin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Was Leonard Fournette really that improved against the Denver Broncos with his running, or did the offensive line simply block that much better?

A: Leonard Fournette was better, no question. The offensive has struggled and (sadly) is likely to continue struggling.

Saul from Hickory, NC

Q: Does the team get hyped up a little more since the Carolina Panthers are essentially the Jaguars’ little brother?

A: Given the fact that Carolina got an NFL franchise a month or two before us and that they’ve achieved more on the field, I’d consider Jacksonville the little brother. That said, no, I don’t think so. I like Charlotte... a lot. The city is beautiful and there are a ton of good restaurants, breweries, and hiking trails. And I think people from Charlotte would similarly have good things to say about Jacksonville. The fan bases are about the same age and demographic, so I wouldn’t be surprised if traveling Jaguars fans hung out with Panthers fans the night before the game.

Alex from Springfield, MO

Q: What does this team do with Nick Foles and his contract now that we have the opportunity to have a legitimate starter and possible star at quarterback who will be playing for relative pennies the next few years?

A: Pray to the football gods that someone wants to trade for him.

Austin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: There is plenty of hype surrounding this team at this moment, but what is the biggest issue this team currently needs to improve on?

A: Jalen Ramsey’s backup and consistent pressure from pass rushers.

Lucas from Tallahassee, FL

Q: Any idea what Cam Robinson was all worked up about at the end of the game?

A: It was an emotional game with 300 pound men literally running full speed into other 300 pound men. It gets heated, even when it’s really, really important not to get heated. Football is not a game for the well-adjusted.

Josh from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Is it true that if Gardner Minshew throws a touchdown pass to you that you will bear his fully grown child at the apex of the next solar equinox?

A: It’s actually if he throws you a two-point conversion.

Brandon from Rochester, NY

Q: If Nick Foles came back next week after a win at Carolina does he start?

A: If you’re winning with Gardner Minshew and put in Nick Foles just because of the contract, you’ve lost the locker room.