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Josh Allen could be the ‘x-factor’ on Jaguars defense

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NFL: Preseason-Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

When the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, one of the biggest keys to winning the game will be containing quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Jaguars did a nice job last season, showing Mahomes his worst passing day of the season, but it’s a new year and the same things thrown at him aren’t going to work.

One thing the Jaguars are going to try to do is keep Mahomes one-dimensional. He is one of the rare NFL quarterbacks who is excellent passing from the pocket, but might be even better when he rolls out and is on the move and Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash knows this, so he’s got a plan with the Jaguars pass rush.

“Well, I think he does an excellent job at extending plays and throwing the ball down the field to numerous wideouts. But the last thing you want to do is go in there and slow your rush down,” Wash said when asked about facing Mahomes. “All of a sudden you get out of the game, and they sit and say if we just would’ve went harder and we didn’t have to worry about the scrambling. You know, we’ve got a plan, but we still want those guys to go in there and get after it; and just have an idea that we try to keep him in the pocket as much as we can.”

The X-Factor in that plan, that the Jaguars did not have last season, is rookie pass rusher Josh Allen. We saw just how disruptive Allen can be in the preseason, without even getting any sacks. He is a moveable chess piece that can attach the quarterback and disrupt the pocket from all angles. You can put his hand in the dirt and rush him off the edge. You can stand him up and run twists with either Yannick Ngakoue or Calais Campbell and you can even stand him up and have him rush right through the A-Gap and get a guard on his heels.

I don’t mean to paint Allen as Khalil Mack 2.0, but he can have that kind of effect on the game with the rest of the talent on the Jaguars defensive line. I expect him to be a big factor in Sunday’s game.