After an up-and-down Week 1, the Jacksonville Jaguars disappointed in their Week 2 home matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs which resulted in a 17-9 loss. Contrary to prior expectations, the defense kept the Jags in the game for the duration of four quarters, however the offense sputtered, going 0/3 on TDs in the red zone despite at one point having first and goal and the 1 yard line. Unfortunately, the Jags’ rookies did not help this effort.
Anton Harrison: While Tank Bigsby stole the show in Week 1 for all the wrong reasons, he handed that torch to Anton Harrison, who was a large part of the Jaguars’ loss this week. Harrison struggled mightily against the Chiefs’ defensive front, allowing two sacks, one QB hurry, and four additional pressures, including one tipped pass, in only 13 pass protection snaps. This produced an abysmal 29.6 pass-blocking grade, per PFF. To be fair, he was matched up with arguably the best DL in the league last year in Chris Jones. However, Jones’ absurd 40.7% pass rush win rate last week (which was even higher against Harrison), was the highest of the week for any position, and there are no excuses for the extent of the OL struggles. For reference, Jones’ win rate in 2022 was 20.2%, and Myles Garrett’s (who led the league) was 22.5%.
Quite simply, if the Jaguars want to win, Anton Harrison (and the rest of the Jags’ OL) needs to be better.
Many of the pre-game writings @ @BigCatCountry reflected a concern over the offensive line's ability to block Chris Jones, after DeForest Buckner just showed out last wk versus the @Jaguars. This is every Jags passing play vs KC that wasn't a screen or immediate pop pass #Thread pic.twitter.com/NoW6VKZShN— Travis D. Holmes (@TravisDHolmes) September 18, 2023
Tank Bigsby: Perhaps due to his subpar performance in Week 1, Tank Bigsby was notably absent from the game plan, logging only 13 snaps and 0 targets or carries. While the Jags leaned away from the running game in general, D’Ernest Johnson still had more carries (1) than Bigsby. Look for him to get a few more touches in the coming weeks.
Grade: Insufficient Data
Other Rookie Performances:
Brenton Strange: Strange’s playing time was also decreased from Week 1 despite a passable performance. He finished the day with 7 route-running plays and 10 more snaps in pass or run-blocking. At one point, he was able to get substantial separation in the middle of the field, however Trevor threw it to RB D’Ernest Johnson instead. With a relatively strong performance from Evan Engram, Strange will likely continue to play more of a rotational role.
Yasir Abdullah: Abdullah was on the field slightly more in Week 2 than Week 1, logging 16 total snaps, including 5 in run-blocking and 1 in pass defense. He finished the day with 1 pressure on 10 pass-rushing snaps.
Overall grade: C
Tyler Lacy: Lacy took his first regular-season snaps as a Jacksonville Jaguar this past Sunday, logging 1 split tackle on a limited 8 total snaps. Look for him to ease his way into a few more plays, at least until Davon Hamilton returns.
Grade: Insufficient data
Parker Washington, Christian Braswell, and Elijah Cooks were active but didn’t receive any playing time in Week 1. Antonio Johnson remains injured.
Overall, it was a limited week for Jags rookies and a rough performance for the only one with substantial playing time. While Strange, Bigsby, Abdullah, and Lacy each saw the field, none of them made a notable impact, and Harrison was a large reason for our offensive struggles. Looking forward, we will need to see more out of our rookies if we hope to compete in a crowded AFC.
Duval, which rookie are you most excited to watch in Week 3? Let us know in the comments!