The Jacksonville Jaguars got back on track and avoided losing back to back games in 2018 with a 31-12 victory over the New York Jets. The victory pushed the Jaguars to a 3-1 record while making the Jets now 1-3 through the first quarter of the season. Here are some notes from the victory.
The offense bounced back after a pitiful showing last week against the rival Tennessee Titans. The offense accumulated 503 total yards, with Blake Bortles highlighting the day with a career-high 388 passing yards in the game on Sunday afternoon. Bortles had to shoulder the load once again because running back Leonard Fournette left the game after re-aggravating the hamstring injury that has hampered him throughout the season. The Jaguars need this Blake Bortles to show up week in and week out, especially with the Fournette injury.
Bortles, as stated, had a career day, but that was in large part to his receiving options. He threw the ball to 10 different receivers and was efficient in his throws. His best throw of the afternoon occurred in the second half when he threw the ball to receiver Donte Moncrief in stride and it led to a 67 yard touchdown for the Jaguars.
Although there were a lot of positives from this offense, they were far from perfect. The Jaguars had three turnovers in the 2nd half, which led to nine points for the Jets. If the Jaguars cut down the turnovers, it can dominate teams if its offensive performance is more like this game and not the Titans game from a week ago.
Every week comes and goes, yet the defense still continues to take care of business. They held the Jets to 178 total yards on 51 plays. That is a 3.5 yard per play average. That is incredible. The Jaguars also held the Jets to a 3-13 efficiency rate on 3rd down, which is a very important stat to win. The Jaguars are repeating their case as the best defense of the league, even though the stats that fans look for are not there (sacks and turnovers).
The Jaguars brought the pressure against Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and made him go outside the pocket throughout a majority of the day. Darnold was sacked 3 times by this defense. He left the pocket a majority of the day and seemed rattled when he was pressured by the defense. One could tell Darnold was affected by the pressure Sunday afternoon.
The Jaguars defense got lucky with some throws that Darnold barely missed. There were a few times when the receivers got behind the secondary and had the defenders beat, but luckily for the Jaguars, the connections were not made between Darnold and his receivers. The Jaguars secondary has not performed like last season but are not allowing the big plays to happen, which is a positive.
The Jaguars go on the road next Sunday to face the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs(who play later tonight). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm.