By Dustin Fletcher | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jaguars 27-20 win on Sunday over their division rival Colts was a huge exclamation mark to the rest of the league. Relegated to a laughingstock of the national media, the Jaguars were defiant from start to finish.
The team led by second year quarterback Gardner Minshew II were explosive and efficient on offense, and things went as expected by many local media on that side of the ball.
However, after the losses of Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, A.J. Bouye, Marcel Dareus and Ronnie Harrison, the defense had questions to answer.
While they did not pass the test with flying colors in the first half, they more than answered the call out of half time. The Colts QB, after going 20/24 for 227 yards in the first half, was only 16/22 for 136 yards in the second half. That is only 6.18 yards per attempt. With the Jaguars starting the incumbent Tre Herndon and D.J. Hayden alongside rookie C.J. Henderson. Henderson shadowed star receiver T.Y. Hilton throughout the game and had an interception and three pass breakups.
Henderson remained humble after his strong week one performance and said he expected even better than this showing from week one.
“I mean, I imagined better, but I’m thankful for it. I’m ready to get back to work on Monday,” Henderson said after the game.
Not only did Henderson pick off Rivers, but so did second year safety Andrew Wingard. Not only did those two players intercept Rivers, but so did K’Lavon Chaisson, however it was negated by D.J. Hayden’s defensive holding.
Another bright spot in the game was rookie running back James Robinson. On 16 carries, Robinson had 62 yards. However, he continually gashed the Colts defense in the first half and the low YPC in the second was due to a game script to milk the clock. Robinson also had an explosive play through the air as he took a dump off from Minshew out to the right sideline and hurdled two defenders en route to a huge 28 yard gain. Another huge exclamation mark for the Jaguars.
Minshew was incredible and after flying under the radar in 2019, gave yet another exclamation point. Minshew was 19/20 through the air for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns. Minshew completed passes to ten different receivers in just 20 attempts. Minshew had incredible chemistry carrying on from last season with wide receivers Keelan Cole and D.J. Chark. Both receivers had multiple receptions and a touchdown. Cole had five catches for 47 yards. Chark had three receptions for 25 yards. Rookie LaViska Shenault had 3 catches for 37 yards and a touchdown as well.
The Jaguars were much improved in all facets of the game from the 2019 season, so they should look forward to a crucial game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on Sunday to continue the winning ways.
PREDICTION: Jaguars 17 – Colts 13
I predicted this to be a low scoring game for each team with no preseason to build chemistry with multiple new pieces on each team. The Jaguars proved me wrong as the rookies stepped up and came through to close out the win.
Can I get a DUUUVAL?