Are the Jags for real?!
The Jacksonville Jaguars finished dead last in the AFC south division last season, turning in a 3-13 win loss card earning them the number four pick in the draft. I found it laughable that the Jags only averaged 19 points per game last season…I would also laugh if you told me they’d be leading their division in first and ranked No. 2 in overall defense through five weeks of football the next season. Well…safe to say I’m no longer laughing as the Jacksonville Jaguars just ran practice on the Steelers earlier today.
The Jags offense played as if they had something to prove, putting 321 yards on the ground between Fournette who had two touchdowns and Ivory as well as Bortles who contributed nine, and while the Steelers held Bortles for under 100 yards passing, it was the Jags defense that found a way to pick apart this million dollar offense, and put the game out of reach, picking off Big Ben five times and twice for a pick-six.
It had been a long time coming for the Jaguars defense to develop an identity and not only did they play as a collective unit, but there was a lot of young talent on the field coming up big forcing third downs such as second year corner Jalen Ramsey who had Roethlisberger frustrated Myles Jack who looked every bit of recovered from his season ending injury in 2016, and Aaron Colvin who led the team with ten total tackles, two for a loss.
After today’s lashing, I don’t know if Tomlin and the Steelers are more surprised they lost, or if the Jags more surprised they came into Hines Field and took every bit of life out of it. I said it coming into the game, to stop Fournette, is to fully understand the art and importance of gang tackling…something the Steelers strayed away from late down the stretch. I think it’s safe to say that when in doubt of Blake Bortles, Put the team and the opponent’s defense on Fournette’s back and trust the defense as todays win makes for an interesting season for the Jags moving forward.