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Day after: “A lot of work to do”

Posted Oct 23, 2017

WR Marqise Lee as the Jaguars head into the 2017 bye week following a shutout victory over the Colts in Indianapolis Sunday: “We still know we’ve got a lot of work to do”

JACKSONVILLE – They’re feeling good, but hardly satisfied.

If there was a way to describe the Jaguars on Monday heading into the 2017 bye week, that was it. Yes, there are things to like about this season – their record-setting pass rush and their 4-3 record chief among them.

But that record is only a start.

“It’s always good winning going into the bye week, but at the end of the day we still know we’ve got a lot of work to do,” wide receiver Marqise Lee said Monday, a day after the Jaguars’ 27-0 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Several key points from Sunday’s victory:

*It marked the Jaguars’ first shutout since October 2006.

*It meant the team is above .500 after seven games for the first time since 2007, and meant the Jaguars are tied for first place in the AFC South.

*The 10 sacks the defense recorded made them the third team in NFL history with two double-digit sack games in a single season; the other teams were the 1967 Oakland Raiders and 1984 Chicago Bears.

The Jaguars through seven games are No. 10 in the NFL in total offense. They remain ranked No. 1 in rushing after rushing for 188 yards on 37 carries Sunday without rookie running back Leonard Fournette, who entered this past weekend second in the NFL with 596 yards rushing but missed the game with an ankle injury sustained in the previous Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

They rank No. 6 in the NFL in total defense, and are No. 2 against the pass.

The Jaguars’ four victories have come by 22 points (Houston, Week 1), 37 points (Baltimore, Week 3), 21 points (Pittsburgh, Week 5) and 27 points (Indianapolis, Week 7). They lost to Tennessee, 37-16, in Week 2, then lost tight games in overtime to the New York Jets (Week 4, 23-20) and to the Rams (Week 6, 27-17).

“Honestly, I feel like our record should be better than it is,” defensive end Calais Campbell said. “But at the end of the day, going forward, we’re in control of our destiny. That’s where you want to be.”

The Jaguars at 4-3 are tied with the Titans for first place in the AFC South a game ahead of the Houston Texans. The Colts are 2-5.

Elsewhere around the locker room Monday:

*The Jaguars’ 33 sacks are seven more than their previous franchise best total through seven games, and match their total from last season. They lead the NFL and have nine sacks more than Carolina and Pittsburgh, who are tied for second in the category. While the pace is drawing comparisons to all-time great pass rushes, Campbell said it’s too early for such talk. “It’s Week Seven; there’s a lot of football to be played,” Campbell said. “You want to compare those guys at the end of the year, what you accomplish for the whole season. Right now, we’re just a 4-3 team going into a bye week, trying to regroup and figure out how we can make a push for the playoffs.” The Jaguars’ franchise record for team sacks is 57 set in 1999. …

*Campbell’s league-leading total of 10 sacks is one reason for the improved pass rush, and the continued development of Yannick Ngakoue shouldn’t be overlooked. Ngakoue not only registered 2.5 sacks Sunday, he had seven hits on the quarterback. “That’s ridiculous,” Campbell said of the seven hits. Also critical to the pass rush: the improvement of third-year end Dante Fowler Jr., who has 5.5 sacks compared to four in 16 games last season. “The reason I do like where I’m at is the progress I’m making from last year,” Fowler said. “But the opportunities I’ve left on the field – that kind of bites me. That’s just the will in me to be an elite player, but I feel good about where I’m at – and I feel good about where we are as a defense.” …

*The Jaguars’ 518 yards total offense was their most in a game since a 519-yard game on September 20, 1998 against the Ravens. It was a performance that came not only without Fournette and starting center Brandon Linder, but without left tackle Cam Robinson, who sustained an ankle injury on the Jaguars’ second play. The team also has been without wide receiver Allen Robinson since the third offensive play of Week 1, so Sunday’s performance essentially came without four of the team’s top five or six offensive players. “The last couple of years we might have been panicking,” Lee said. “‘What are we going to do? Who’s going in?’ We didn’t panic. … We had somebody in place.”

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