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Day after: “It’s huge for us”

Posted Oct 9, 2017

Jaguars DT Malik Jackson a day after a three-touchdown victory over the Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “We just have to work on being consistent and getting two in a row”


JACKSONVILLE – A day later, Jaguars players were looking ahead.

Not that a three-touchdown victory over a perennial power wasn’t worth savoring, but the Jaguars this season have experienced plenty of high moments. The idea now:

Experience those moments in consecutive weeks.

“It’s huge for us,” defensive tackle Malik Jackson on Monday said of the Jaguars’ 30-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sunday. “Now we just have to work on being consistent and getting two in a row.”

Welcome to the Jaguars’ Week 6 theme:

Figure a way to turn odd-week dominance into even-week success.

The Jaguars (3-2) have accomplished plenty this season. They not only lead the NFL in sacks (20) and takeaways (15) through five games, their victory Sunday along with losses by Houston and Tennessee gave them sole possession of first place in the AFC South in October for the first time since 2004.

The last time the Jaguars led the division after September was 2010. They led the Colts by a game in December of that season before finishing second and missing the playoffs.

The Jaguars reached first place with three dominant odd-week performances away from EverBank Field – winning at Houston (29-7) in Week 1, beating Baltimore in London (44-7) in Week 3 and pulling away from a tight game at halftime to win in Pittsburgh Sunday (30-9).

But the Jaguars have yet to win in an even-numbered week – or at EverBank – this season. Their 37-16 Week 2 loss to Tennessee came in their only game at the ‘Bank this season. They lost to the New York Jets, 23-20, in overtime at MetLife Stadium in Week 4.

“It’s really important this week, especially with coming back home,” wide receiver Marqise Lee said of the team’s game against the Los Angeles Rams (3-2) at EverBank Field at 4:05 Sunday. “We’ve had a problem coming back home and playing. We’re going to try to handle it this week.”

Also around the Jaguars Monday:

*Lee said he felt close to back to normal Monday after spending last week dealing with the aftereffects of a rib injury sustained in the Week 4 loss to the Jets. Lee missed practice Wednesday and Thursday before working limited on Friday. He was questionable on the injury report Friday and caught two first-half passes for 49 yards Sunday. “It was day-by-day,” Lee said. “The first couple of days it was a no-go. Toward the end of the week, it got better. Now, it’s pretty much back to normal.” …

*The Jaguars on Sunday ran on 18 consecutive plays in the second half, a stretch that included a 13-play, 67-yard field-goal drive that consisted only of running plays. Lee was asked if he ever had been a part of such a game. “Yeah,” he said with a laugh. “This one.” Lee added, “I told [rookie running back] Leonard [Fournette], ‘Let’s get it.’ He got 10 yards on the first run and I was like, ‘All right, we’re going to be all right.’ We needed to move the ball and waste time. That’s what we did.’’ Fournette ran eight times for 43 yards on the 12-play drive and finished the game with 181 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 28 carries…

*Jaguars rookie offensive tackle Cam Robinson on the 18 consecutive running plays: “I wasn’t paying attention to it during the game, but afterward when I looked back and everybody was talking about it I was like, ‘Man, this is crazy that we were able to do it.’ That’s a crazy stat.’’’ …

*The Jaguars’ defense Sunday intercepted Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger five times, the most interceptions in the 14-year veteran’s career in a single game. One key reason for the statistic: the Jaguars held the Steelers to 70 yards rushing, forcing Roethlisberger to throw 55 times. The Jaguars sacked Roethlisberger twice and pressured him much of the second half, when four of the five interceptions occurred. “Guys are going to try us,” Jackson said. “They did what I thought they were going to do and we did pretty well against it.”

*The Jaguars not only held the Steelers to 70 yards rushing, they held two-time Pro Bowl running back La’Veon Bell to 47 yards on 15 carries. The performance came a week after the Jaguars allowed 256 yards rushing to the New York Jets. The Jaguars entered Sunday’s game No. 32 in the NFL against the run. “I think it’s just guys understanding where they’re supposed to be,” Jackson said. “It would be like game we would be doing good and the next game we wouldn’t. Guys really focused on it and put a little extra time into it. It really helped us. Now, we have to keep it going.” …

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