Jaguars Fangirl: Week 11

Week11

The Jags are back! After what felt like the longest week away, Jacksonville is hitting the road to Indianapolis. This is the first of two meetings between the squads this season. In a division match-up, DUUUVAL looks to get back to .500 on the season and bring the Colts back down to it. This is a pivotal game for the Jags as the playoff picture begins to form.

Jacksonville has a favorable schedule in the weeks to come, and the playoffs are still a realistic possibility. However, DUUUVAL has to try to win-out (ideally) or lose less than three games. That road begins now, and it’s good timing with QB Nick Foles back behind center because he has quite the knack for surging teams into the playoffs late into a season. 

Out with Minshew Magic and in with St. Nick. Nick Foles returns to the helm at QB this week after being out with injury since Week 1. Head Coach Dough Marrone cut to the chase last week when he officially announced Foles would return as QB1 following the bye week.

This is a unique situation, but one that the NFL has become accustomed to - especially this season. We’ve seen Teddy Bridgewater step up for the Saints during Drew Brees absence, and now we’re seeing the same unfold in Jacksonville. Defensive leader Myles Jack said the following about Foles, “He has no problem stepping up in front of the team. Even before we left [for the bye week], he kind of gave us the run-down on what he expects when he gets back, expectations and that we’re in a better position than we think we are.” He continued to recall that Foles reminded the team they’re still in the hunt, and in the race for the playoffs. 

And I do believe Foles. Over the last four seasons, the Super Bowl winning quarterback is 10-2 as a starter in November or later, including playoffs. That should rightfully give all of Duval some warm fuzzies! This is the time of the year that Foles shines brightest. I have to give a tip of the hat to Gardner Minshew II for holding down the fort and bringing a whole lot of magic to Jacksonville. 

Not only will this be a unique comeback for Foles, but this week specifically. He will face Colts’ Head Coach Frank Reich who many give praise for being the brains behind Foles’ Super Bowl stardom in 2017. On Wednesday, the Jags Week 11 starter reflected on the time the two spent together in Philadelphia. “When I step on the field, I am going against a man in Frank Reich who is very similar,” Foles said. “He is a guy who I admire, and more than anything is a guy who has impacted my life so much, and he is going to be on the opposing sideline so that is going to be fun.” So, aside from Foles’ resume speaking for itself. Another reason to get excited for his return is for the mechanics he brings to the QB position, and no one described it better than the same former coach who now is at the head of the Colts organization. Reich had the following to say when he described Nick Foles - the quarterback. 

“He's a really smart guy but he just has a great way of keeping things simple. The other thing -- it's why he's a great deep ball thrower --, but he trusts his players to make plays. That was my experience with him.” Additionally, Reich praised Foles on his deep ball ability and even claimed that Foles is in the discussion for all the guys that throw a deep ball, adding that Foles can throw the ball from any angle. Therefore, there’s so much to be excited about not only from what Foles will bring to the field this week, but what’s in store for the rest of the season. 

The match-up to watch this week is specifically Jags defensive end Calais Campbell against Colts’ offensive guard Quenton Nelson. In the 2018 draft, Nelson was the sixth overall pick and later garnered All Pro recognition his rookie season. According to Pro Football Focus, Nelson has allowed one hurry through nine games this season while holding the third-best grade (89.4) of any offensive linemen in the NFL. To put in perspective, Jacksonville’s center Brandon Linder has an overall grade of 63 which is the highest graded Jaguars’ offensive lineman according to Pro Football Focus.

In fact, head coach Doug Marrone sang the 2nd-year players praises during this week’s press conference. Marrone recalled having the two best guards in the NFL with Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks when he was in New Orleans, but goes on to admit, “I think Quenton’s one of the best guards that I’ve seen throughout my whole time in the NFL.” 

This weekend will definitely be a test for the veteren defensive lineman. Campbell has tallied 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble this season for the Jags, but on the flip side the Colts’ offensive line has only given up 6.5 sacks through eleven weeks of play. Additionally, Campbell has been fighting a back injury the past couple weeks and was a limited participant in practice this week. 

This will be quite the battle between these two players that are both stellar at their respective positions. Calais Campbell is undoubtedly one of the best to play his position, and from what’s been seen of Nelson - he’ll finish as one of the best to play his. 

If you’re headed to Indianapolis or staying behind in Jacksonville, make sure you’re prepped and ready with these recipes so you can be the star of your tailgate or watch party! 

First up is *Florida Broiled Peanuts! *

What you’ll need:
3 pounds Florida green peanut
2 tablespoons Florida suga
1 cup sea sal
3 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning (such as Everglades
1 teaspoon liquid smok
Water to cover

The Preparation:

Wash and rinse peanuts to remove any debris. Pour into pressure cooker with enough water to cover peanuts; add salt, seasoning, and liquid smoke. Place lid on and close and turn pressure lever to pressure setting. Cook for 75 minutes or until tender. Carefully release steam by turning pressure lever to vent (steam can cause severe burns, do not place hand over or near steam). If desired, drain water, but peanuts can also be stored in the water (saltiness may increase with time if stored in water they cooked in). Serve warm or cold.

Fresh tip: Add cajun seasoning to pressure cooker for spicy boiled peanuts.

Now that everyone has snacked on the appetizer, it’s time to really impress your friends and family with these Florida Shrimp and Beef Tacos:

What you’ll need:

Skewer Marinade and Sauce

  1. ½ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin
  3. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  4. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  5. ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  6. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Beef Skewers

  1. 24 ounces Florida beef (tenderloin, sirloin or your favorite cut of beef) cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 2 large Florida bell peppers (your favorite color), cut into 1-inch squares
  3. 2 large onions cut into
  4. 1-inch squares
  5. 8 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour) or metal skewers
  6. Cooking oil spray for grilling
  7. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Shrimp Skewers

  1. 1 pound large Florida shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
  2. 2 large Florida bell peppers (your favorite color), cut into 1-inch squares
  3. 2 large onions cut into 1-inch squares
  4. 8 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour) or metal skewers
  5. Cooking oil spray for grilling
  6. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

The Preparation and Creation:

Skewer Marinade and Sauce Combine olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth. Use half of the marinade on the raw skewers. Taste marinade and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Use the reserved marinade as a sauce. Beef Skewers Make skewers by alternating the beef, peppers and onions. Lightly season the assembled skewers with salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray the skewers with the cooking oil spray and place onto the grill, cook to desired temperature. When done, remove from the grill and let rest for five minutes; serve warm. Shrimp Skewers Make skewers by alternating the shrimp, peppers and onions. Lightly season the assembled skewers with salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray the skewers with the cooking oil spray and place onto the grill; cook until the shrimp are just done. Tacos To serve as tacos remove the meat from the skewers, place into hard shell or soft shell tacos. Serve with fresh salsa, Florida avocado, and shredded lettuce.

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