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Jaguars Fangirl: Week 12

Fan Girl

It's Week 12 and the Jacksonville Jaguars are headed to Tennessee. The last time these two went head-to-head was nine weeks ago when Duval took down the Titans, 20-7. The Jags held their AFC South foe scoreless through the first three quarters. This Sunday, Jacksonville is looking to get back on track with a win on the road. However, the biggest difference in this matchup is that both teams will have a different QB under center. Nick Foles returned to action for Jacksonville last weekend, and earlier this season the Titans moved on from Marcus Mariota to former Dolphins QB, Ryan Tannehill.

Aside from the new QBs, the biggest matchup to pay attention to this week is the Jaguars linebackers vs Titans RB Derrick Henry. The first time they faced off this season, the Jags held Henry to 2.6 yards per carry and only 44 total yards on 17 carries. Simply put - that's incredible! Although, last season when the Jags faced the Titans in Tennessee, Derrick Henry put up one of his most memorable career performances, rushing for four touchdowns and 238 yards. In recent weeks, the Jags allowed the Texans 216 rushing yards and let the Colts drop another 200+ rushing yards on them this past Sunday. Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash knows the challenge at hand and provided some comic relief at Thursday's media availability saying, "We talking about pass defense today?" The Jags are currently 29th in the league in rush defense giving up 134.6 yards-per-game. Despite this fact, Wash remained confident in his players. He reiterated that confidence remains high that the Jags can limit opposing running games. I also believe this Duval, especially when the defense has put a stop on incredible running backs like Joe Mixon and Le'Veon Bell this season.

The Jags' linebackers know that a lot of this pressure to stop the run comes down on them, but their performance in recent weeks isn't breaking them down. On Wednesday, linebacker Najee Goode said, "We're focusing on stopping the run and recovering from what we made mistakes on. When we don't do it consistently, it's frustrating for us because we know we can do it." He goes on to add that when this defense goes out there and is consistent, it's a beautiful sight. I believe the Jags know exactly what they need to do this weekend to get the win, and now if you're watching you know exactly what to bring up to friends and family as the biggest point of emphasis for the team this week.

This week's player to know is a player you should already be familiar with - rookie defensive end, Josh Allen. As a refresher, Allen was taken as the seventh overall selection by the Jags in the 2019 NFL Draft. He's a Kentucky product who certainly made a name for himself in college. The young star won the Chuck Bednarik Award that is given to the best defensive player in college football, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy that is given to the best defensive player in NCAA, AND (yes, there's more... ) SEC Defensive Player of the Year during his senior season. He also set the Kentucky sack record with 17.0 sacks during his senior season. Being successful at his position is literally in his blood and all he's ever known.

That mentality is transferring right into the Jaguars organization and into his league play. Through the first half of the NFL season, the rookie certainly continued to impress.

He had five sacks heading into Week 8, which at the time was tied for the most by a Jaguars player through the first seven games of a career since former defensive tackle John Henderson in 2002. Now, Allen sits tied for most sacks by a Jags rookie in a season with teammate Yannick Ngakoue (2016), and this is the week he could take that record. The defensive end has eight sacks on the season and it's only Week 12. I've said this before and I'll say it again, remember this name. Josh Allen is special. He's a generational talent.

Up this week for Tailgate Recipes brought to you by Fresh from Florida is a phenomenal main dish that is perfect for having guests over to watch Duval, plus a tasty refreshing beverage!

Florida Beef Sliders with Candied Bacon

What you'll need:

1 pound Florida ground beef

1 head of Florida lettuce

1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning (such as Everglades)

Slider condiments (mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup)

8 mini buns or slider rolls

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

The Preparation:

Preheat grill to medium-high. Season ground beef with all-purpose seasoning and mix thoroughly. Form into 8 (2-ounce) patties and season with salt and pepper. Place onto grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the desired internal temperature. Remove from heat and assemble burgers with Florida tomato jam and Florida candied bacon as desired. Serve immediately.

Next up is the delicious beverage to have your guests feeling great!

Florida Bloody Mary Mix

What you'll need:

4 cups Florida tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 cup Florida cucumber, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon garlic, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon hot sauce (your favorite)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning

2 tablespoons vinegar (such as apple cider vinegar or brine from pickle jar)

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

The Preparation:

Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until completely smooth. Strain the liquid for a smoother product. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Fresh tip: Can be served chilled on its own as a refreshing vegetable juice.

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