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Jaguars Wednesday: Allen "thankful" for honor


JACKSONVILLE – Josh Allen wasn't surprised Wednesday.

Even a player as humble as the Jaguars' third-year defensive end/outside linebacker knew he likely would be named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after sacking, intercepting and harassing the other Josh Allen – the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills – in a victory this past Sunday.

"There is no better person than Josh who deserves it, you guys all know that," Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday. "He's going to thank [defensive linemen] Roy [Robertson-Harris, Taven [Bryan], Malcom [Brown] and Davon Hamilton for the press inside and Jihad Ward when he's in there, they all work together on that."

Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, finished Sunday with eight tackles, a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and a tackle for a loss – perhaps the most dominant performance by a Jaguars defender since end Calais Campbell had three sacks and won AFC Defensive Player of the Week against the Tennessee Titans in Week 3 of the 2019 season.

"It's a huge compliment for myself and for this team," Allen said. "It's how we all play. We all do our things, so kudos to my teammates for helping me be successful. I obviously can't do it without them. I'm definitely thankful to have the opportunity to get that award."

Allen is the Jaguars' undisputed defensive leader, great pride in how the unit's development – and in Sunday's performance, in which the Jaguars held the NFL's highest-scoring offense to two field goals.

"Guys never quit," he said. "We have a bend but don't break mentality. They had a couple of shots, but when they got into the red zone we stopped them. We pushed them back. Just to see us play mistake-free football … we played sound football, we played for each other, and we played fast and physical all game."

"That's just the standard that we have for ourselves, the standard that we feel like we could have been playing at the whole season. So, now that we did it for four full quarters, consistently – every play – that's the standard now."

The Jaguars are counting on that same level and standard on Sunday in Indianapolis against a Colts team that features running back Jonathan Taylor, who averages nearly six yards per carry, and a big-play threat in wide receiver Michael Pittman.

"On every level everyone is doing their job," said defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot, who had a sack and a forced fumble against Buffalo. "I would definitely say the back end is finding their way, they're finding the coverage that works best for the people on the field and it's been working a lot."

"Rush and coverage has been working well and interior push helps me and Josh as well. If we have that interior push, there is going to be a lot of sacks out there as well."

Smoot and Allen are quickly becoming a tandem. Though they have a long way to go to be as good as Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue in 2017-2018, the two men – who work out in the offseason and challenge each other daily in practice – are excited about the next nine weeks of the season.

"We can always get better; you know what I'm saying?" Allen said. "That's not the ceiling for any of us. That's not the ceiling for me, it's not the ceiling for Smoot. It's just a little taste of what we can do when we're all on the same page and we're going to continue to get better. That's the ultimate goal in football."

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