Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Sexton-Oehser: Back and forth


JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser and senior correspondent Brian Sexton look back at the Jaguars' 31-12 victory over the New York Jets in Week 4 and forward to Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

Oehser …

1.Reviewing the preview: When previewing Jets-Jaguars, the thought here was the Jaguars needed to quickly reboot from the previous Sunday's 9-6 loss to the Tennessee Titans, get production from the running backs and stop the run early so the defense could swarm late. The Jaguars on Sunday against the Jets showed zero aftereffects of the sluggish offensive day the week before – and they turned in one of their more complete performances of Doug Marrone's tenure as head coach; they outgained the Jets, 503-178, and were never seriously threatened. The Jaguars rushed for an efficient 126 yards, but starting running back Leonard Fournette averaged just 2.7 yards per carry before leaving with hamstring tightness and backup T.J. Yeldon averaged just 2.9 yards a carry; that area still must improve. As for the defense, the unit held a Jets team that rushed for 256 yards in a 2017 victory over the Jaguars to just 34 yards Sunday – and they held the Jets to 178 yards overall. This was a dominant effort with the defense at the core.

2.As I saw it: This was by no means a perfect victory, something Marrone made clear when emphasizing three turnovers and nine penalties during his postgame comments. And the 3-1 Jaguars must improve to make a deep playoff run. But there was far more good than bad in Sunday's victory. The Jaguars controlled momentum and tempo from the start, taking a 6-0 lead and steadily pushing it to 13-0, 16-0, then 18-0. The offense squandered opportunities to make this game an epic blowout/shutout with the three second-half giveaways. The defense also missed multiple opportunities for takeaways, thus missing a chance for the sort of landslide victory that defined so many games last season. But the Jets are a capable running team with a capable defense, and the Jaguars made them look decidedly incapable Sunday. That was an impressive victory – even if it wasn't perfect.

3.Looking ahead, briefly: Up next for the Jaguars: the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs through the first quarter of the season have looked like one of the NFL's best two offenses, with a 27-23 come-from-behind victory at Denver Monday further pumping the national excitement around quarterback Patrick Mahomes and a dynamic offense. This is a mammoth test for the Jaguars' top-ranked defense and could have major playoff implications for both teams. How ready are the Jaguars for this matchup? Defensive players shortly after the victory over the Jets began talking about the Chiefs, and they kept talking about it Monday with safety Tashaun Gipson calling it a clear case of "good against good." You could ratchet that to "best-versus-best," with the Jaguars' defense possessing the speed, pass-rush ability and back-seven talent to give the Chiefs' phenomenally fast offense trouble. This may be the best matchup of the early NFL season. Don't miss it.

Sexton …

1.Reviewing the Preview: I thought the Jets' defense would challenge the Jaguars' offense more than it did. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was very good and very efficient, completing 76 percent of his passes and showing patience in the pocket while crossing routes developed. The truth is the Jets played very poorly on all three levels instead of challenging the Jaguars on all three levels, and this was never a contest. It didn't take a seasoned veteran to watch and see Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is going to be a good one; he impressed me with his poise in the face of a very aggressive defense. He kept his eyes up and his feet moving – and as a result, didn't commit a turnover on a day in which fellow rookie quarterbacks Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns) and Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills) combined for seven. The Jaguars got after Darnold enough that he never really threatened them, but I chalk that up more to a lack of weapons more than a rookie quarterback. The Jets really have no one who scares a defensive coordinator … at all.

2.As I saw it: The Jaguars won Sunday's game with their first field goal. It was apparent the Jets weren't going to drive the ball on the Jaguars, and it was apparent that it was apparent to them. Their body language in the huddle was downcast – except for their eyes, which looked up at the clock almost the entire game. The Jaguars are one of the NFL's best teams; the Jets are not. The only reason the Jets avoided the shutout was a couple of second-half Jaguars turnovers put them in point-blank range. The Jaguars were somewhat sloppy in the second half; chalk that up to boredom, because this game was never in doubt and was worlds away from being as close as the score indicated.

3.Looking ahead, briefly: The Jaguars are the best defense in football. The Chiefs are either the best offense, or they're a close runner up to the Los Angeles Rams. One thing is for sure: the highest-scoring offense in football, 36.25 points per game, gets the defense that is allowing 14 points per game – the fewest through the first month of the season. The Jags' defense won't be bored; they can't be with running back/wide receiver Tyreek Hill, running back Kareem Hunt, tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Sammy Watkins all available to Mahomes. Defense travels in professional football and I would expect the Jaguars' edgy unit to be up for the hostile environment at Arrowhead Stadium and the explosive offense they'll face. Now if the Jaguars' offense can play against the NFL's worst defense as well as it did on Sunday …

Related Content