In Week 16, the Jaguars (5-9) travel to Atlanta to play the Falcons (5-9) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 1 p.m. This week's game will be broadcast on FOX with Joe Davis (play-by-play) and Brady Quinn (color) providing the commentary. Jenny Taft will report from the sidelines. Throughout the 2019 season, several Jaguars rookies have made a significant impact. Here are five notable stats and quotes surrounding their play this season:
Total Contribution: Jacksonville is one of five teams in the NFL this season to have their rookie class play more than 4,000 total snaps (4,359). The Jaguars' 39 combined starts by their rookie class are the league's seventh-most in 2019. Jacksonville has had 11 rookies play at least 100 snaps apiece, including six of their seven draft picks. Among rookies in the NFL this season, DE Josh Allen ranks first in sacks (10.0), QB Gardner Minshew II ranks second in passing yards (2,795) and OL Jawaan Taylor ranks first in offensive snaps (949).
Quotable: "I'm pleased with the way [Jawaan Taylor] goes about his business. It doesn't feel to me that he's a rookie with [how] he's playing. And really, I always looked at it as, once you get halfway through the first part of the season you can take that 'R' off of everyone. They're not really rookies anymore even though they're in their first year. So, he's been a really good addition to our team, a good addition to the locker room and we hope to be coaching him for a long time." – HC Doug Marrone
Mania Ensues: Rookie QB Gardner Minshew II demonstrated his clutch gene in Week 15 at Oakland when he led the Jaguars on three consecutive scoring drives (FG, TD, TD) to orchestrate the come-from-behind victory, which was capped by a 4-yard game-winning TD pass to WR Chris Conley. He has excelled on the road this season, completing 100 of 171 passes (58.5 comp. pct.) for 1,256 yards, eight TDs and zero INTs for a passer rating of 97.0 in five career away games. He joins Aaron Rodgers (10) as the only players with at least eight TDs and zero INTs on the road this season. Minshew is just the third QB in NFL history, joining Dak Prescott (2016) and Robert Griffin III (2012), to throw for at least 17 TDs with five-or-fewer INTs through a player's first 12 career games. Minshew's 17 TD passes are the most by a rookie drafted in the fourth round-or-later, including undrafted rookies, since 1995.
Quotable: "I think with him, I would say it's probably just his make-up. Just his mentality that the belief he has in himself that anytime that we have an opportunity on offense to get the ball back, that we have the ability to drive down the field and score. (In Oakland) he was able to score on the final three possessions and he really played an unbelievable fourth quarter … He's got a ton of heart and fight. I think the team knows that, and they're able to rally around it. I think he has done a really good job." – HC Doug Marrone
Not Joshin' Around: DE Josh Allen, who was selected seventh overall in the 2019 NFL Draft leads all rookies in the NFL with 10.0 sacks this season. Allen, who has totaled 39 tackles, 10.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games, joins Denver LB Bradley Chubb (2018) as the only rookies over the last eight seasons (2012-19) to post double-digit sacks and multiple forced fumbles. The Kentucky product ranks second among rookies this season with 19 QB hits, trailing San Francisco DE Nick Bosa (20 QB hits and 41 tackles), while playing 97 fewer defensive snaps than Bosa (Bosa: 657; Allen: 560). On Tuesday, Allen was named a second alternate for the Pro Bowl.
Quotable: "I'm Josh Allen's biggest fan. I don't care if anyone out there wants to compete with me. I'm his biggest fan. I think he should not only be a Pro Bowler, but he deserves Defensive Rookie of the Year. He is an incredible player, an incredible talent. His numbers speak for themselves – he leads rookies in sacks, he gets a lot of pressures, he affects the game. He makes my job a lot easier." – Pro Bowl DL Calais Campbell
The Reliable Tackle: OL Jawaan Taylor, who was selected in the second round (35th overall), became the 11th player from the University of Florida to be drafted by the Jaguars and immediately earned a starting job. Taylor has played in all of the team's offensive snaps (949) and is on track to become the first Jaguar rookie to start all 16 games since CB Jalen Ramsey did so in 2016 and the second offensive rookie to do so in franchise history (Maurice Williams, 2001). Taylor has helped pave the way for RB Leonard Fournette, who is tied for fourth in the NFL in scrimmage yards and has posted a career-high 1,081 yards this season.
Quotable: "I would say that if you look at the season, [Oakland] was his best game. And now it's important to be able to build on that. Build on that type of confidence and really end this thing well. Like I've always said, I really believe he's a good player now, I think he has the ability to be a really good football player and play a long time in this league. But the one thing you have to do is you have to keep progressing and taking advantage of these opportunities of these next two weeks of practice and these next two games to continue on that path." – HC Doug Marrone
Undrafted Gems: The Jaguars have eight undrafted rookies on their current 53-man roster, who have combined for 1,062 snaps, including S Andrew Wingard (460 snaps) and WR Michael Walker (142 snaps). Walker has returned 16 kickoffs for 354 yards (22.1 avg.), three punts for 13 yards and caught two passes for 15 yards. Wingard, the only rookie free agent to spend training camp with the team and make the Week 1 roster, has played in 14 games (two starts) and posted 18 tackles, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble. He leads the Jaguars with seven special teams tackles and is one of three NFL rookies with at least five special teams tackles and one forced fumble this season.
Quotable: "That's my roommate. I played against him last year at Wyoming. He had like a million tackles in college. He's always around the ball. He's a guy that just looking at him, you're not going to be impressed. You probably expect him to be at a Kid Rock show more than on a football field, but he's a ball player. He works hard and you can always count on him to be in the right spot." – QB Gardner Minshew II