JACKSONVILLE – The numbers guarantee nothing.
Josh Allen said that's true no matter how many sacks this week's opponent has allowed – and no matter how encouraging that statistic may seem.
"We've got to do our thing this week," he said.
Allen, the Jaguars' Pro Bowl defensive end, spoke to the media via videoconference Thursday. A main topic was a Jaguars pass rush that has just three sacks in three games. Also, a topic was a Bengals offense that has allowed rookie quarterback Joe Burrow to be sacked a league-high 14 times.
Allen called the Bengals' sacks and pressure allowed "a good sign for us" and added: "We still have to do our job.
"We still have to get after the ball," Allen said as the Jaguars (1-2) prepared to play the Bengals (0-2-1) at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday at 1 p.m.
"We still have to rush the passer as much as we can – and get into situations where we be able to rush the passer as much as we want. Our mindset is coming in and being the best us. We have to get after them and show them that we're top dogs.
"That's our mindset going into this week and I'm really excited."
Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash agreed with Allen that creating pass-rushing situations is key. Sacks typically come in long-yardage because defenses know opponents are likely to pass, and because the opposing quarterback must hold the ball longer to allow routes to develop downfield.
"We're not keeping them behind the chains and getting into as situations where we can really pin our ears back," Wash said. "That's going to be key for us. For them to show they can rush, we've got to get them in third-and-seven plus. That's a big key for us. We've been talking about it all week."
Allen, who registered a franchise-rookie-record 10.5 sacks last season, had a sack in a Week 3 loss to Miami with rookie defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson registering one in a Week 2 loss to Tennessee. Linebacker Myles Jack registered one in a Week 1 victory over Indianapolis.
"I think the jury's still out a little bit if we can or can't pass rush," Wash said. "I have faith in them, but we have to put them in situations to actually evaluate to see if they can. We're young, but that's not an excuse. We've seen them have the ability to pass rush. They flash every now and then, but we're not consistently in situations where you pin your ears back and get after the quarterback.
"We're not doing that on first and second down to give these guys a true opportunity."
Wash on Thursday expressed optimism over rookie defensive tackle Doug Costin, who made the team as a collegiate free agent and who is expected to be in the tackle rotation Sunday following this week's release of veteran Timmy Jernigan. Costin registered 16.5 sacks at Miami of Ohio, including four last season, and Wash said Costin can play either three-technique tackle or big end. "We saw a lot coming out of training camp," Wash said. "He's got multi-position flex[ibility], which is very important. He's an explosive player. If you look at what he did in college, in our defensive line room he's the second-leading college sacker in the room. He's got the ability to go after the passer and he's stout enough to play against the run. I really look forward to seeing how he develops as the game goes on Sunday."
Allen on the defense allowing touchdowns on the game-opening drive in all three games this season: "We've just got to play better as a whole for the first series. There's no A, B or C answer. We just have to play better – up front, back end and all included."
Wash said Thursday he expects improvement Sunday from rookie cornerback CJ Henderson. The No. 9 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Henderson broke up three passes with an interception against Indianapolis but struggled against Miami Thursday. "That happens with a lot of rookies," Wash said. "The last two weeks, we haven't been as good technically at the line of scrimmage – and he knows that. He really saw it Monday when we watched the tape. He and [veteran starter] Tre [Herndon] both realize that for them to excel in this system we have to get our hands on (receivers at the line of scrimmage). I think it was an eye-opener for him and I think you're going to see a totally different type of player this week when it comes to trying to get his hands on people."
Center Brandon Linder missed a second consecutive practice Thursday with the knee injury that kept him out against Miami. Defensive tackle Abry Jones missed practice Thursday with an ankle injury, with defensive end Adam Gotsis and tight end James O'Shaughnessy missing with scheduled days off. Wide receiver DJ Chark, after missing last Thursday with a chest/back injury, practiced limited for a second consecutive day – and kicker Stephen Hauschka was limited with a knee injury after missing practice Wednesday. Defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale was limited with an ankle injury. Guard A.J. Cann worked full after missing practice Wednesday with an illness and the following players also practiced full: tight end Tyler Eifert (scheduled day off Wednesday), cornerback D.J. Hayden (scheduled day off Wednesday), safety Brandon Watson (limited with knee Wednesday) and safety Andrew Wingard (limited with core muscle Wednesday).