Previewing the opposition: Jacksonville Jaguars

Is the NFL ready for a 3-1 Jacksonville? The Jets are all that stands between the Jags and that mark which they haven't attained since 2007. However, they might be a little jet-lagged after flying back from a blowout win over the Ravens in London.

Let's review how their roster shapes up:


Blake Bortles has had a couple of false dawns where it looked like he was going to step out from being a figure of ridicule but ultimately was still one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL last year and saw plenty of criticism throughout the offseason and preseason.

However, Bortles looked really good against the Ravens, throwing for four touchdowns without an interception for just the second time in his career. Bortles also hasn't thrown a pick six yet this year. He had 11 in his first three seasons.

In preseason, it looked for a while like Bortles was going to lose his job to back-up Chad Henne. Henne has only played 10 snaps since 2014.

Offensive line

The Jaguars offensive line is performing well so far. Bortles has only been sacked twice in three games, having been sacked 140 times in his first three seasons. However, they're not grading out well in the running game.

Current Jet Kelvin Beachum was Jacksonville's left tackle last year and he's been replaced by second round draft pick Cam Robinson, who is so far struggling. Scouts questioned his ability to play left tackle at the pro level because he can be slow-footed when dealing with speed off the edge. Look for Kony Ealy to test him.

Three-fifths of last year's line is intact with AJ Cann at right guard, Jeremy Parnell at right tackle and Brandon Linder at center. Linder was their most reliable lineman last year and that's been the case again so far this season. Parnell was solid in 2016, although he led the team with 13 penalties. Cann was a bit of a weak link and has continued to be so far this year.

The fifth starter is Patrick Omameh at left guard, who started seven games last year when Luke Joeckel had to get a knee surgery.

Their back-ups include Tyler Shatley who had a good preseason. He started two games at center and two at left guard last year, but struggled badly.

Running Backs

The Jaguars drafted Leonard Fournette with the fourth overall pick and he's sparked them with a touchdown run in each game. However, he's yet to average four yards per carry in any game, although he did rush for 100 on opening day.

Backing up Fournette is former Jet Chris Ivory, who has just 76 yards on 21 carries for the season. While neither Fournette nor Ivory are known for their pass catching, they have 14 receptions between them.

Youngster Corey Grant offers a nice change of pace off the bench, while TJ Yeldon has surprisingly been a healthy scratch so far.

The fullback is another former Jet in Tommy Bohanon, who scored his first career touchdown on opening day.


The Jaguars' plans for the season basically went up in smoke when Allen Robinson suffered a knee injury on opening day and had to be placed onto injured reserve. They're now relying on Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns to step up.

Prior to the Robinson injury, Hurns was rumored to be on the trading block, but he's now starting after a down year in 2016. Hurns is a good deep threat who had a 1,000 yard season and 10 touchdowns in 2015.

While Robinson led the Jaguars in receptions and touchdown catchs last year, Lee actually led them in receiving yards. After being blanked on opening day, Lee has had 11 catches in the last two games, one behind Hurns for the team lead.

The third receiver has so far been undrafted rookie Keelan Cole. He put up huge numbers in college, albeit at a low level at Kentucky Wesleyan. They also have former third rounder Jaelen Strong, but he's injured at the moment.

Veteran Marcedes Lewis saw his season get off to a slow start as he didn't record a reception in either of the first two games, but broke out with three touchdown receptions on Sunday.

Ben Koyack at tight end and Arrelious Benn at wideout offer depth off the bench.

Defensive line

Jacksonville's defense has been outstanding so far this year and they are leading the NFL in sacks, led by veteran Calais Campbell. Campbell signed a four year, $60 million deal in the offseason and leads the team with 4.5 sacks.

The other defensive end is last year's third rounder, Yannick Ngakoue. Having been a liability against the run last year, Ngakoue is faring much better this year and generating some good pressure. He had eight sacks last season and looks set to challenge that number in 2017 if he stays healthy.

2015's third overall pick, Dante Fowler Jr., is off to a solid start with two sacks and a touchdown on a fumble return. He's been used almost exclusively with his hand(s) in the dirt so far. Third rounder Dawuane Smoot also gets playing time off the bench.

On the inside, last year's big money signing Malik Jackson is a dominant force and will be paired with Abry Jones, a run stuffer. Undrafted rookie Eli Ankou and last year's fourth rounder Sheldon Day will back up Jones and Jackson.


Veteran Paul Posluszny has been an every down player throughout the last decade for the Jaguars but has finally transitioned into a role where he comes out of the game in passing situations.

They now have more youth and athleticism on the field all the time with Telvin Smith and Myles Jack in an every-down role. Jack wasn't healthy last year but has played well so far this season, especially in coverage. Smith is an outstanding run defender who racked up 118 tackles last year but trails Jack so far in 2017.

Promising rookie Blair Brown is available in reserve.

Defensive backs

Another high end draft pick is the key to the defensive backfield with last year's fifth overall pick Jalen Ramsey off to a great start. He's allowed just four catches for 26 yards on 14 targets and had his first interception of the year last week on a diving grab.

They signed AJ Bouye to a five year, $67.5 million deal to pair with Ramsey and the former Texan is also off to a good start, although he has had four penalties in the first three games.

They have good experience at the safety position too, with veterans Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson. Gipson also signed a big money deal last year but hasn't yet reached the heights he did when he was a pro bowler back in 2014.

Aaron Colvin is their primary nickel back and the player who spends the most time in the slot. Beyond him, they don't have a lot of experience though, especially since the recently-acquired Calvin Pryor went onto injured reserve. Gipson has been limited with a knee injury so the Jaguars might need to give time or even a first career start to the inexperienced Peyton Thompson.

Special teams

Kicker Jason Myers and punter Brad Nortman return for the Jags and are off to a strong start. Myers missed seven field goals last year, but showcased a big leg by making seven from beyond 50 yards. Nortman gave up the third highest amount of return yards in the NFL last year.

With Rashad Greene and rookie Dede Westbrook both on injured reserve, Lee has moved onto punt return duties. He averaged over 30 yards per return on kick-offs last year, including a 100-yard touchdown. Grant and Cole have shared those duties so far this year, although Lee is still listed as the number one kick-off returner.

Thompson and Benn were their leading producers in coverage last year.