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Big Cat Country - All Posts Stand United, Duval Til We Die
Jaguars’ next 6 games are... mostly winnable?by Ryan Day on September 23, 2019 at 7:31 pm
Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images The Jacksonville Jaguars are playing a sixth round rookie quarterback in Gardner Minshew. Jalen Ramsey is providing the most excitement off the field during any season I’ve ever covered this team. And their front office lead — Tom Coughlin, the man who built this franchise from scratch, sank it with poor salary cap management, and has been tasked with an encore — is on the hot seat. But you know what else? This team caught some breaks with their next six games. In my preseason win-loss predictions, I had the Jaguars at 2-1 at this point... and if not for an errant two-point play call that could be the case. Gardner Minshew’s production up to this point has been largely what we hoped for out of Nick Foles, the defense has been stifling, and the run game has been largely ineffective. What else is new? So even with all those issues, the Jaguars are a few inches away from being right where we expected them to be at this point in the season. Their opponents, however, are a very different story. Week 4: @ Denver Broncos The defense is good enough with an average offense (although they haven’t registered a single sack or interception!) but that offense is bad, folks. Joe Flacco is averaging just 7.0 yards per attempt alongside an average of less than one touchdown a game. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, who have put a respectable 333 yards and 4.1 yards per carry through three games combined are volume backs. They have one rushing play of 20+ yards between them. First to 17 points wins this game and the Jaguars have just enough firepower to squeak out a close one on the road as long as Jalen Ramsey can play. Week 5: @ Carolina Panthers This is probably the hardest game of the next six weeks for the Jaguars. I had them losing to the Panthers before the season. Even with Cam Newton possibly out, I still don’t see them being able to outscore Carolina. They have play makers all over and Kyle Allen was highly accurate yesterday against the Arizona Cardinals, completing 73% of his passes and throwing for four touchdowns on just 26 attempts. This is the only game I’d say I would expect a loss before kickoff. Week 6: vs. New Orleans Saints Before the season? Drew Brees — one of the least sacked, pressured, and rattled quarterbacks is coming to town. Of course we’re going to lose. Now it’s Teddy Bridgewater, who limited turnovers on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, but was helped immensely by a touchdown a piece by his defense and by special teams. Limit the mistakes (something Minshew is very good at) and scheme up something on defense where Alvin Kamara is covered on passing downs (he had nine of the Saints’ 19 receptions yesterday) and you’ve got a chance. After all, that defense is allowing 27.3 points per game, good for 26th in the NFL. Get an early score and cover the running backs and you’ve got a chance to win one you shouldn’t have just three weeks ago. Week 7: @ Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals are giving up even more points than the Saints, but the big difference is their offense. Unlike New Orleans, it isn’t very good — only 18.0 points per game. The defense is tailor made to stop an offense like this. They have a volume pocket passer in Andy Dalton who is only completing 62% of his passes. The offensive line has given up 11 sacks. The running back production is even worse than the Jaguars. And their passing game is heavily reliant on two guys — John Ross III and Tyler Boyd — that the Jaguars (at least their current roster) has the answer for at cornerback. Limit mistakes, win time of possession, and don’t let Dalton get into a rhythm with either of his top two receivers and this is a win. Week 8: vs. New York Jets Sir, this is a Wendy’s drive thru. The Jets are averaging just 11.0 points per game and have averaged less than 200 yards per game of total offense. Go win by 40 in front of the home crowd, Gardner. Week 9: vs. Houston Texans (in London) This and the Panthers game, I have serious concerns with how we match up. Deshaun Watson is an MVP candidate — I mean, did you see yesterday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers? — and that offensive line was manhandling us last time we played. The Jaguars have an advantage of being seasoned veterans are playing in the UK, so if this is another coin flip game like it was two weeks ago, the Jaguars could win. Otherwise, if Ramsey is gone by this point... yikes. Summary Six games. Two where I don’t think we have a distinct advantage. If we can go into the bye week with a 5-4 record with Minshew playing as well as he has the first three weeks, I think we’re in a very good position to make a late season playoff race. At the very least, we’d have found our quarterback of the future.
Jaguars OL could have a slight shakeupby Alfie Crow on September 23, 2019 at 6:46 pm
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports The Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line has been in a little bit of a state of flux so far this season, however they’ve managed to make it work the last two weeks. Against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football, the offensive line kept Gardner Minshew clean, but they struggled to run black and give easy holes for Leonard Fournette to run through. Then again, they’ve also played three different guys at left tackle and have rotated their right guard a bit. That could finally get settled this week, though, depending on how practice will go. “I think Cam [Robinson] will play more, whether he plays a full game or not, I’ll see how it goes. I really liked the way he played this week,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Monday prior to practice. “I think Will [Richardson] Jr., it’s very difficult for me to stand up here and say that was a good indication of how he can play because we moved him around so much. So, we still think that when he gets locked in there, there will be competition there. How the week goes, I don’t know, but we will play the best guys on how they practiced, because I do believe the more competition you have, the more it is. As Will gets more locked into guard, I think his performance will be a lot better and be more competitive to push for playing time in that position.” Richardson started at left tackle Week 1 and 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans due to a setback with Cam Robinson, but moved back to right guard this past week against the Titans in a rotation with A.J. Cann. Robinson came back and split time with Cedric Ogbuehi, but I would anticipate Robinson plays a lot more snaps this upcoming week, which is a good thing because he played well when he was in the game. Prior to the Robinson injury, Richardson had seemed to be on the verge of overtaking Cann for the starting right guard position, so this week of practice will be interesting to see if he can get back into that groove and end up starting on Sunday.
BCC Q&A: Submit your Jaguars questions!by Ryan Day on September 23, 2019 at 6:36 pm
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Got any questions headed into Week 4? Ask away! Got any questions ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars matchup against the Denver Broncos for Week 4? Every week (hopefully) we’ll be asking you for questions and then answering them in this Big Cat Country column! Submit your question by filling out the embedded form below. Or just click here. Loading...
Jalen Ramsey called out sick todayby Ryan Day on September 23, 2019 at 6:23 pm
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey called out sick today and reportedly thinks he has the flu, according to one of the weirdest Adam Schefter tweets of all time. Jaguars’ CB Jalen Ramsey thinks he has the flu, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 23, 2019 Although it cld appear dubious, I'm told Jalen Ramsey is actually legit sick coincidentally, while in the midst of demanding a trade. As for how long this plays out, my understanding is it's day-to-day at the moment as I'm told "all I know is he can't practice today." #JalenWatch— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 23, 2019 Ramsey might have the flu! He also might not! Does this franchise have a medical staff with a team of doctors? Who knows! In all seriousness, whether he has the flu or not — if Ramsey isn’t back by Wednesday you need to panic. Go Jaguars. Update: Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone told the media during his press conference prior to practice that Ramsey would be meeting with the team doctor and they’d assess it from there. Also, ESPN’s Ryan Clark emphatically shut down talk of Ramsey faking it, stating he knew for a fact Ramsey threw up multiple times Sunday night and the team had sent people to pick Ramsey up so he could be administered fluids. Here you go. Ryan Clark reports Ramsey isn’t faking sick, threw up multiple times last night and the team was picking him up to get IVs. https://t.co/GR7Iz4ThNg— Harry Minshew (@AlfieBCC) September 23, 2019
Ramsey trade unlikely to happen anytime soonby Alfie Crow on September 23, 2019 at 12:50 pm
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports After a whirlwind of what seemed like hourly updates on the Jalen Ramsey trade front, it’s been all quiet since the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football, a game in which Ramsey played. Last week I tried to explain on Twitter that I didn’t believe a deal to trade Ramsey was imminent, especially when head coach Doug Marrone stated Ramsey was slated to play on Thursday and start. He played. He started and now it’s Monday and Ramsey is still on the roster, despite the flurry of reports that he could be gone as soon as the Friday following the game. The reality is, it should not be a surprise. I’ve mentioned numerous times that while Ramsey may want to be traded, the Jaguars are under no obligation to do so. They’re also under no pressure to quickly whisk Ramsey away for a cheap return. They have all the leverage here and Ramsey isn’t made up like the kind of player who is going to dog it on the field, because he’s still angling to get a new big contract, likely the highest paid defensive back in NFL history. While Ramsey got beat on a long pass Thursday (still amazingly getting a hand on the ball), he was doing a lot of the dirty work that someone who is desperate to get out at all costs is going to do. He was fighting through blocks, getting in the pile on run games and flying all over the field. Ramsey is just a flat out competitor and I don’t think it’s in his makeup to dog it on the field. By all accounts he still wants to be traded and a lot of teams are interested, but thankfully it sounds like the majority of teams are put off by the Jaguars asking price. It was recently reported the Jaguars turned down the Baltimore Ravens offer of tight end Hayden Hurst, a first round pick and second round pick. That offer is similar to what I heard was being offered on Thursday and was terrified the Jaguars would accept. Hurst is who the Jaguars had their eye on for the 2018 NFL Draft and very likely who they were going to pick before Baltimore took him a few picks earlier. Thankfully the Jaguars played hard ball and it sounds as if Jaguars owner Shad Khan stepped into the process. The Jaguars, thankfully, are sticking to their guns on their valuation of Ramsey and they have no reason to back off that because they’re not under any pressure to deal Ramsey. Based on how things have played out, I think the Jaguars are going to end up doing the right thing and telling Ramsey he’s not getting traded in-season, unless someone gets desperate at the trade deadline. You sit him down and have that talk and, as reported, try to repair the relationship with your best player and superstar. At the end of the season, maybe Tom Coughlin retires. Maybe they’re able to work something out where they can co-exist, but if that can’t happen, then you make the move to trade Ramsey. You don’t do it in the first quarter of the season. The saga is going to linger, because every little thing is going to be blown out of proportion until either Ramsey is paid by the Jaguars or traded by the Jaguars, but it’s still at a complete stall right now and will likely remain that way for a while.