Week 1 – Jaguars @ Giants
Final Score: JAX 20, NYG 15
Football is back! The Jaguars began the 2018 season with a close win over the New York Giants in the Meadowlands. Besides a couple of costly penalties in the red zone, the offense performed well. RB Leonard Fournette left the game before the end of the first half and didn’t return for the rest of the game after he injured his hamstring. Although it was a scary moment for fans of the Jaguars, backup RB T.J. Yeldon stepped up in his place, picking up 51 yards rushing on 14 carries and reeling in three catches for 18 yards and a touchdown. Fournette’s injury is minor according to HC Doug Marrone, and Fournette is optimistic that he will be able to play in next week’s grudge match against the defending AFC Champion Patriots. Jacksonville’s defense also came to play in this showdown, making crucial stops when they were needed and holding the Giants to 15 points. The defense also accounted for a Jaguar touchdown, giving the team just what it needed to outscore the boys in blue.
Jaguar Of The Week
Prior to kickoff, there was a great amount of anticipation building for the matchup that included the NFL’s best cornerback and one of the NFL’s best wide receivers. Fans of both teams were eager to see Jalen Ramsey lineup against Odell Beckham Jr., possibly the loudest trash-talker in the game against arguably the most evokable player in the game. I was hoping that I would have the opportunity to spotlight Ramsey in this article, featuring him as the Jaguar of the Week; however that is not the case. Beckham put up a respectable stat line, hauling in 11 receptions for 111 yards. Not to say Ramsey played poorly, (most of those yards came during zone coverage defensive schemes, when Beckham Jr. could separate from Ramsey), but he was not the player of the week.
The very first Jaguar of the Week Award goes to Mr. Myles Jack, third-year linebacker out of UCLA. Jack was ubiquitous as he recorded a team-high 10 total tackles, including 7 solo tackles. Although Jack’s sheer amount of tackles was impressive, this is not what earned him the prestigious JOTW Award. It happened with 11:30 to go in the 4th quarter with the Jaguars ahead by a not-so-cushiony 4 point lead, as the Giants were looking to drive down the field and take the lead. Eli stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure from DE Yannick Ngakoue and released a pass that was tipped into the air by DT Abry Jones. The wounded duck wobbled in the air for what may have felt like eternity for Giants fans before coming down into Myles Jack’s hands. Jack took it to the house for a touchdown and gave Jacksonville a 20-9 lead. That was just what the Jaguars needed to fend off the late heroics of Giants RB Saquon Barkley who broke off a 68-yard touchdown later in the fourth quarter.
It is safe to say Myles Jack was the M.V.J. (Most Valuable Jaguar) on Sunday. He made plays all over the field, taking down Giant after Giant with ease. As if his 10 tackles were not enough, Jack’s pick-six was the cherry on top of his incredible sundae of a stat-line. A well-deserved JOTW Award goes to #44.
Congratulations Myles. Keep up the good work.