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Jacksonville Jaguars

Gameday- Jaguars can clinch AFC South with win at San Francisco

Florida Football Insiders



Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

“It comes down to this….” That’s a favorite sportscaster/announcer cliche’, but it’s also very appropriate for the Jaguars bid to win the AFC South and host a playoff game. For you see, a Sunday victory (or a Titans loss) will clinch the division for the first time since 1999 for the Jags.

So now for the full preview of Sunday’s Game:

Why to watch

As we mentioned above, it gets no bigger than clinching the division and thereby, playing at home in the playoffs coming up. The Jaguars have worked hard to get to 10-4 and already have a playoff spot locked up. However, they can’t be satisfied with that alone. To really have a shot to advance, you want to be hosting playoff games. So victory at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, will guarantee that. Now, as we mentioned previously this week, the Tennessee showdown with the Rams will be played at 1 p.m. Eastern in Nashville. So, the Jags may have a good idea whether the Titans have won to keep there hopes alive or if they have bottomed out/lost to L.A. and the Jags will have clinched without playing.

In any event. This is the biggest moment/time period for the franchise since George W. Bush was the President in 2007 (last playoff appearance). How will the Jags handle it all? Will a 49ers team that has won three in a row spoil things for Jacksonville? We’ll see.

Key Matchup

Since inserting QB Jimmy Garappolo into the starting lineup, the 49ers are 3-0 and he’s lead them brilliantly. He led the game winning FG drive in the final seconds at Chicago in game one. Then, threw for 334 yards in the win at Houston and another 371 yards in the victory at home over Tennessee last week.

As we documented earlier this week, the Jaguars defense has been stout and leads the NFL in sacks with 51. Can the Jacksonville pass rush, against what is a shaky 49ers O-line, create havoc for Garappolo? Or will the new leader, who’s provided a shot in the arm for first year coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense, work more magic against the Jags?

There’s no bigger hope for San Francisco to pull off the win.

Statistically Speaking

The West Coast has traditionally been a nightmare for the Jaguars. How bad? How about 2-11, lost your last seven in a row, bad? Yeah, that’s the situation that Doug Marrone and team are up against.

Of course, the 2017 Jaguars have been ending some bad trends this season. This includes going to London and blasting the Ravens in week two. And traveling to Pittsburgh for a five interception 21 point victory over the Steelers.

Still, traveling out West to the Arizona desert two weeks ago was not kind, as former Jags QB Blaine Gabbert led a 27-24 Cardinals triumph.

The Jaguars actually chose not to come to the San Francisco Bay Area Friday like a lot of other NFL teams do. Instead, Marone insisted that the previous staffs he’s been on and research his strength and nutritional people have done shows: there’s no real advantage on the body clock or rest to coming out Friday instead of Saturday.

Will it make a difference? If it does, and Jacksonville pulls off the win, it’s history making.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars “cornerstone” player for 2018?

Florida Football Insiders



Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The third installment of our “cornerstone” players series takes us to North Florida. And, as the Jaguars get ready to start up 2018, we wondered which impact player would be the one to build around.

You could make arguments for last year’s top free agent acquisition defensive tackle Calais Campbell, or lock down corner Jalen Ramsey, as being that player. However, it’s a player on the offensive side of the ball that appears to be everything that Jacksonville could have hoped for in a running back. That running back is Leonard Fournette.

Fournette, whom the Jags took fourth overall in the draft, is fantastic physical talent at 6’0 230lbs. with a blend of speed and power. And in his debut season, repeatedly showed why you would want to have your offense centered on his ability pound on a defense.

He made a tremendous impact from the beginning of the Jags breakout 2017 with a 100 yard game in the opening win at Houston, and three more 100 yard games in the first nine.

There was lull in Fournette’s productivity due an ankle injury and he also missed a game in Indianapolis due disciplinary reasons, but eventually, Fournette got back on track. He ran for 109 yards and 3 TDs in Jacksonville’s statement win over Seattle in December that clinched the first playoff spot for Jacksonville in 11 seasons.

Then, in the post season Fournette was just okay against the Bills in the AFC Wildcard game with 57 yards on 21 carries. However the next week in Pittsburgh, Fournette set the tone early and often with two first quarter TDs. He finished with 109 yards and 3 rushing TDs, and Jacksonville stunned the Steelers to advance to the AFC Championship Game.

The Jags sledgehammer back scored another early TD and finished with 76 yards rushing as the Patriots rallied to win 24-20 scoring in the final three minutes to knock the Jaguars out of the Superbowl.

Of course there will be great scrutiny on the play of quarterback Blake Bortles, and rightfully so.

However, much of the Jaguars success offensively, the identity of what they want to do, will be centered around Leonard Fournette.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Why is Jalen Ramsey Twitter feuding with NFL Network analyst?

Florida Football Insiders



Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is no mistaking that Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey is talented, and in 2017 he was named as an All-Pro by his peers and most recenlty in the player polled “Top 100.” So, that’s a validation that doesn’t need a whole lot else.

Yet, an NFL Network analyst and a former NFL defensive back himself, is questioning part of his game.

And, Jalen Ramsey got annoyed. Like, really annoyed.

It all began when, Bucky Brooks, who hosts a successful podcast and appears regularly on the NFL Network questioned another player, DB Casey Hayward of the Chargers, and whether he was a “transcendent talent” in coverage.

The exchanges with Hayward on Twitter Thursday went on for a bit and then, Ramsey jumped in here:


And, when Brooks tweeted about Ramsey and why he was drafted two years ago in the top five by Jacksonville, things cranked up on social media:

Next, Ramsey questioned whether Brooks believes Ramsey is only a product of the Jaguars “defensive system” and not of his ability to shutdown the opposing team’s top wideout, one on one:

Brooks referenced former fellow Noles All American and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders as one of those rare “lock down” corners, and of course, that someone that Ramsey, two years removed from FSU, wants to be compared to with his own game.

Brooks then explained further about his own analysis and teams/GMs/personnel executives thinking:

In the end, Ramsey, who is not bashful about expressing his opinions on or off the field, finally gave some props to Brooks for having an informed opinion:

The bottom line is that analysts get paid to analyze. And the good ones are always soliciting the opinions of others, who are actually coaching and working in the NFL Front office.

And further, if Ramsey keeps “locking down” the likes of the Texans DeAndre Hopkins, and the Colts T.Y. Hilton, who he sees twice a year, then he will continue to get the respect he wants. And, he’ll get the second contract dollars that come with it, too.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Network will show Jaguars preseason game at Minnesota nationally

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a tremendous surprise turnaround season that included a division win and two playoff victories, the Jaguars have everyone in North Florida buzzing for 2018. And the NFL Network is interested enough that it has announced it will be showing their second preseason game, at the Vikings, to the nation on Saturday August 18th.

This information was included in the NFL’s announcement that NFL Network will televise a total of 15 preseason games live, nationally:

The Jaguars will practice against the Vikings in Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday (8/15-16) prior to playing the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota, who won the NFC North and made the NFC Championship Game last year, signed arguably the top free agent on the market last March. That’s when they inked former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a massive three year fully guaranteed $84 million deal.

Jacksonville will open the preseason the previous week against the NFC South champion Saints at newly renamed TIAA Bank Field in North Florida.

The good news in addition to the practice time with the Vikes, most of the starters on both sides of the ball will see action into the second quarter, if not halftime of the second preseason game.

This will be good work for QB Blake Bortles and his new assortment of targets like WR Donte Moncrief and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who both signed with the Jags in March.

And for the stout Jaguars defense led by DT Calais Campbell, LB Telvin Smith and CB Jalen Ramsey (all of whom made the Pro Bowl last year) will get a good opening half challenge from Cousins, and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It will also be curious to see if second year former FSU star running back Dalvin will be fully recovered from his ACL tear. And, we’ll see if the Vikings want to give him some work or rest him completely in August.

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