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Jaguars opening win at Giants followed 2017 script

Florida Football Insiders

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

If Sunday’s Jaguars win at New York looked familiar, it should have, as they got off to a good start for 2018 winning on the road.

In defeating the Giants 20-15, the Jags followed a similar style that enabled them to win the AFC South and two playoff games last year: Play dominant and opportunistic defense, then mix in some running and occasional Blake Bortles throws to find a way to come out on top.

The Jags defense held Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley and the Giants offense in check for much of the game, as they had only 9 points entering the fourth quarter.

Then, as was their trademark time and again in 2017, the Jacksonville defense got into the end zone. That was when linebacker Myles Jack (above) picked off Manning and raced 32 yards for a score that made it 20 – 9.

Barkley got loose for his longest play of the day on a 65 yard touchdown run to trim the lead to five, but Jacksonville’s defense stopped him on the two-point conversion. Then, later the Jags stopped the Giants potential go ahead TD drive on downs ,when Eli Manning threw incomplete on 4th Down.

The win may have come at a cost, as Leonard Fournette left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return. His backup T.J. Yeldon, who we have written about developing this preseason stepped in, ran well (51 yards 3.6 avg), and even caught a first-half short touchdown from Bortles.

Bortles was solid but not spectacular finishing just 18-33 for 176 yards the one TD and one INT. Then again, from the 2017 blueprint,  he doesn’t have anything special. This is especially, if Bortles can always rely on a defense that has guys like Calais Campbell, Telvin Smith and Jalen Ramsey leading it.

Still, it says something for the Jags, with most pundits doubting that they can replay their 2017 success, that they were able to go on the road and open up the season with a solid victory.

Now they wait and hope for Fournette to get better, and quickly.

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