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Jaguars record-setting sack effort sparks name change

Roy Cummings



Photo by Icon Sportswire

The Jaguars are feeling pretty good about themselves right now. You can tell from looking at their official twitter feed, where for the time being at least, they’ve changed their name.

In celebration of the record-setting 10-sack effort their defense turned in during what proved to be a 29-7 manhandling of the Texans on Sunday, the Jags now claim to hail from “Sacksonville’’ instead of Jacksonville.

Pretty cool. And hey, who can blame them for having some fun. The Jaguars haven’t had much of that lately and besides, they’ve invested a lot of money and draft picks into their pass rush the last few years and that pass rush sure came through in Week 1.

Two of their 10 sacks were strip sacks by second-year end Yannick Ngakoue, and one of those was turned into a touchdown when Dante Fowler recovered the fumble and ran it back 53 yards for the score.

“At the end of the day, sometimes the ball just bounces your way,’’ said Calais Campbell, who led the way with four sacks “Sometimes good plays come your way.’’

It wasn’t just sacks that came the Jaguars way on Sunday. They also forced four takeaways, including fumble recoveries by Fowler, Ngakoue and Abry Jones and an interception by Tashaun Gipson.

All but one of the takeaways resulted in scores for the Jaguars, who would have gone 4-for-4 in that area had kicker Jason Myers not missed a 39-yard field goal try at the start of the fourth quarter.

The four takeaways were just one less than the Jaguars had in their first eight games last year, when they finished the season tied for 31st in the league in takeaways with 13, including just seven interceptions.

Of course, that’s pretty much in keeping with the way the Jaguars have performed in the takeaway department the last few years. Since 2009, the Jaguars have forced just 183 takeaways.

That’s the fewest in the league over that span – by a dozen – and it’s 78 less than the Patriots, the leader in takeaways over that nine-year stretch, have recorded.

For the Jaguars, though, Sunday was a different kind of day, and Campbell believes it may just be the first of a lot more days just like it over the course of the remainder of the season.

“It’s just a start,’’ Campbell said. “We want to be the best defense in the league and we have that ability. But like I said, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t continue with it.

“But yeah, it does feel good. We played a great game, with directing our game plan very well. I made a lot of plays and when you do that you’re going to win games.’’

And change names.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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