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Jacksonville Jaguars

Rookie Fournette steps up on huge stage

Ari Russell

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(USA Today - Phillip G. Pavely)

The Jacksonville Jaguars amazing season rolled along on Sunday after the upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.   The Jags are the only road team of all the divisional games to win on the road. Despite the score being 45-42, the Jaguars really manhandled the favored Steelers throughout the game. One of the biggest reasons why the Jags will keep their season going was because of the play of rookie running back Leonard Fournette.

If there was ever a time for Fournette to show up it was on Sunday against the Steelers. He provided exactly what the team needed to get this big win. Fournette finished the game with 109 yards on 25 carries and three TDs. He also had two receptions for ten yards, but it was his work on the ground that made the difference. He also showed a significant amount of toughness after he had to leave the game because of an ankle injury. He would return and still produce. Fournette has been battling with all sorts of injuries the entire season and he seems to be able to bounce back.

Fournette must love playing the Steelers. In week 5 if you recall he had 181 yards on 28 carries and 2 TDs in the Jaguars 30-9 win. Sometimes match ups just work their way out like that. For the Jaguars, they clearly had the Steelers number this year and Fournette clearly has the confidence to put up big numbers against this defense.

One of the reasons it was important for the Jaguars to establish a run game was because they needed to control the clock against one of the more high powered offenses in the NFL. Basically if you can limit the possessions the Steelers have, they better it is for your team.

Last season the Jaguars had one of the most non-productive back fields in the league. This season it’s quite the opposite. When the team drafted Fournette you know that they were going to be a lot more committed to the run to help QB Blake Bortles. Fournette has been a huge addition and on Sunday perhaps one of the most important elements in the team’s win.

Next up for the Jaguars a date with the defending Super Bowl champs the New England Patriots. The winner punches their ticket to the Super Bowl. If it’s going to be the Jags they are going to need Fournette to get on his horse yet again and have another big game.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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