The Los Angeles Rams head east to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in a battle of two 3-2 teams. The Jags will be looking to stay in first place in the AFC South while the Rams look to get their offense back on track against a dangerous defense that leads the NFL in sacks and forced turnovers. Here’s my five Jaguars to watch this Sunday.
QB Blake Bortles
Blake Bortles. Whew. Bortles is still starting for the Jaguars and is still leaving a lot to be desired. Last week against the Steelers the Jags were able to stash Bortles and his 14 pass attempts in the corner while Leonard Fournette and the defense won them the game. On the year Bortles is completing 54.8% of passes for 827 yards, 7 TDs and 4 INTs at a low 6.1 yards per attempt. I would be begging the Jags to make Bortles beat my defense.
CB Jalen Ramsey
Jalen Ramsey is a super star just 21 games into his career. He’s already one of the best, if not at the very top, CBs in the entire NFL. That’s no lie. Ramsey has 2 interceptions and 9 pass breakups in 2017. He’s effectively shut down his side of the field for the majority of games. Throwing his way generally just doesn’t end greatly for the opposing offense. Ramsey leads a Jaguars secondary that has allowed just 3 passing TDs through 5 games. Sean McVay is undoubtedly aware of this but we’ve also seen the Rams aren’t afraid to attack this season.
RB Leonard Fournette
Fournette is the only player in the NFL to have scored in every single game of 2017. He kept that streak alive last week when he broke off a 90 yard TD late last week. As a rusher he’s had very similar production to the Rams Todd Gurley to this point. He’s been everything the Jags had hoped for because with the Jaguars defense thriving, the offense can hide Bortles behind the shadows of Fournette. Buckle up those chin straps.
LB Telvin Smith
Smith was one of the two players that took Ben Roethlisberger’s free pigskin giveaway back to the house last week. Smith is the ideal hybrid LB from a physical standpoint and it shows with his speed. But Smith and his LB counterparts have the same problem stopping the run the Rams LBs have. The Jaguars defense is yielding the highest yards per carry average in the NFL. Throughout his career and early in 2017 Smith has shown he’s a playmaker. Will be interesting to see if Rams choose to attack him straight on.
DE Yannick Ngakoue
Unless you’re an avid football fan you might know who Yannick Ngakoue is. The second year defensive end has quietly been a dangerous pass rusher to begin his career. This year he already has 4.0 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. He’s just one of many talented Jaguars defensive lineman to go along with Dante Fowler, Calais Campbell, and Malik Jackson that has combined for 15.5 of the defense's league leading 20 sacks. The Rams will have their hands full trying to stop the pass rush.