Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Jaguars top 10: Who's No. 1?
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The euphoria lasted just six days.
The good feelings the Jaguars experienced after their first victory of the season over the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 10 evaporated during Sunday’s 27-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The Jaguars got off to a fast start offensively but fizzled and the defense got torched by Carson Palmer.
That means it’s back to slim pickings for the weekly list of the team’s top 10 playmakers. At least there’s Danny Noble, the recently-acquired, little-used tight end who turned in one of the plays of the year. Plus, there was another good performance by punter Bryan Anger.
There's also another special guest in this week's rankings.
Remember, this isn’t a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.
Here we go, with last week’s rankings in parenthesis:
1. TE Danny Noble (NR): A 62-yard catch and run for a touchdown on fourth-and-1 isn’t a bad way to get your first career reception. His touchdown was the first scored at EverBank Field by the Jaguars this season.
2. P Bryan Anger (NR): Anger’s back in the top five again, mainly because he kept the Jaguars in the game in the second half when the offense was sputtering. Arizona started four consecutive drives at its 9, 10, 2 and 10 in the third and fourth quarters following Anger punts. He averaged 47.8 yards on eight punts and put six inside the 20.
3. CB Alan Ball (NR): Though he didn’t make as much of an impact in the second half, Ball was pretty darn good in the first half. He broke up four passes, three while covering Michael Floyd and one while covering Larry Fitzgerald.
4. DE Jason Babin (NR): He had five tackles, one sack, and two quarterback hurries. He also provided one of the few defensive highlights of the game when he tackled Andre Ellington and emerged from the pile with a significant chunk of Ellington’s dreadlocks.
5. KR/RB Jordan Todman (5): He had another good week and has played his best football since the bye week. He averaged 36.0 yards on four kickoff returns and busted a 59-yarder. He also rushed for 9 yards on two carries.
6. WR Ace Sanders (NR): The rookie, forced into more action because of the loss of Justin Blackmon and Patrick Peterson locking down Cecil Shorts, caught a career-high eight passes for 61 yards. He averaged 8.0 yards on six punt returns, too, but that’s an area in which he has to improve.
7. The defensive front (NR): No one player stood out in rush defense, but the group collectively had its best day of the season. Ellington came into the game averaging 7.2 yards per carry but managed just 3 yards on eight carries and the Cardinals only had 14 yards on 24 carries. It was the second-fewest rushing yards allowed in franchise history. Sen’Derrick Marks, Roy Miller, Brandon Deaderick, Tyson Alualu, Babin, Andre Branch and Jeremy Mincey deserve credit.
8. LB Russell Allen (NR): He filled in capably for leading tackler and defensive leader Paul Posluszny (concussion), making seven tackles. He also had an interception that was wiped out by a timeout call that nobody but one official saw. However, he was also one of three players who missed a tackle on Floyd’s 91-yard touchdown, although he appeared to get knocked out of position by Josh Evans.
9. DE Andre Branch (NR): Coach Gus Bradley lauded Branch, who had a sack and two quarterback hurries, for his continued improvement throughout the season.
10. Bryan Wagner (NR): Wagner, a member of the Wounded Warrior Project, zip-lined above the field prior to the beginning of the game as part of the military appreciation day. Wagner, who lost his right leg to an IED while serving in the Army, leapt from atop the scoreboard in the south end zone and eventually landed near midfield.