Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Jaguars Top 10: Not easy to do this week
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Trying to come up with a list of the top 10 playmakers from the previous game each week is normally a pretty easy task.
Not this week.
Not after the Jaguars’ miserable performance in a 28-2 loss to Kansas City. There weren’t a lot of good things happening for the Jaguars. Even their best play didn’t exactly work out: The punt J.T. Thomas blocked near the 18-yard line bounced out of the end zone for a safety so the Jaguars couldn’t recover it to set up a possible touchdown.
But this is a weekly feature to which I’m committed, so here are the top 10 players who made the biggest impact against the Chiefs.
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. LB J.T. Thomas (NR): The third-year player was claimed off waivers from Chicago on Sept. 1 and made the biggest play of the game for the Jaguars when he blocked Dustin Colquitt’s first-quarter punt. Unfortunately, the ball bounced out of the back of the end zone for a safety and the Jaguars couldn’t capitalize.
2. P Bryan Anger (5): He set a franchise record with 11 punts and averaged 50.5 yards per punt. Unfortunately, the Jaguars’ punt coverage unit allowed Dexter McCluster 80 yards on seven returns, including a 36-yarder.
3. LB Paul Posluszny (7): He had a solid day leading the Jaguars with 10 tackles. The defense was able to hold the Chiefs to just 33 percent on third downs (5-of-15).
4. RB Maurice Jones-Drew (2): It wasn’t a dynamic afternoon, but Jones-Drew did manage 45 yards on 15 carries in his return from a Lisfranc injury. He didn’t have much help up front from his offensive line, which struggled to create holes. Jones-Drew had two big runs of 10 and 9 yards, but then averaged 2.0 yards on his other 13 carries.
5. RB Justin Forsett (NR): Forsett missed the entire preseason with turf toe but didn’t show any rust against the Chiefs. He led the team with four catches (22 yards) and also carried the ball once for 7 yards. According to Pro Football Focus, Forsett was the highest-graded offensive player.
6. DE Jason Babin (NR): The Jaguars didn’t have much of a pass rush, but Babin was the most effective. According to PFF, Babin had four of the team’s nine pressures with a sack, two hits and six hurries.
7. S Johnathan Cyprien (NR): He had three tackles and one quarterback hit. He blitzed twice and had some success (he recorded his QB hit on a blitz) and we may see more of that as the season progresses.
8. CB Will Blackmon (NR): He played more on defense than expected because of the injury to Dwayne Gratz and he continues to be a solid pickup. He had one tackle and a pass breakup in addition to being the Jaguars’ punt returner (one fair catch).
9. WR Stephen Burton (NR): He touched the ball only once, returning a kickoff 25 yards. That he was on the field is impressive considering he was claimed off waivers on Sept. 1 and had trouble with Florida’s heat and humidity during his first full-pads practice. He made a quicker-than-expected recovery.
10. FB Will Ta’ufo’ou (NR): Two special teams tackles and an 11-yard reception for a player who has spent time with four other teams, mainly on the practice squad, since 2009.