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Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Jaguars top 10: Not an easy task this week

By Michael DiRocco

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Seattle pretty much manhandled the Jaguars last Sunday in a 45-17 victory in which the Seahawks led 24-0 at the half.

But the offense did put up 17 points, albeit when the game was already decided and the Seahawks were playing reserves and softer coverages. There were some players who stood out for a moment or two, as well.

But it was still tough coming up with this weekly list of the Jaguars’ top 10 playmakers.

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. WR Cecil Shorts (1): Shorts tied his career high with eight catches for the second consecutive week. He piled up a career-high 143 yards, thanks mainly to a 59-yard catch-and-run that helped lead to a field goal.  The problem is that all but one catch and 15 yards came in the second half when the team was trailing 24-0. Still, he’s the Jaguars’ top playmaker right now.

2. S Johnathan Cyprien (7): Yes, the Jaguars' secondary got abused by Russell Wilson and pretty much anybody who ran a route, but Cyprien did make one of the Jaguars’ biggest defensive plays in the first three weeks when he sacked Wilson and forced a fumble. Unfortunately the Jaguars didn’t convert the turnover into points. Cyprien, who had seven tackles, continually flashes the playmaking ability that made the Jaguars take him in the second round.

3. LB Paul Posluszny (4): Why is Posluszny not higher after he led the team with 12 tackles and intercepted a pass that led to a touchdown? Because the defense gave up 479 yards and was pretty much embarrassed. Posluszny is productive and leads the NFL with 31 tackles. He somehow needs to do even more.

4. QB Chad Henne (2): Henne did have a fumbled snap and threw two picks, including a strange interception that bounced off Brad Meester’s helmet, but he did manage to lead the offense to 17 points -- which was six more points than it had scored in the first two games. It came against softer coverages and reserves, but he is the only other person who could possibly be in the top five.

5. P Bryan Anger (5): It seems he has a permanent place in the top five. The problem is there isn’t a legitimate argument for him not to be. He averaged 42.7 yards on seven punts. He has punted 26 times (the next closest is 21) for 1,204 yards (the next closest is 941).

6. K Josh Scobee (NR): It is Scobee’s first appearance in the rankings, but it’s warranted after he got his most extensive work of the season: two PATs and a 33-yard field goal.

7. RB Maurice Jones-Drew (NR): Why is he on the list when he ran for only 43 yards on 109 carries and caught two passes for 19 yards?  Because he fought through a strained tendon in his left ankle -- and an offensive line that continues to struggle.

8. WR Stephen Burton (10): He had a quiet day, catching five passes for 42 yards. He was targeted nine times, so the team is obviously working him into the offense more and more each week.

9. DT Sen'Derrick Marks (NR): He had only two tackles but he did hit the quarterback twice and got decent penetration at times.

10. DE Jason Babin (NR): He had six tackles, two quarterback hits and the Jaguars’ only other sack. But he also committed a penalty that kept a Seahawks drive alive.