Monkey off the back
Well they finally did it! The team got Herbert his first career win and go themselves back into the win column after several heart breaking losses. There was a few minutes there though were we all thought ‘oh shit here we go again’! However they were able to pull it together and come through. The way I chose to see this is as a sign that the tides are turning. They were able to blow yet another lead and yet they made a comeback to win by 10. Couple this with the fact that the team has faced 3 super bowl contenders with 3 super bowl MVP’s at quarterback and likely 3 future hall of famers so i choose to see this as a good omen moving forward. The culture of this franchise could be changing and maybe not immediately this season but in the near future. However while we are here in the present we have to deal with what’s right in front of us directly. While some might say that we shouldn’t get too excited as the Jaguars are a team that we are supposed to beat, it could very well be the type of win that helps change momentum. Yet even if the team ends with a sub-par record (I hope not) then it’s still technically a win in the long game. Meaning it allows the team a decent enough pick in order to pick some top notch offensive lineman, assuming that’s the direction they go.
While Herbert’s first career win wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty or even easy, that was mainly do too a blocked punt that went for a touchdown and some poor tackling on the defensive side of the ball. From the young quarterbacks perspective though it was a hell of a day! He completed 27 of 43 attempts amounting for a total 347 yards and 3 touchdowns. This of course is combined with 9 rushes that went for 66 total yards and a rushing touchdown. The 43 attempt’s points to how much the coaching staff trust Herbert as they are letting him rip with a ton of attempts. Not just that but this kid has come out of the gate hot as hell and even though it’s a small sample size comparatively speaking he is doing what only some of the all-time greats have done in their first five games; as far as statistics are concerned. So far through his first five games he has 12 touchdowns through the air which is 4th all-time only behind the likes of Kurt Warner, Deshaun Watson, and Patrick Mahomes. He also was the first to have 3 deep touchdowns (20 + yards) in a single game. What’s even more remarkable is the fact that he has been under pressure 38.5% of the time so far this season and yet somehow he ranks 1st overall in third down passing grades. To top that off he also has more passing yards through the first five games of his career than Patrick Mahomes did and ranks 3rd ever in that department only behind Andrew Luck and Cam Newton.
I was very high on Herbert coming out of the draft however never did I imagine that he would be good this fast. I did imagine him being the type of player he is now but I thought it would take at least halfway through his second season to be reaching a performance like he has displayed. I would say it’s a safe statement that he could be considered a top 10 quarterback in the league as of right now and has established himself as legitimate lightning quick!
What needs to be cleaned up:
It is a known fact that turning the ball over at anyhigh level of football is a mortal sin. It’s even worse when the punt team gives up a touchdown due to a blocked kick. This is the problem when you have to many defenders on punt block. Rookie Daniel Thomas was the one who blocked the punt and the two blockers he slide in-between? Uchenna Nwosu and Emeke Egbule. I don’t mind having linebackers on the punt block team but two of them right next to each other? That seems like an obvious weak spot that should be shuffled around to avoid this same scenario in the future.
Poor tackling is the other aspect that seemed to help Jacksonville get back in the game they had no business hanging around in. Mainly every defensive back missed multiple tackles except Desmond King. Now you never really expect a lot of DB’s to be making hard or great tackles but what happened on Sunday was horrendous and kept the defense on the field way too often. The run defense was severely hurt due to this and continued to extend drives for the Jags. The defense opted to move Rayshawn Jenkins down into the box instead of utilizing Denzel Perryman who just so happens to be the best run stopper on the roster to help alleviate this. Denzel needs more that 15 reps (17 the previous game) in order for this team to be able to stop the run. Not only that but Jenkins also gave up 5 catches while in the box. Now this strategy would work well if Derwin were healthy, but the reality is he isn’t. The best chance at stopping the run is with Kenneth Murray and Denzel Perryman on the field together at the same time. If they insist on Jenkins remaining down in the box as much as last week then maybe it’s time to consider giving Kyzir less reps. For the record I’m a Jenkins supporter but I would maybe allow him to play more of a traditional safety role even if that meant going back too just 2 linebackers in the box during nickel packages.