1. And this is by far the most important one that I will list: Enjoy this victory. I don’t know what is going to happen next week. I don’t know if the Jaguars will beat the Titans or anyone else on their schedule. I can understand some fans that want to slow play this win, but dominating last year’s division champions on the road in that kind of fashion after you have watched your team win 11 games in three years…throw reason out of the window. Celebrate. That doesn’t mean that we won’t discuss some of the bad coming out of the win over the Texans but the biggest takeaway is that you should just enjoy it.
2. How can this team replace Allen Robinson? There’s no way to talk around it, losing A Rob for the season is huge. You could see the impact as soon as he left the game yesterday. Robinson was injured on his first catch of the 2017 season yesterday and after he left the game the rest of the Jaguars wide outs combined for just four catches, with three of those going to Allen Hurns. Obvioulsy, Hurns and Marqise Lee likely become the numbers one and two targets in the Jaguars passing game. Keelan Cole had a good training camp but you could see the inexperience show up with a couple of drops. How much can they rely on Arrelious Benn? Dede Westbrook has been placed on IR so no help is coming from that direction anytime soon. It certainly feels like the team is going to be signing a wide receiver this week.
3. Welcome to Duval, Calais Campbell! How about a career best four sacks in his first game as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Really this is about that entire defensive line that racked up ten sacks yesterday and may have the Houston Texans rethinking whether or not they are willing to renegotiate with left tackle Duane Brown who is holding out for more money. Yannick Ngakoue was ridiculously good too and became just the 24th player in franchise history to collect ten sacks while wearing a Jaguars uniform. By the way, Dante Fowler was really good too. It was one of the big questions throughout the offseason. Where is the pass rush going to come from? For one week at least that question was resoundingly answered for the positive. Yann and Dante looked to have taken a step forward and the addition of Calais obviously paid huge dividends. I don’t expect ten sacks every week, but I honestly didn’t think ten sacks in a game was in this group. I now know that it is and that is a really good thing.
4. I spent the offseason also telling you that the offensive line isn’t as bad as you probably think it is, but that doesn’t mean I thought it could stonewall a defensive front as good as Houston the way that they did. Again, like the pass rush, watching that game doesn’t convince me that the problem is for sure solved, but I do think the group is better than I thought it was and that might be enough. The Jaguars ran it when they wanted to and considering that was basically the plan this offseason the first step in a game that matters is clearly a very positive one. The nature of a game ball is such that only one player can get one and if I was going to give one on the offensive line it would go to Cam Robinson. The rookie was facing as tough a test as he is likely to face all season long and he didn’t blink and instead dominated JJ Watt and company for four quarters. Maybe Nick Saban wasn’t exaggerating when he said after the Jaguars selected Cam in the draft that he was the most pro ready player that he has coached during his time at Alabama. He looked like it on Sunday.
5. Fournette is the real deal. After one carry in the preseason I was saying get him off of the field because he looked exactly how I expected him to look. We didn’t get to see him for the last three weeks of the preseason because he got stepped on and I heard some people expressing their concern about the injury heading into the regular season. After the Jags selected him I heard some people questioning whether or not he could catch the ball. I heard some people after the Jags selected him questioning whether he had any wiggle to make defenders miss. Do you still have any questions? Leonard Fournette is a different kind of running back and a different kind of athlete. I am confident that he can do anything this team is going to ask him to do. The game is not too fast and not too physical for him. I never thought for a second that it would be. It isn’t. The Jaguars have a running back that can be a difference maker.
Much more to come throughout the week, but for now please be safe if you’re anywhere that is being impacted by Irma. And remember to celebrate safely. Worry about next week from a Jags perspective next week. Today you are the team that just hammered the Houston Texans into submission and sit alone atop the AFC South standings.