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Jets-Jaguars: 5 Storylines

Posted Sep 27, 2017

College Teammates No More, Adams and Fournette Will Clash at MetLife


Whiteout
After starting their home slate with a 20-6 thrashing of the Dolphins, the Jets will return to MetLife Stadium with the hopes of evening their overall mark at 2-2. The Jets will don white pants and white jerseys against the 2-1 Jaguars and fans will be given white rally towels.

“We feed off of them just like the feed off us. On third downs, we’re getting the crowd going and everybody is cheering and yelling and getting the offense messed up,” said DL Muhammad Wilkerson after the Jets held Miami to just one conversion on 12 third down attempts. “They’re having miscommunications over there. That helps us out getting off the ball.”

Impact Rookies
The Jaguars and the Jets have received excellent early returns from their first-round investments in LSU Tigers last April. Bruising RB Leonard Fournette, taken No. 4 overall by the Jaguars, has rushed for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Smooth safety Jamal Adams, selected No. 6 overall by the Jets, has been a force in the box with 11 tackles and he flashed his coverage ability with a diving PD against the Dolphins. Just a few years after giving their verbal pledges to LSU at the Under Armour game, the young standouts are set to collide in the pros.


One-Dimensional
After limiting the Dolphins to just 30 yards on the ground and forcing Jay Cutler into 44 pass attempts, the Jets want to put the ball in Blake Bortles’ hands. While Bortles completed 65% of his passes and threw four touchdowns in a 44-7 trouncing of the Ravens in London, the Jags will try to establish their power run game.

“It’s going to be another opponent who feels like they can come in and run the ball on us. Miami thought they could come in and run all over us and they didn’t. We stopped it,” Wilkerson said. “It’s another opponent with two good backs. They have a first-rounder from LSU and Chris Ivory. We have our hands full with that, but as long as we stay in our gaps, wrap up and gang tackle, we’ll make them one-dimensional.”

Hungry Cats
This finally could be the year the Jags turn the corner. They rank third in the NFL in defense, having amassed an NFL-high 13 sacks with 6’8”, 300-pound Calais Campbell leading the way with four QB takedowns. There is talent on all three levels and a secondary featuring corners A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey along with safeties Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church is yielding an league-best 124.3 yards per game.



The Jets will counter with a hot QB in Josh McCown, who ranks fifth in the NFL with a completion percentage of 69.8%. Late veteran additions Jermaine Kearse, who leads the club with 14 receptions, and Jeremy Kerley, who has eight catches in two contests, have made seamless transitions.

“Time will tell, but I believe for us we’ve had some good things happen and it’s very important to have those two guys on our roster,” McCown said. “Those are two acquisitions for us and I think something we definitely got better in that and I think we can push ourselves to the limit of what we can do because we have guys like that.”

Ring Adds a Center
At halftime Sunday, the Jets will hold a Ring of Honor induction ceremony for Kevin Mawae. The athletic center played eight of his 16 NFL seasons with the Jets, starting all 118 regular season games he appeared in, playing in seven playoff contests and earning six Pro Bowl invites while a member of New York’s AFC representative.

“It’s going to be exciting to be back and see some old teammates and just be around the Jets organization Friday and Saturday,” Mawae said this week. “I’m looking forward to it. I know during the induction ceremony is more about appreciation for the fans and having played for the Green & White for eight years —  I’m just excited about it. I was excited to be there when Wayne (Chrebet) went in and I got to see it from a different perspective and now it’s my turn. Hopefully, I do it justice.”