Jaguars Mailbag: Are there still concerns for Jacksonville after a dominant Week 1 performance?

Entering Week 2 of the regular season, the Jaguars Mailbag features questions about the team's dominant Week 1 win over the Texans and the offensive line.

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Saul Pavlinsky asks: What is still the largest area of concern going forward?

MK: Consistency is the key for this Jaguars team. When a team plays as well as the Jaguars did in Week 1, your first concern should be sustainability. 

The defense dominated a bad offensive line, sacked two overmatched quarterbacks 10 times, and tamed a Top 10 wide receiver on Sunday.

On offense, the play-calling was sharp, the offensive line was superb, and the running game controlled the clock in the Jaguars' favor.

It's hard to play as well as the Jaguars did on Sunday. It was a complete performance for the squad after a shaky preseason. 

It was something no one saw coming, which is why you'll find some who need to take a step back from the bandwagon and reevaluate where the team is at this point. 

The Jaguars were up early and maintained a healthy lead throughout. Those situations inspire confidence for the leading team and panic for the trailing opponent. 

Moving forward, the win brings up a few questions:

How will the Jaguars respond to playing from behind? How will defenses prepare with the knowledge that the Jaguars don't have Allen Robinson? How will the Jaguars' defense line fare against an above average offensive line?

The Jaguars are riding high right now - as they should be - but the team needs to prove it can consistently make plays the way it did against Houston. Even with all of the talent on defense, that won't be easy.

 

@Charmexico asks: How can you explain that big change from the team we saw during preseason and the one in Week 1?

MK: I think having Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Aaron Colvin in the lineup helped significantly on defense.

The Jaguars' pass rushers were able to get to the Texans' quarterbacks because the coverage was effective. Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson failed to find open targets and were taken down by the defensive line as a result.

Good coverage and a consistent pass rush can lead to turnovers, which in turn, lead to momentum shifts and wins.

The defense didn't play all that well in the preseason without its top three cornerbacks. On Sunday, they were fully equipped.   

The defense's dominance enabled the Jaguars' offense to run the ball with a lead. Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory were able to control the clock with the running game because the offensive line played extremely well. The offensive line was awful in the preseason but found synergy when it mattered against the Texans.

Quarterback Blake Bortles was used as a game manager and made the right decisions outside of an ill-advised red zone throw in the first quarter. He never did anything to put the Jaguars' lead or momentum in peril. 

It was a perfect storm of perfection in some aspects.

It's hard to pitch a "no hitter" in baseball. It's also hard to have a total team win like the Jaguars did against Houston. 

Can they do it again? We'll know in due time.

Michael Riggins asks: Do you think the offensive line is the real deal?

MK: It's hard to tell after one game of success and an entire summer of mediocre play.

I thought the offensive line was fantastic Sunday. They consistently opened up holes for Fournette and Ivory and kept Bortles' jersey clean throughout.

We talked about consistency earlier and there is no unit more in need of proving itself than the Jaguars' offensive line. 

Patrick Omameh was the right choice at left guard. I think he gives you consistency and physical strength at the position. 

A.J. Cann and Jermey Parnell played one of their better games as a pair on the right side of the line. I also felt like Cam Robinson was solid at left tackle. He played very well for a rookie in his first full start.

Brandon Linder was also a catalyst for a lot of the success up front. I thought he played much better than he had in the preseason.

With all that being said, it was just one game.

It was a great test against a typically dominant defensive line. However, I'd like to see them provide this type of support for a prolonged stretch before deeming the unit legitimately good.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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