Jaguars vs. Ravens, Marquee Matchup: Brandon Linder, Luke Joeckel vs. Timmy Jernigan

The Jaguars are looking to get out of an 0-2 hole and will face a tough test on Sunday against the undefeated Baltimore Ravens.

Jacksonville's offense faltered against the 3-4 attack of the San Diego Chargers and will face a similar front in Week 3. The biggest issue for the Jaguars offense will be protecting quarterback Blake Bortles with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum dealing with a concussion.

The Ravens do a very good job of getting hits on the quarterback. Former Florida State defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan may be the best at getting pressure. The 2014 second round pick has produced a sack in each of the Ravens' first two games and has thrived even against double teams. In his first year as a starter, Jernigan is on pace for 16 sacks.

Prior to his promotion, Jernigan was a rotational pass rusher, who produced four sacks in each of his last two seasons. He is already halfway to his career high in two games as a starter and has been very good about making quarterbacks pay, even if they are able to get rid of the ball at the last second.

While the first half of the Ravens' game against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 was a mess, Baltimore showed the ability to get to the quarterback and create pressure. Jernigan has been the key in creating pressure for himself and others. He also injured Browns quarterback Josh McCown on a hit.

The two players most responsible for blocking Jernigan will be center Brandon Linder and left guard Luke Joeckel (unless he is moved outside due to Beachum's absence).

The Jaguars offensive line has given up five sacks in two games and the Ravens have the ability to meet that total on their own. Linder and Joeckel will have to work as a unit to protect Bortles, especially from Jernigan, who has the speed and power to get around poor-performing double teams.

The protection will be dictated by Beachum's concussion recovery, but Linder will face Jernigan no matter the situation. Considered the top Jaguars offensive lineman by many, Linder needs to backup that praise with a solid outing against his former ACC rival.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment