first_imgAfter finishing at the bottom of the AFC South last season with a 3-13 record, the Jaguars sit in first place this season with a 7-3 record, a full game ahead of the Tennessee Titans. Head coach Doug Marrone’s team will enter Sunday’s matchup against the Cardinals having won four of their last five games.The Jaguars turnaround has been orchestrated by their defense, which leads the league in total yards allowed per game (275.6), passing yards allowed per game (162.0) and points allowed per game (14.1).Running back Leonard Fournette has impressed. The rookie has averaged 92.5 rushing yards per game, the second-best average in the NFL behind only currently suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot and his seven rushing touchdowns ranks fourth.Quarterback Blake Bortles has not been spectacular but he has made fewer mistakes compared to last season and Fournette’s performance has taken the pressure of him.After a disappointing loss in Houston, the Cardinals figure to have their hands full with a talented Jaguars team.It’s Behind Enemy Lines.Saturday, November 25• Ten things: Jaguars-Cardinals ( NFL’s bye weeks are over, and Thanksgiving is over, too. And for the first time in a long time, those NFL touchstones have passed with the Jaguars very much in contention. If the Jaguars finish the season atop the NFL in scoring defense, total defense, takeaways and sacks, they will become the first team to accomplish that in the Super Bowl era (1966), per Elias Sports Bureau.• Ribs, not turkey, for Tashaun Gipson on Thanksgiving (ESPN NFL Nation)“A fun fact about me is that I don’t like Thanksgiving food,” Gipson said. “I’m a bit weird, so me, I’m going to grill on Thanksgiving.”Tuesday, November 21• Despite constant changes, Jaguars getting winning play from offensive line ( each of the last four games, the Jaguars have started a different line combination. Eight players have started at least once.• Gene Frenette: Jaguars’ defense is no novelty act, reign of terror is for real ( longer is it preposterous to think an operation overseen by coordinator Todd Wash could carry the Jaguars deep into the playoffs. Yes, this defense is that scary good.• Yannick Ngakoue bullies QBs, and Jags like his chances vs. grizzly bear (ESPN NFL Nation)Ngakoue has been bullying offensive tackles and quarterbacks from the moment he first stepped on the field as a rookie in 2016. The defensive end set the franchise’s rookie sack record with 8.0 last season and already has 9.0 this year after getting 2.5 in the Jaguars’ 19-7 victory over Cleveland on Sunday. Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell (93) celebrates a sack against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories • Dede Westbrook didn’t hit 200 yards in debut, but he’ll take the win (ESPN NFL Nation)The good: Westbrook caught three passes for 35 yards on six targets and did get robbed of another catch because of a replay review.The bad: He fumbled after one catch but, luckily for the Jaguars, the ball bounced out of bounds, and the offense maintained possession.• Ankle issue isn’t going away, but that’s ‘nothing new’ for Leonard Fournette (ESPN NFL Nation)Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette isn’t 100 percent healthy and he won’t be until the 2017 season ends.But it turns out that a banged-up Fournette is still pretty darn effective — and that’s good news for the Jaguars as they continue their quest for their first division title in franchise history. Friday, November 24• Malik Jackson still not changing his offseason prediction that Jaguars can win Super Bowl (“People did laugh, chuckle and people said whatever,’’ Jackson admitted. “I had a friendly bet with one of my friends with another team and I told him we were going to have a better record than you on a pretty good team. And he laughs at me and chuckles and everything. Now looking at that team, and not going to say a name, but they’re lower in the bracket than us.’’• Cardinals Outlook: Coach Bruce Arians says they have heck of a challenge facing Jaguars (“It’s going to be a heck of a challenge, the No. 1 running team and No. 1 points defense. They are very impressive.”• Mistakes can be costly for Jaguars DBs — $200 or more, in fact (ESPN NFL Nation)Cornerback A.J. Bouye has picked off passes in each of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ last two games, which makes safety Tashaun Gipson both happy and sad.Happy because a turnover helps the offense and keeps the Jaguars atop the NFL in that category. Sad because it means Bouye won’t be putting any money into the fund for the postseason trip the defensive backs plan to take. All of the Jaguars’ goals 2017 remain very attainable, and it’s time to start attaining.• Jaguars Notebook: Jalen Ramsey rules himself out from playing Sunday against Cardinals ( asked in the locker room afterwards for a response regarding his injury status, Ramsey’s reply was, “No, I’m not playing – write whatever you want to write.”• Jaguars right guard A.J. Cann in good form after triceps injuryCann’s streak of 36 consecutive starts ended because of the injury sustained in practice Nov. 2. But outfitted with an arm-length brace, Cann returned a game later and hasn’t been negatively impacted.• Final analysis: Eight experts on Jaguars-Cardinals ( Jaguars will win if: They pressure Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The Jags’ pressure was huge last week, leading to a defensive touchdown (should have been two). Gabbert was better than expected in his first start, but didn’t see a defense like Jacksonville.• Jalen Ramsey says he won’t be able to play vs. Cardinals, will definitely play vs. Cardinals (Big Cat Country)DiRocco is just doing his job, but make no mistake — Ramsey is playing against the Cardinals. There’s absolutely no way he misses a game, especially against a receiver like Larry Fitzgerald, with a sprained hand.center_img 2 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo • Statistically Speaking: Friday Five ( Campbell has taken him under his wing, but what do you really know about second-year defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and what he’s done through 26 career NFL games?• Jacksonville Jaguars: If the regular season ended today… (NFL Spin Zone)If the NFL Playoffs started on Sunday in Week 12, the Jacksonville Jaguars would host a playoff game.Thursday, November 23• Jaguars Notebook: Byron Leftwich a ‘young superstar’ on Arizona coaching staff (“[Leftwich has] adapted to it, and our quarterbacks lean on him heavily,” Arians said. “He’s had a major hand in developing Blaine and Carson [Palmer] also. I think the sky’s the limit for him as far as where he wants to go.”• Instead of trash talking, Jalen Ramsey regarding Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald with respect ( his only public comments of the week, Ramsey went on Jaguars radio station 1010XL and said he regards Fitzgerald with respect and considers him to be a legend and a first-ballot NFL Hall of Famer when he eventually retires.• Jaguars defense on track to out-perform 1985 Bears, 2000 Ravens (ESPN NFL Nation) Calais Campbell will play at University of Phoenix Stadium for the first time as a visitor when the Arizona Cardinals host the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Week 12 matchup.The 31-year-old Campbell spent his first eight NFL seasons in Arizona before signing a free agent contract with Jacksonville this past offseason. Campbell, who ended his career second on the Cardinals’ all-time sacks list with 56.5, has been a force for the surprising Jaguars. The interior defensive lineman is currently tied with Demarcus Lawrence for the league lead in sacks with 11.5. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img

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