Jacksonville Sports Day

Moeller: Defensive Stance Against Buffalo Creates Optimism Heading to Indy

Photo by Nancy Beecher

Next up, Carson Wentz.

If the Jaguars can ravage and pillage Wentz in the fashion they did with Buffalo’s Josh Allen last week, they will have won back-to-back games for the first time since October 2019.

There is plenty of room for optimism until the opening kickoff Sunday against Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Jags’ defense proved to themselves that they can be a legitimate defense. They just have to prove it against Wentz. Good units do that.

This doesn’t have to be a shutdown of the Bills like they did in holding them to 301 total yards without a touchdown and recording four sacks, and swiping two interceptions in arguably one of the best defensive performances in franchise history.

Yet, this was refreshing to see for longtime Jags’ fans, and also it gave the Jags another identity other than Trevor Lawrence.

The onus will be on Josh Allen with his eight tackles, interception, sack, and fumble recovery that spearheaded a banner day for the unit. Taven Bryan was a force in the middle with a pri of sacks. Rudy Ford had the timely pick in the closing minute to seal it.

Allen was the leading man, but the support cast also deserved platitudes. Damien Wilson, Tyler Jack, and Tyson Campbell made it happen.

“We’ve got to build on this, we’re going to build on this,” said Allen. “Hopefully, we can capitalize and get better.”

Head coach Urban Meyer stated that his team needed to “build on this win,” and the upset “wouldn’t mean anything if they don’t.”

He’s right. His club needs to have a strong showing against Wentz and the Colts to prove their validity. Another win would be the cherry on top.

Meyer stated Thursday that Lawrence and James Robinson (heel injury) likely would play. Lawrence couldn’t get into a rhythm against the Bills and was just 15 of 26 with a pair of sacks before he exited with his ankle injury for C.J. Bethard.

Stopping Wentz won’t be easy. He looked like he went through a walkthrough against the lifeless Jets’ defense 10 days ago on a Thursday night, and Jonathan Taylor ran for 172 of their 260 yards rushing. The Colts’ defense has been overlooked and they have 20 takeaways this season.

Indianapolis (4-5) will return home after their respite having won three of their last four, and they can start to smell the postseason.

Still, this isn’t a time for a major Jags’ letdown. This can’t be another 31-7 sleepwalk in Seattle debacle. Take a second glance, though, and they have won two of their last three. A pliable defensive performance in Indy can help pave the way for winnable games against San Francisco and Atlanta ahead.

“I think we’re playing well,” added Meyer. “There’s a lot of momentum.”

Momentum aside, it’s time for the Jags’ defense to be a consistent performer.

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