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Week 1 Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars 20, New York Giants 15
What you need to know
Last year, the Jaguars were one of the best offensive teams in the league in terms of first quarter production. The same was true on opening day against the Giants. Sans one drive that ended in an interception, every first half drive for the Jaguars ended in points. Miscues in the redzone kept the Jaguars to just one touchdown scored in the first half. The Jaguars did not hold the ball for almost 8 full minutes of gametime from the end of the first half through the beginning of the second quarter, and the time off seemingly made their offense sputter. Every single drive in the second half ended with a punt.
- Eli Manning
looks competent and like he's not finished playing at a reasonably high level yet. His pass protection from Flowers on the right side was poor but the Jaguars defense can give many offenses troubles. Manning was accurate
and decisive when afforded time.
- Beckham looks as dangerous as ever and could have had several scores in this game, was unlucky to miss out on a few attempts. He is poised for another big season.
- Any running back other than Barkley is not worth starting and maybe not even worth owning at this point. Shepard and Engram will have strong games but predicting them will be difficult. Beckham will get the majority of the targets every week.
|QB Blake Bortles, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 33 - 176 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 42 - 0|
Bortles' rhythm, timing, accuracy were all good on the opening drive. He is comfortable early in games when the offense is working off of it's script. Vertical targets to Donte Moncrief
were a black hole ñ resulting in wasted downs on shot plays (at best) with the worst outcome being a Janoris Jenkins interception. Bortles showed great placement on a touchdown Corner route target to Sefarian-Jenkins that was nullified by an offensive line penalty. He was almost intercepted by Jenkins again on the next play, as Jenkins undercut a corner route intended for Niles Paul
. Jenkins' deflection almost went for a touchdown, as Paul almost made the catch after the ball popped up in the air. With better trajectory on this throw, he actually could have given Paul an opportunity at an over-the-shoulder catch. His biggest play of the game came in the second half, when he got the Jaguars offense out from the shadow of their own goalpost on a 41 yard RPO keep down the left sideline. Like with all of the Jaguars' second half drives, however, the series ended with a punt after a skipped pass and a false start left the drive with an insurmountable 3rd and 13.
|RB T.J. Yeldon, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 51 - 0, Rec: 3 - 18 - 1 (7 targets)|
Yeldon mixed in sporadically early in the game and took over lead back duties once Fournette went out with an injured hamstring. His first attempted touch of the game came on a pass attempt where Yeldon was split out as the weakside slot receiver in an empty formation. He won his route (a quick Out) against the linebacker, but bobbled the catch with an opportunity to catch-and-run for additional yardage. He made a big time conversion on a 3rd and 5 checkdown where he caught the ball behind the LOS and got upfield quickly through traffic. Yeldon had an impressive series of runs towards the end of the second half, including a 15 yard scamper featuring multiple broken tackles where he got the ball to the one yard line. On the following play, he scored a receiving touchdown after carrying out a play action fake and leaking to the flat. His ability as a receiver has always been there, but his strength and quickness have noticeably improved over the last two seasons. He did have another drop on an easy checkdown with under 5:00 left in the 4th that stopped the clock and set up a 3rd and 10, eventually leading the drive to a punt. Had just 4 yards on three carries when running out the clock under 2 minutes.
|RB Leonard Fournette, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 41 - 0, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (3 targets)|
Fournette started the game off exactly how one would expect ñ as a workhorse lead back. Most encouraging were a catch-and-run off of play-action from the I formation on the first drive of the second half and his effective on shotgun runs/RPO gives. Unfortunately, he left the game midway through the second quarter with an injured hamstring, as his leg got caught underneath him as during a tackle.
Entered the game on the first drive in a split backfield set with Fournette. Ran a quick swing route and made the catch for a couple of yards. Really only used as a decoy in the second half, with his occasional snaps mainly leading to play action fakes. The Jaguars used him as a second RB in their two back shotgun package on just one play. He simply was not involved in the gameplan from a manufactured touch standpoint from this week and got almost no traditional RB looks even after Fournette went down. His usage will be interesting to monitor, especially next week against New England - whom he burned on manufactured touches in the teams' AFC Championship Game meeting last year.
Westbrook's first target came of a Deep Over on the first drive. Bortles' ball placement was excellent, but Westbrook was not able to make the catch. It appears that the safety's hit dislodged the ball, but the ball was already coming out before contact as Westbrook tried to awkwardly trap the ball against his chest. Bortles went right back to him for a 3rd and 4 conversion on a quick Out on the next play. He was targeted again on the same Deep Over concept he dropped on the first drive and he secured it for a 20 yard gain. He came notably wide open on a dig route in the 3rd quarter that Bortles checked down prematurely for an incompletion. He made a crucial 3rd and 3 conversion on a quick out with 5:30 remaining in the 4th quarter that allowed the drive to extend and some additional time to run off.
|WR Keelan Cole, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 54 - 0 (4 targets)|
Cole beat Janoris Jenkins on a 9 route on the second play of the game. Tracked the ball perfectly over his shoulder and held onto the catch through contact. He was peppered with occasional targets afterwards, but so far through the preseason and week one, the Jaguars offense is not calling a lot of pure dropback pass plays where he is the primary receiver. He and Westbrook are the main recipients when the Jaguars throw on RPOs and Packaged Plays, but these targets are at the mercy of how the defense lines up and/or reacts to the run action.
The Jaguars are clearly trying to make Moncrief into their new version of Allen Robinson
. Most of his targets came on low chance of success plays. Bortles interception came on Moncrief's second target - a 9 route with Janoris Jenkins in his hip pocket down the field. The ball underthrown and easily intercepted by Jenkins. It looked like Bortles was trying to target a back-shoulder throw. Jenkins had really good coverage; the best Moncrief could have done was to come back and play as a defender on Jenkins instead of allowing his momentum to take his jump upfield. He was argeted on a back-shoulder fade on 3rd and 5 in the 3rd quarter that was not open and the ball was not put in play. His first catch didn't come until the beginning of the 4th quarter on a Switch-Curl. Heargeted again on a Fade on 3rd and 7 on this drive, but was well-covered (this was a theme - all of these were wasted targets on pre-snap decisions by Bortles).
Chark mainly comes in as the lone WR in one WR sets, however these plays are mostly all runs or play action checkdowns.
Seferian-Jenkins was not involved until the second quarter, when he converted a first down off a dumpoff play action boot pass. He was targeted and caught a corner route for a touchdown from the 11 yard line that was nullified by an offensive line penalty. He won on his route against a linebacker and completed the catch through contact. He allows pressures vs defensive backs in pass pro, which is a huge downgrade out of what the Jaguars have gotten for the last ten years from former tight end Marcedes Lewis
. Seferian-Jenkins started getting a lot of junk checkdown targets during the fourth quarter.
New York Giants
|QB Eli Manning, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 37 - 224 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0|
played well for the most part in this game but was under heavy pressure, particularly from his right side. The Giants moved Flowers to right tackle but he didn't fare any better in his new role, giving up pressure often and quickly at times. Manning didn't trust his protection at times and this lead to some erratic throws throughout the game. Manning had a nice rollout play deep to Engram but this was negated by a hold up front.
He displayed excellent chemistry with Beckham as always. The pair hooked up all over the field and kept the Jaguars guessing. Manning got a lot of flags downfield as he looked to take advantage of one on one coverage when he saw it.
Beckham and Engram drew defensive penalties as they ran downfield and many of these flags kept Giant's drives alive which lead to points. He looked to Beckham often and showed no hesitation trying bombs downfield. Manning overthrew a wide open reciever as they were running in the endzone, placing the ball 1/2 yards ahead which could have easily been a touchdown. He got hit more as the game progressed and threw several erratic balls to escape pressure.
Unfortunately for him, one of these was tipped at the line of scrimmage and picked off by the Jaguars defense for a touchdown. Manning showed accuracy and play making ability in this game and can still play at a high level. However, his protection could be an issue yet again this season. Barkley wasn't able to get going much in this game either so the workload fell on Manning's shoulders, which is a tough task against this Jaguars defense.
|RB Saquon Barkley, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 106 - 1, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (6 targets)|
was shut down for most of this game and rarely broke into the secondary but rescued fantasy owners with one play. Barkley showed toughness and speed, despite mediocre production in the first half.
He used a strong stiff arm to get separation from chasers and followed his blocks well. The Jaguars run defense was stout however, and they rarely give up any room up front. The Giants offensive line did not create many gaps and Barkley had to take what was there. He was stuffed in the redzone on several attempts but did manage to get some decent gains on toss plays outside. Barkley also showed utility as a reciever, getting screen passes and swing passes which he was able to turn into decent gains. Barkley showed top tier talent on his touchdown run, which is what everyone was waiting for. He cut a running play to the outside, used a stiff arm to deny a tackler and simply exploded down the sideline for the big run. The acceleration and max speed was evident on the play and this kind of play should keep Giants fans/fantasy owners excited.
accomplished very little and only got two carries. The Giants are going to use Barkley a lot this season, veteran Stewart will have no fantasy value with the team as it is. He should not be owned in any league.
|WR Odell Beckham Jr, 68 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0, Rec: 11 - 111 - 0 (15 targets)|
Odell Beckham looked as explosive and dynamic as ever and Giants fans can relax as their young playmaker is going to be around for a while. He was involved throughout the entire game and Manning looked his wayoften. Beckham caught balls all over the field and kept the Jaguars honest as they had to respect his deep threat potential. He had a slant play early negated by a penalty and had to wait for an underthrown ball which limited its potentialbut these were the minor issues with his production on Sunday. Beckham caused panic from the Jaguars secondary as he ran deep routes, drawing several pass interference calls as he tried to haul in passes. Beckham was also wide open in the endzone on another deep route but unfortunately the ball was overthrown and fell incomplete. He worked the middle of the field very well, getting massive separation at times on the sideline. Beckham was unlucky not to score in this gamebut he will have big games coming this season.
was relatively quiet in this game but saved you somewhat in PPR leagues as he had 5 grabs. He worked the short game on Sunday and hauled in slants/drag routes over the middle.
Shepard didn't have much room after the catch and often had to fight for the ball in tight coverage but did a solid job hanging onto the ball. He had a terrific catch along the sideline, keeping his feet in bounds to secure the gain. He also showed great concentration going low to get a diving catch on a slant route to save Manning's slightly errant throw. He did drop one pass over the middle on a drag but this is generally uncharacteristic of Shepard.
Shepard was targeted deep late in the game on a corner route but the separation was not there, the pass was also way underthrown and it fell incomplete.
|TE Evan Engram, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (5 targets)|
had an early big play down the field on a rollout pass play negated by a hold unfortunately. He had a shot at a deep target from Manning which he was not able to secure but the defender was flagged for passinterference subsequently. Engram drew a holding call also on another target after play action, using his speed to gain some separation. Engram could only get his hands on short balls and was unable to turn several of these into first downs.
Beckham was the star of the show on Sunday and Engram was targeted at times but he could never manage to haul in the big play. The Giants were in pass happy mode but poor pass protection hampered the passing attack and guys like Engram suffered as a result. He will have stronger games going forward.