Bengals Game Day Newsletter 5 Nov 5th Cincinnati_Digital - Page 62

acquire a proven player who can come in and help us immediately.” Dareus’ two best statistical seasons came during Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone’s tenure in Buffalo, when he posted 17.5 sacks in two seasons (7.5 in 2013, 10.0 in 2014) and was voted to the Pro Bowl both seasons. The Birmingham, Alabama, native was drafted by the Bills third overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, following quarterback Cam Newton to the Panthers and linebacker Von Miller to the Broncos. Already playing at a high level, the defense is poised to take it to levels that might have never been seen in franchise history. THE OFFENSE Of course on offense it all starts with the play of quarterback Blake Bortles, who looks to carry momentum from his Week 7 performance in Indianapolis through the remainder of the 2017 campaign. AP Images Bortles threw for 330 yards on 18-of-26 passing with a touchdown pass in the win over the Colts. Still looking for a consistent downfi eld threat in the passing game, he spread the wealth as well; ten different Jaguars players were targeted by Bortles with eight hauling in receptions. Balancing that effectiveness with the NFL’s 1st- ranked rushing offense should spell success for the Jaguars offense down the stretch. Can Bortles maintain that effectiveness when defenses are gearing up to stop the run? That’s the key question for this offense in the fi nal two months of the season. With the attrition of an NFL season over seven weeks, “next-man-up” is real for the Jaguars and every NFL team, especially as the later months of the season come along in a division title run. Running back Leonard Fournette and center Brandon Linder were ruled out of the Week 7 game against the Colts prior to kickoff with an AP IMAGES