Ninety-Nine Yards were lucky enough to attend the Jaguars media day at Allianz Park yesterday. Where we got a look at the team stretching and going through warmups before practice. We also got to speak to several members of the team about their upcoming match against the Houston Texans.
The Jaguars sit at 4-4, just one game behind the 5-3 Houston Texans. On Sunday. They’ll be head to head with what is expected to be a pro Jaguars crowd. The game is, after all, a Jaguars home game and many UK fans have adopted the Jaguars as their second team.I caught up with Jaguars star defensive tackle Yannick Ngakoue to talk about the matchup. The fact that the game is at Wembley against a division rival wasn’t a factor. He said, “It’s the same. It’s still a football game and you’ve got to prepare the same exact way. It doesn’t matter what division it is. A win is a win.”He wasn’t expecting anything surprising from Texans’ star quarterback, Deshaun Watson. Despite missing the first game against the Texans this season with a hamstring injury, Ngakoue said he’d been playing the Texans twice a year since he got into the NFL so knows what he’ll see Sunday.
Yannick expects big things from his defence, not just this week, but every week. “That’s just the talent we have and what we bring to the table”. It’s hard to argue when look at the team’s 29 sacks and 7 interceptions. The high expectations doesn’t exclude rookies either. We spoke about the impact that first round pick, Josh Allen, has had on the defense. “He’s doing great. He’s getting one-on-ones that he needs to win and he’s been doing a great job. Calais (Campbell) and myself are getting a lot of attention, a lot of double teams and Allen’s a guy that’s doing an exceptional job of being a one-on-one pass rusher”.
It’s fair to say that last year, despite a wealth of talent, the Jaguars defence didn’t produce at the expected level. When asked about the importance of rebounding, the Jaguars defender was quick to stress how the team has moved on. “A low from last year doesn’t mean nothing. It’s a whole new year. We’re coming back from a win having bust the New York Jets ass and now we’re trying to bust their ass too”.
With a star studded defence that boasts Ngakoue, Allen, linebacker Myles Jack, cornerback A.J. Bouye and safety Ronnie Harrison, the Jaguars will present a significant challenge to Houston. One thing is for sure the Jaguars will be looking for revenge after losing the first meeting this season by a point. The Texans a low scoring game 13-12.