Jaguars: Mixed fortunes at LB
The Jaguars claimed their first win of the season with an impressive 24-6 victory over the Browns on Sunday. The win came at a cost, as a torn pectoral injury forces inside linebacker Paul Posluszny onto I.R. Posluszny was the heart of the Jaguars run defense, with a 10.8 Run Stop Percentage, fifth-best among ILBs, and a 13.2 Tackling Efficiency.
J.T. Thomas, fresh off a +2.2 performance in the Browns, will assume the ILB role. However more than his play, it’s the absence of Posluszny’s leadership and experience in the middle of the defense that will be most keenly felt by the Jaguars.
That Browns game also provided some positive news for the Jaguars with a breakout performance from rookie outside linebacker Telvin Smith. Smith registered one sack, one QB hurry, three solo stops, one interception and one batted pass (which should have been another pick) on just 40 snaps, giving his a +5.6 grade for the week. Extremely athletic, Smith is most at home in coverage, playing alongside Posluszny on potential passing downs. Brian Hoyer threw his way five times, completing just one pass for -2 yards and an NFL QB rating of 0.0. With Posluszny out, Smith may have a bigger role going forward.