Top 10 Jaguars moments of 2017
A year-end review of the Jaguars' momentous season
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars' 2017 season was one for the books. From the return of the man himself, Tom Coughlin, to the stellar play of the defense, or clinching the first home playoff game since the 1999 season, there was a host of memorable moments.
We compiled a list, counting down our top 10 moments from the 2017 season. With so many moments to choose from, we're sure we've missed some of your favorites. Share your Top 10 moments in the comments section.
No. 10 Lewis' day out
Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis had a career day against the Baltimore Ravens in London. Lewis caught a career-best four passes for 62 yards and three touchdowns in the Jags' 44-7 rout of the Ravens. He averaged 15.5 yards a catch. It would also be a breakout game for the Jaguars defense.
No. 9 Unsung heroes turn into household names
The 2017 Jaguars fielded one the NFL's youngest rosters. Among those were two standout players who the average football fan may not have heard of going into the season: wide receivers Keelan Cole and Jaydon Mickens.
With the Jaguars receiving core decimated by injuries, Cole emerged as a big-time playmaker, averaging 18.8 yards per catch. Going into Week 17, Cole has three touchdown catches on 38 receptions.
Mickens has been a quality return man for the Jags, setting up favorable field position time and again. As a punt returner, Mickens has a 72-yard return for a touchdown and 274 total punt return yards. As a receiver, Mickens averages 12.8 yards per catch and two touchdowns on six catches.
No. 8 Jags get under Seahawks' skin
One of the more memorable Jaguars games of the 2017 season was their matchup against the Seattle Seahawks at EverBank Field. Following a heated loss against the Jags, Seahawks players took what some fans perceived as cheap shots on the field. As tempers flared, a brawl broke out on the field, resulting in the ejection of Seahawks defensive tackle Michael Bennett and defensive end Quinton Jefferson. While Jefferson was leaving the field, fans decided to join in the action and threw several items from the stands at him. After exchanging words with fans, Jefferson then tried to climb into the stands...
No. 7 Jags own Ravens overseas
There's really only one way to put it -- the Jaguars embarrassed the Baltimore Ravens in England. The Jags were unstoppable in their 44-7 victory. The Jaguars dominated the first half unlike anything they’ve done in 10 years. The Ravens had one first down, minus 4 yards passing and 19 yards rushing as the Jaguars took a 23-0 halftime lead. The second half was just as ugly for Ravens fans, as Joe Flacco and company narrowly escaped a shutout in Great Britain.
No. 6 Jags pick off Big Ben 5 times
Oct. 8, was a long day for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Jags defense intercepted him for a career-high five times, the most by a Steelers quarterback since Mark Malone threw five against Cleveland in 1987.
Two of Roethlisberger's interceptions in the Steelers 30-9 loss were returned for touchdowns. It was also a big game for first-year running back Leonard Fournette, who ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 5 The return of Sacksonville
The Jaguars fielded one of the league's most dominating defenses of the 2017 season. The offseason addition of defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye brought veteran leadership to a young roster.
Heading into Week 17, the Jaguars had the No. 1-ranked passing defense, holding opponents to only 2,602 total passing yards. The Jags defense ranks third overall, giving up 4,214 total yards and lead the league in sacks with 52. You know what they say: defense wins championships. If that's indeed the case, Jacksonville could be well on its way.
No. 4 Doug Marrone is no bologna
He does, however, love a good bologna and cheese after a hard-fought victory -- according to him, at least.
Doug Marrone took over as interim head coach of the Jaguars late in the 2016 season after the woefully inept Gus Bradley was fired (Bradley has the worst coaching record in Jaguars history). He was given the reins during the offseason and the team has looked and performed the polar opposite since.
At 10-5 heading into Week 17, Marrone has led the Jags to the team's first division title in nearly two decades. Anytime someone leads a team from worst to first in their respective division, they ought to be considered for coach of the year.
No. 3 Standing room only for playoff berth
On Dec. 17, the Jaguars clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2007 with their 45-7 beatdown of division rivals the Houston Texans. And Jaguars fans packed EverBank Field to witness the historic victory. According to the team, EverBank Field was at standing room only.
The Jaguars played a complete game against Houston. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns. Keelan Cole had 186 receiving yards and a touchdown, and the defense went into halftime with a franchise-best 31-0 lead.
No. 2 An offseason for the ages
The Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 offseason was simply remarkable. Through free agency, the Jags added veteran leadership on the defense with cornerback A.J. Bouye and defensive end Calais Campbell.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Jags drafted wide receivers Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook. Had it not been for a receiving core decimated by injuries, Cole may not have had the opportunity to show he's a big-time playmaker in the NFL.
Additionally, the Jaguars cemented their smash-mouth football philosophy by drafting LSU running back Leonard Fournette with their first pick (third overall).
The Jags also shored up their offensive line by drafting Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.
No. 1 The godfather of Jags football returns home
Let's face it, Jacksonville loves it some Tom Coughlin. It seems as though the city has been lobbying for his return for the past 15 years. Well, he's back. And he's delivered as promised.
Prior to the 2017 season, winning was an issue in Jacksonville. It seemed like the team just didn't have an edge, a killer instinct, a winning culture or whatever it was you wanted to call it. However, as soon as Coughlin walked back into the building, everything changed. Winning was the top priority.
"I'm here to win lunch," Coughlin famously said in a press conference.
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