Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen: Defense to come back swinging against Denver Broncos

John Reid
Florida Times-Union

After suffering an embarrassing 37-21 loss to the Texans to open the season, the Jaguars have another daunting challenge ahead against the Denver Broncos in this Sunday's home opener at TIAA Bank Field. 

The Broncos (1-0) racked up 460 total yards, and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 28-of-36 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns in their 27-13 victory over the New York Giants in Week 1.

For any NFL team, there are always challenges. Some teams overcome them while others cannot. 

The Jaguars (0-1) are coming off a wake-up call they failed to get up for in Houston this past Sunday, although Coach Urban Meyer and No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence made their much-anticipated debuts.

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The Texans (1-0)  was expected to be one of the easier opponents on the Jaguars' schedule. With an overhauled roster with 33 new players and Deshaun Watson not playing with his career in Houston in question because of a trade request and off the field issues, not much was expected from the Texans.

Jaguars' defense couldn't get off the field on third downs

However, the Jaguars defense could not get off the field on third

downs Sunday. The Texans converted 12 of 21 third downs. The Jaguars could not disrupt 11-year veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor or keep the Texans' running backs from gashing them for 160 yards rushing.

The Jaguars missed tackles, and the secondary got beat often on deep passes, especially ones caught by wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who averaged nearly 27 yards per catch on his way to 132 yards receiving.

It was not what safety Rayshawn Jenkins had in mind early last week when he spoke about how defensive coordinator's Joe Cullen's 3-4 scheme gives his teammates ideal opportunities to make plays on the ball.

''When your opportunity is up, you can capitalize,'' Jenkins said. ''If you are around the ball, can you make a play or not? It really comes down to that. You are going to have plenty of opportunities.''

Texans running back David Johnson (31) makes a reception for a touchdown during the first quarter as Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack (44) defends.

Poor tackling, missed opportunities for Jaguars

Jenkins got his opportunity early in the first quarter when Taylor tossed a deep pass in the corner near the end zone. In perfect coverage, Jenkins reached up high at the same Cooks did to grab the ball. They landed on the turf at about the same time and it appeared that Jenkins had caught the ball for a moment, but Cooks snatched it away for the 40-yard catch.

Three plays later, Texans were in the end zone for the first time when running back Mark Ingram ran through Jenkins' tackle attempt just before he crossed the end zone.    

On the Texans' opening drive, cornerback Shaquill Griffin read a pass play perfectly, jumping the route on Cooks. Griffin had both hands on the ball but dropped the interception. 

Outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson squandered two opportunities on the same play just before first half to make a play on the ball. He came off the edge unblocked but missed sacking Taylor when his hand hit off his helmet and when he made a lunging attempt at his legs. Taylor made a 52-yard completion to Cooks with 25 seconds that put Houston near the goal line before Danny Amendola's 8-yard touchdown catch extended the Texans' lead to 27-7.      

Like Jenkins and Griffin, rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell was in perfect coverage to make a play, but didn't. 

''What do I tell them? Well, I haven't had a chance to visit with them yet, but we're going to visit it as a staff,'' Meyer said Monday. ''And then, you have to put the players in those kinds of positions in practice and train them on how to attack an athletic quarterback like that.''  

Meyer lamented missed opportunities when he said they had Taylor three times in their grasp, and he ran out and made plays downfield.

Outside linebacker Josh Allen is ready to get the corrections started on Wednesday to potentially have a better overall performance in their Week 2 matchup against the Broncos.  

''It's not just a team or defensive scheme-wise, we've got to make the play,'' said Allen, who had the Jaguars' only sack against Houston and finished with five tackles and two quarterback hits.

''It's just that simple. We missed a lot of those opportunities. We're going to work on the things we need to work on and we're going to come back swinging.''

Who do the Jacksonville Jaguars play in their home opener?

Game: Broncos at Jaguars

When: 1 p.m.

Where: TIAA Bank Field