The Jacksonville Jaguars have exercised the fifth-year option on DE/OLB Josh Allen, the team announced Thursday.
Allen will have a guaranteed salary of $11.5 million in 2023.
The 24-year-old is entering his fourth season with the team after originally being drafted by Jacksonville in the first round (seventh overall) in the 2019 draft. He has appeared in 40 games (26 starts) and has recorded 128 total tackles, including 25 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one interception.
Allen was voted as a team captain the last two seasons and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2019. He was the first rookie in Jaguars history to be selected to the Pro Bowl.
In 2021, Allen recorded 15 starts, 71 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, four passes defensed, one forced fumble, one interception and one fumble recovery. Following the team’s Week 9 victory against the Bills, Allen was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording a career-high eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and 1.0 sack, one INT and one fumble recovery.
On any given Sunday, anything can happen in the NFL, which was on full display at TIAA Bank Field as the Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Buffalo Bills(5-3).
Coming into this game against Jacksonville, Buffalo was averaging 29 points per game. However, the Bills’ offense did not score a touchdown against the Jaguars, and they would lose 9-6.
There was no touchdowns on Sunday as both defenses came to play.
The six points were the fewest points Buffalo has scored since the 2019 season. Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 264 yards but had no touchdowns and threw two picks. He also lost a fumble. In addition, the Jaguars sacked Allen four times and limited Buffalo to 72 rushing yards. It was the third consecutive game the Jaguars have allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards.
The Bills’ Josh Allen struggled on Sunday, but Jacksonville’s Josh Allen was big time.
Allen sacked Allen, marking the first time a player sacked a QB with the same first and last name in NFL history. Allen finished the game with a career-high eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. He also recorded the first interception of his career, becoming the second defensive lineman in franchise history to post at least 1.0 sack, one interception, and one fumble recovery.
“We’re not going nowhere,” Allens said postgame. “We’ve got — we’re going to build on this. I’m glad I’m not up here saying, oh, we’ve got to do better. No. When we’re on our stuff, we can be a really great defense, and it showed today. Our defensive line can go against any offensive line any time of the week, any offense, stop any run, stop any pass. We did what we needed to do.”
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, who was 18/26 for 118 yards, interception and left the game with an ankle injury but returned, was very impressed by the defense.
“I mean, it’s great. It speaks to the progress that we’re making,” Lawerence said. “I mean, our defense today, that’s one of the best defensive performances I’ve seen, and that’s a great offense. Obviously, Josh Allen, quarterback, and their wideouts and O-line, all those guys, they’re great players, and to see what our defense did, all the takeaways, the big stops on third and fourth down. I mean, it was just fun to watch.”
After losing their first five games, Jacksonville has now won two of three. This game was all about the defense, and the Jaguars’ defense shut down the Bills’ offense and led the team to victory.
Quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, defensive end Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns and kicker Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 3 (September 23, 26-27).
OFFENSE: QB JOSH ALLEN, BUFFALO BILLS
Allen completed 32 of 43 pass attempts (74.4 percent) for 358 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions for a 129.8 rating and added a rushing touchdown in Buffalo’s 43-21 victory over Washington.
This is the seventh-career Offensive Player of the Week award for Allen:
2018: Week 17
2019: Week 11
2020: Weeks 2, 9, 13, 15
2021: Week 3
Allen trails only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly (10-time winner) for the most Offensive Player of the Week awards by a Buffalo quarterback.
He joins Patrick Mahomes and Derrick Henry as the only players to win a Player of the Week in each of the past four seasons (2018-21).
DEFENSE: DE MYLES GARRETT, CLEVELAND BROWNS
Garrett recorded seven tackles and a franchise-record 4.5 sacks in Cleveland’s 26-6 win over Chicago.
This marks the second Defensive Player of the Week award for Garrett (Week 4, 2020).
He becomes the first Brown to win multiple Defensive Player of the Week awards since defensive end Courtney Brown (Week 5, 2003 and Week 3, 2000).
SPECIAL TEAMS: K JUSTIN TUCKER, BALTIMORE RAVENS
Tucker converted four of five field goals, including an NFL-record 66-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Detroit, 19-17.
This is the 12th-career Special Teams Player of the Week award for Tucker:
2013: Week 10, 12, 15
2014: Week 3
2015: Week 4, 8
2016: Week 12
2018: Weeks 3, 17
2019: Weeks 5, 6
2021: Week 3
He is now tied with Jason Hanson (12) and Matt Prater (12) for the third-most all-time by a kicker. Only Adam Vinatieri (19) and John Carney (13) have earned the honor more.
For most of their game against the Jets on Sunday, it was not pretty for the Buffalo Bills, but fortunately for them, there are not any style points for wins in the NFL. Behind six Tyler Bass field goals, the Bills(5-2) defeated the lowly Jets(0-7) 18-10 at MetLife Stadium.
Buffalo’s defense made it a long day for the Jets. After leading the Bills 10-6 at halftime, Buffalo shutout New York in the second half. Ultimately, they sacked Jets QB Sam Darnold six times and intercepted him twice.
On offense, Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 307 yards and ran for 61 yards, but they were not able to score touchdowns, which Allen said is on him.
“It was a situational football type of win today,” Allen said after the game. “It took all three phases, but we can do a better job on offense, myself, emphasize there myself. We could do a better job and put some more points on the board and make it easier living for our defense.”
Buffalo had 422 yards of total offense on Sunday, so they could move the ball against New York, but according to Allen, penalties hurt the Bills, and Buffalo finished the game with 11 penalties.
“i think we did a good job of moving the ball,” Allen said. “Obviously, the stats speak for themselves. We gotta find a way to finish in the end zone. It’s gotta be better on my part. Couple penalties pushed us back and put us in bad a position, and shoutout to T-Bass(Tyler Bass) for obviously making those field goals and getting us the win.”
In the end, a win is a win, and now Buffalo will host the New England Patriots next week.
“It’s a division win,” Allen said. “These aren’t always going to be the prettiest of wins, and we understand that, so we’ll take them when we can get them.”
This was a game Buffalo had to have, and a loss to the jets would have been inexcusable. With the Patriots struggling, and the Dolphins going to a rookie quarterback, it appears the Bills are the class of the AFC East. Now, they must continue to show it as the season progresses.
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew came out of nowhere as a rookie and played some solid football for the team last season. In fact, the Jaguars had so much faith in the former sixth-round pick that they decided to trade Nick Foles and make Minshew the team’s starting quarterback this season.
At this point, the 24-year-old Minshew is rewarding Jacksonville’s faith in him. After two games, the second-year quarterback has thrown for 512 yards with six touchdowns and 115.7 quarterback rating. In Week 1, Minshew was close to perfect as he completed 19/20 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 27-20 victory against the Colts.
Last week, against the Titans, Minshew brought his team back from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit before falling to Tennessee 33-30. On Thursday night, the 1-1 Jaguars have an opportunity to move to 2-1 at home against the 0-2 Miami Dolphins.
According to Minshew, going 1-1 against the Colts and Titans gives the team a lot of confidence as they prepare for the Dolphins.
“Those were two very good teams, two very good divisional teams we’ve played so far,” Minshew said on Tuesday via a video call. “[We] competed well, had a chance to win both. So, it’s just taking those good things we’ve done and building on those and then trying to fix the stuff that we haven’t done well.”
On the Thursday Night Football stage last season in Week 3, Minshew got his first victory as a starter, and “Minshew Mania” grew from there. According to his teammate, DE Josh Allen, Minshew is now a superstar on and off the field.
“I think he’s a superstar,” Allen said. “But him on and off the field, he’s a great guy, great quarterback, and he’s also a special human being, and he’s just a guy that you just want to be around. He gives off that energy. My wife loves him, probably more than she loves me, which I’m kind of a little mad at. She thinks he’s a superstar, so I kind of have to check him about that. But that’s just the vibe he gives. He’s a superstar on and off-field, but he doesn’t give off that attitude, and I love Gardner. That’s my guy, G-Money. He signed my gloves, ‘To Josh.’ I’m about to frame this.”
Minshew is not a superstar at this stage of his career, but he is definitely growing as a player. He’s very confident in his ability, and the confidence is spreading throughout Jacksonville’s locker room. Thursday’s night game against Miami is very winnable, and if the Jaguars want to continue to prove they can make some noise in 2020, it’s a game they have to win.
No one expected much out of the Jacksonville Jaguars when the season started. On paper, many believed the Jaguars had one of the worst teams in football. However, the Indianapolis Colts might think differently after the Jaguars’ 27-20 victory over Indianapolis last Sunday.
Jacksonville(1-0) got outstanding quarterback play out of Gardner Minshew(19/20, 173 yards, 3 TDs). Furthermore, the Jaguars were opportunistic on defense and created two turnovers.
Even after this victory, the doubters are still out there, which DE Josh Allen addressed on Thursday.
“A lot of good players left our organization, and they really saw that, and they’re just like, ‘Oh, they’re weak now.’ But little do they know, they’re not in the locker room with us, they don’t see the guys that we have, and they don’t see how well we play together,” Allen said. “We’re a family, man, we play for each other, we play as one. And that’s just how our mindsets [are], and I’m just excited to get going again.”
Jacksonville will be tested on Sunday when they go on the road to battle the Tennessee Titans(1-0), who made it to the AFC title game last season.
Allen discussed what it would mean to beat Tennessee.
“I feel like [there’s] always going to be that doubt when people think about us, and that’s just the status quo we have to change around here,” Allen said. “But we’re really focusing on ourselves and how we play week-in and week-out. Because we’re not really focused on the outside noise, we hear it all the time, since probably Jalen [Ramsey] left that we weren’t going to be a good team and everybody that left after that, it’s just been getting worse and worse. And now, they saw us play last week, and now they’re surprised.
“So, yeah, I think it’s a big game for us, it’s a big game because it’s a divisional game. It’s a game we must have. If you win, if you go undefeated in our division or any division, there’s a good chance you’re going to go to the playoffs. So, we see this as a big challenge because it’s a second divisional game, and starting off 2-0 in that would be major. So, yeah, we’re excited about this weekend, we can’t wait to get going.”
Defeating the Titans won’t be easy, but If the Jaguars can find a way to beat Tennessee on Sunday, all the doubters will indeed become believers.
There is a lot on the line for Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette in 2020. Because the team declined his fifth-year option, the 25-year-old Fournette can be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Therefore, if he continues to play well, he can put himself in a position to make a decent amount of money in the offseason.
In 2019, Fournette set a career-high in rushing yards(1152), receptions(76), and receiving yards(522). However, in the offseason, there were reports that the team wanted to trade him. Ultimately, the team did not move Fournette.
The fourth-year running back has respect among his teammates, and according to Jaguars LB Josh Allen, Fournette is one of the best backs in football.
“I really do believe Leonard is one of the best backs in the NFL, personally,” Allen said via a video call on Monday. “This year, I really got to be able to connect with him off the field and know what type of person he is, not just player, but person. He’s changed a lot in my eyes, just being to talk to him more. We talk about life, family, and literally football every time we talk. He’s really a great person. I know he gets perceived as one of those bad words, but Leonard is a guy that’s growing.
“He’s growing in his career, growing off the field. As a football player, on the field going against him, I kind of hate it. He is a really big back who is explosive, who catches the ball, who runs really great routes, who blocks in protection extremely well. He’s just one of those really versatile running backs that’s going to be a nightmare in the league for a very long time.”
In reality, the Jaguars don’t have the success they did in 2017 without Fournette’s production. Jacksonville made it to the AFC title game that season. While some may question his attitude, you’re not going to find many running backs as good as Fournette. Also, a best friend for any quarterback is a running game, and with Fournette, Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew has a dependable running back. Like all NFL players, Fournette wants to get paid, and for that to happen, he must have another strong season.
In 2019, Jaguars LB/DE Josh Allen was impressive. As a rookie, Allen led the team with 10.5 sacks(most sacks by a rookie in franchise history), which helped him make the Pro Bowl. Now, the second-year player wants to do even better in 2020.
When asked what his goals for 2020 are, Allen had this to say:
“To be the best defensive player in the league,” Allen said via a video conference call on Wednesday. “That’s high standards. I had a high standard last year, and I kind of achieved that goal. But now, I set the bar really high for myself, and I’m looking to stay there and stay at the top, and I’m going to push myself as much as I can push each year.
“This year I’m not holding anything back, I’m coming in as best as I can, the best version of me. I feel like coming into practice with what I did so far; I feel like my game has grown. I feel like I’m getting more comfortable, but there’s still a lot I got to learn. I got high standards this year and just know I’m shooting for the top.”
For Allen to be the best defensive player in the league, he must do more than sack the quarterback. According to Allen, he wants to be a complete player.
“I feel like I work on pass rushes, but I worked on my whole game,” Allen said. “It’s so big to get caught up in the sacks – this is just talking about people in the NFL – it’s so big to get caught up in the sacks if you’re considered a pass rusher and I’m not trying to be considered as just pass rusher. I am trying to be considered a great defensive player.
“My main focus is going to be to stop the run, tackle for losses, plays that destruct the whole offense. That’s really what I have been working on. So, I have been working on just getting off my three-point stance as explosive as I can and things like that. I worked a lot of pass rush, but like I said, I worked on trying to be able to stop the run, tackle for losses, and be quick on my first step.”
Allen won’t have Calais Campbell(traded to Ravens) on the other side, and he might not have Yannick Ngakoue(contract dispute) as well, so the pressure could be on him in 2020. Jacksonville did draft LB/DE K’Lavon Chaisson in the first round of this year’s draft, but he is rookie, and he won’t have a preseason, which could impact his production.
Allen appears to have the goods, and he has high standards, which should excite the Jaguars in 2020.
In the third quarter of the Bills’ 22-19 loss in OT to the Texans on Saturday, Buffalo was up 16-0, and at that point, many expected that the Bills would be moving onto the Divisional Round. However, mistakes happened, and Deshaun Watson started to make plays, including spinning away from a sack in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal.
Now, the Bills go into the offseason knowing they had a very good shot at winning a playoff game. Fortunately, for the Bills, their quarterback Josh Allen is still young and getting better. Therefore, they seemed to be set at the quarterback position, but Allen, who threw for 264 yards and rushed 92 yards and caught a touchdown pass against Houston, still has some work to do in the offseason.
“He’s made a tremendous amount of progress,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said about Allen on Tuesday. “Let’s start there. Let’s recognize the work this young man has put in and the growth that he has shown. Is there still work to do? Yes, and he’d be the first to tell you that is, in fact, the case. The game did not end the way we wanted it to end, and the reason is because we didn’t play well enough in the second half in particular. We scored field goals; we needed touchdowns.
“You look back and say hey, we were up 13 I believe it was after the half there, we have a takeaway and we had the chance to go up 20 to nothing at that point. Maybe the game changes at that point, or maybe it doesn’t. There are so many things that he can do better, and there are certainly things that I can do better and our entire football team. I think if you take the right approach, that’s being accountable and taking ownership and I know Josh did that, that’s really where it starts. With that, he’ll put the work in, and you know he will be better next season. I think you’ll see another step this offseason into next season.”
At times on Saturday, Allen tried to do too much. Whether it’s taking a bad sack late in the fourth quarter or trying to lateral the football in the open field, the second-year quarterback was just doing too much, something McDermott acknowledged on Tuesday.
“I think it all comes back to, for Josh, just trying to do too much,” McDermott said. “That’s been something we’ve talked about, and that’s something he has to continue to handle as he moves forward and continues to grow in his career, and I’m confident that he will do that. I think that’s the next step for Josh, is that awareness, maturity; however, you want to phrase it.
“It’s the understanding that I don’t have to do it all myself. I’m a tremendous generator and playmaker, but I have pieces around me. As we continue in all honesty, to build the roster, that’s what we have to do. We have to continue to give him pieces that he trusts in addition to the ones he already has.”
Allen got his first taste of playoff action, which should help him moving forward. While he contributed to the lost, Allen had his moments against the Texans, and in 2019, Allen set career-highs in passing yards, touchdown passes, completion percentage, and passer rating, so to McDermott’s point, Allen has made progress in 2019.
The Buffalo Bills(10-6) are back in the playoffs, and the man that led the way is QB Josh Allen. The second-year quarterback and the Bills will travel to Houston on Saturday to face DeShaun Watson and the Texans(10-6).
The Bills are in the playoffs for the second time in three years, but for Allen, who led all quarterbacks with nine rushing touchdowns in 2019, this will be his first taste of playoff action.
“I think everybody knows what we’re playing for, both sides included, it’s win or go home,” Allen said on Tuesday. “It’s the playoffs, it’s what we wanted, what we worked for. Now we gotta go out there and play a game on Saturday.”
The last time Allen played the Texans in Houston, he left the game early with an elbow injury. Allen, who was a rookie at the time, felt that situation helped him grow as a player.
“Obviously going through that game there’s not great memories,” Allen explained. “No one likes getting hurt, but having the opportunity to have Derek [Anderson] and Matt [Barkley] come in, learning from those two guys, it was a blessing in disguise. But having that experience of playing there, seeing a familiar stadium — the crowd’s going to be hyped up a little more being a playoff game, but kind of having a feel for that is experience we can take into that game.”
Fortunately for Allen, he will be backed by an outstanding Bills’ defense. Buffalo ranked second in total defense and second in points allowed, so Allen does not have to do it all for the Bills to be successful against Houston. However, Allen, who set career-highs in passing yards(3089), touchdown passes(20), completion percentage(58.8), and passer rating(85.3) this season, believes he has to lead the way for the Bills.
“I don’t have to be the best quarterback out there, I have to be the best quarterback for this team to help us win a football game,” Allen said. “Regardless of the circumstances that may go on during the game, I’ve got to lead this team and be able to find a way.”
Allen believes the Bills, as a team, will do everything in their power to move onto the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
“I can tell you this, we have a bunch of guys that play for each other,” he said. “We want to win, we don’t want to go home, and we’ve got a bunch of guys that are willing to fight for each other. I love this team, I love this squad, and we’re going to try and do everything in our power to extend our season.”