The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off the most shocking and unexpected upset of the wee... Scratch that. The Jaguars achieved the most shocking result of the season when they defeated the Super Bowl-contending Buffalo Bills on Sunday by the uneventful score of 9-6.
The Jaguars may be in the midst of experiencing yet another hopeless campaign, but Sunday's inspiring performance against the Bills captured national headlines for good reason. Star outside linebacker Josh Allen was trending on social media for the game he played against Buffalo's starting quarterback, and his namesake, Josh Allen. Jacksonville's Allen recorded a sack, interception, and even recovered a fumble in the contest, marking the first time an NFL player has accomplished any of those feats against a player he shares a first and last name with. Allen also recorded a career-high eight tackles on Sunday. Allen's complete performance rightfully earned him the AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
While social media certainly had its fun with this rare moment in football history, Allen's current form deserves praise for far more wide-ranging reasons than the laughs it delivered on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Allen continues to serve as a bright spot on an otherwise disappointing Jacksonville team. Through eight appearances in 2021, the former Kentucky standout has placed quarterbacks under an unwavering amount of pressure en route to compiling an impressive 5.5 sacks thus far.
Allen's 2021 campaign has delivered a breath of fresh air after 2020 ended in disappointment. A knee injury limited Allen's sophomore season to just eight appearances—and Allen was relatively ineffective anyway, finishing with just 2.5 sacks. It was a discouraging follow-up to a 2019 rookie season that saw Allen live up to his first-round draft billing by recording a spectacular 10.5 sacks.
Allen is healthy and creating havoc in backfields once again.
Jacksonville’s defense features several young and intriguing playmakers, including sophomore defensive tackle Davon Hamilton and rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell. Despite possessing some young talent at all areas of the field, Allen is clearly the player that warrants the most attention from opposing offenses and he has turned it up a notch in recent weeks. Allen has recorded 3.5 sacks and 28 total tackles in Jacksonville’s last four contests.
Allen possesses every tool necessary in order to continue on his upward trajectory. The seventh overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Allen consistently showcased the ability to play with excellent burst, length, and flexibility throughout his time at Kentucky. His outstanding range, high-effort motor, and blazing speed off the edge allow him to threaten and attack the pocket on a snap-by-snap basis. They are the same traits that have championed Allen forward in the NFL thus far.
Jacksonville’s future remains murky, but Allen is a superstar defender in the making.