JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars remained winless after losing 34-20 to St. Louis on Sunday, but the team did make some progress. They scored a season-high 20 points and it was a seven-point game in the fourth quarter.
But the biggest evidence of the team’s progress is this: For the first time this season, punter Bryan Anger isn’t in the top five on the weekly list of the Jaguars’ top 10 playmakers. Did he even make the list? You’ll have to read on.
Remember, this isn’t a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.
Here we go, with last week’s rankings in parenthesis:
1. WR Justin Blackmon (NR): He returned from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and made an immediate impact on the offense. He caught three passes for 90 yards and a touchdown -- a 67-yard catch-and-run in which he outran the secondary -- in the first quarter. He finished with five catches for 136 yards.
2. RB Maurice Jones-Drew (NR): One week after being a non-factor, Jones-Drew ran for a season-high 70 yards and caught two passes for 16 yards. He also gave the Jaguars their first 20-yard run all season.
3. DT Sen’Derrick Marks (NR): He has been the Jaguars’ best defensive lineman all season and had his best game against the Rams. Marks had a sack, a tackle for loss, knocked down two passes, and forced a fumble.
4. S Chris Prosinski (NR): Making big plays on special teams can really turn a game around. Prosinski did his part by blocking Johnny Hekker’s third-quarter punt to give the Jaguars the ball on the Rams’ 25-yard line. Unfortunately, the Jaguars couldn’t make anything out of that play because they failed to get points on four shots inside the St. Louis 5-yard line. That doesn’t ruin a great effort by Prosinski.
5. K Josh Scobee (1): Scobee made field goals of 48 and 34 yards and remains a perfect 5-for-5 this season.
6. QB Chad Henne (NR): He came in for the injured Blaine Gabbert in the third quarter and immediately hit Blackmon for 39 yards. That drive ended with a field goal and Henne also led the Jaguars on a fourth-quarter touchdown drive to cut the Rams’ lead to 27-20. Henne audibled into a pass on the TD play. Henne completed 7 of 13 passes for 89 yards.
7. S Johnathan Cyprien (NR): He led the Jaguars with 13 tackles and coach Gus Bradley said that was mainly because he was playing closer to the line of scrimmage. He always seems to be around the football.
8. WR Cecil Shorts (5): Shorts caught five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown and benefitted from having Blackmon on the field. He was targeted 10 times.
9. P Bryan Anger (2): The Jaguars still aren’t good enough for him to not be ranked each week. He averaged 48.2 net yards on five punts.
10. PR Ace Sanders (7): This might be cheating a bit, but he belongs on the list even though his 88-yard return for a touchdown was wiped out. The illegal block above the waist penalty on LaRoy Reynolds looked like an iffy call. You get the feeling that Sanders is going to break out on one that counts pretty soon.