Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars First Look; Rex Has Kind Words for Jags

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars First Look; Rex Has Kind Words for Jags

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

1. On Monday, Buffalo coach Rex Ryan called the Jaguars, "the best two-win team I've ever seen." Did his pants literally catch on fire?

Skeptical when we read his comments, we went to the Bills' website to watch Ryan's press conference and yes, he put on the hard sell about the 2-8 Jaguars. Maybe it was the truth and maybe it was a message to his players to not overlook their opponent.

Some of Ryan's comments: "That's the best two-win team I've ever seen. That's the truth. I don't get it. Statistically, they're the seventh-rated defense in the league [in yards per game]. They're ranked higher than we are on defense [the Bills are 12th]. ... They had way more top 100 players than we did last year [on the NFL Network show - five Jaguars and three Bills]. ... You got Chris Ivory at running back, who is a great back - I had him with the Jets. I know all about him; he's a handful. And you got [Allen] Hurns, [Allen] Robinson and [Marqise] Lee really playing well. ... So if you think we're going to overlook them, there's no chance."

The Bills (5-5) are currently 10th in the AFC, two games out of the final wild card spot.

2. Allen Hurns is experiencing the least productive stretch of his career. Cause for concern?

At first glance, it wasn't. He has only two catches over the last three games - the fewest of any three-game segment of his career. Hurns was injured at Kansas City (the first and only time of his career with no catches) and then had two for 13 yards against Houston and one for nine yards at Detroit.

At second glance, it bears watching over the final six games.

Eleven of Hurns' 34 catches (32.4 percent) are "explosive" plays, gains of at least 16 yards. He doesn't have a catch longer than his 42-yard touchdown against Indianapolis in Week 4.

3. Has tight end Marcedes Lewis played his final game with the Jaguars?

No. A calf injury against Detroit landed Lewis on the season-ending injured reserve list.

Lewis' 2017 salary cap number is $4.25 million and if the Jaguars cut him, he would cost only $1.5 million in dead money. But Lewis' value has always been higher in the eyes of the coaches than the less-informed. …

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