Rookie running back Leonard Fournette was inconsolable after the Jaguars’ 24-20 but it’s just the start of something special in Jacksonville.
No one was more upset after the AFC championship than Leonard Fournette. The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the fourth quarter of the game with a double-digit lead over the New England Patriots, only to watch it fall apart thanks to the greatness that is Tom Brady.
After the loss, the rookie running back couldn’t fight back the tears. Fournette was inconsolable postgame and was comforted by fellow LSU Tiger Ricky Jean-Francois.
The emotions didn’t stop on the field. Fournette was nothing short of devastated making the dreadful trek to the locker room. After leaving it on all the field with tears rolling down his eyes, Fournette was joined by linebacker Paul Posluszny, who spoke nothing but words of encouragement for his young teammate.
Posluszny walked right alongside Fournette telling him, “We are just getting started.”
Truer words couldn’t have been spoken by the veteran linebacker. We saw just a glimpse of something special that’s taking place in Jacksonville.
The blueprint has been laid by Doug Marrone’s team. They’ve taken things old school and showed opponents that they’re going to win by suffocating the opposing offense and punishing on the ground game.
For a defense that allowed just 169.9 passing yards per game in 2017, not much is changing next season. Aside from Posluszny, the entire starting unit is back. That means more dominance by a firey front-seven and plenty of trash talk coming from Jalen Ramsey in the secondary. We saw what they did to the Bills, Steelers and the Patriots in the postseason and that was no fluke. While Tom Brady and Bill Belichick walked away with a victory, they had to play a hell of a game to do it.
With a dominant defense, the offense also has shown promise. Blake Bortles isn’t going to be a Hall of Fame quarterback but he does have a young core of weapons around him. And you can’t forget about Allen Robinson, who will return after a suffering a torn ACL in Week 1. If he’s re-signed (which he should be) that’s another weapon to add to the arsenal. Fournette will hang his head but he shouldn’t after the incredible rookie season he had.
It’s never easy suffering the hands of defeat in a game that was clearly within reach but this won’t be the last AFC championship the Jaguars will find themselves in. They’ve got the potential to be legitimate playoff contenders for years to come.