The Chargers (1-4) face the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) on Sunday afternoon. Both teams have struggled starting out of the gate.
I spoke with Jags reporter John Shipley about how the team has looked so far this season.
1. Do you believe the Jags have over performed or under so far this season?
The Jaguars have probably performed right to what should have been expected out of them, though I think it would be fair to say they have underperformed on offense. Nobody expected the defense to hold up this season and they haven't surprised in any way, allowing 30+ points in every single game but Week 1. The Jaguars just have too many holes in the secondary and on the defensive line to compete, and this was obvious before Week 1. As for the offense, it scored 57 points in the first two weeks and looked extremely potent to start the year, but over the last four games they have failed to put together a consistent performance. Jay Gruden was supposed to inject some life into the unit but right now it is just as stagnant as it was last season.
2. There have been talks about Marrone wanting to bench QB Gardner Minshew. Why is that?
I have seen the headlines from Marrone's response to a question about sitting Minshew following last Sunday's game, and I am not sure they are telling the whole story. Marrone was asked about letting Minshew sit during the blowout so he could watch from the sidelines and get that perspective again, and Marrone said he wouldn't rule that out. I don't think Marrone would be afraid to pull the rug on Minshew as the starter if the season continues to go downhill, and he hasn't played well as of late, but there is nothing to indicate they will change at quarterback soon.
3. What do you think RB James Robinson has brought to them team?
I think James Robinson has been a breath of fresh air for the running game. He doesn't have gaudy numbers, but he does everything consistently and has been able to mostly avoid negative gains, which was the big knock on Leonard Fournette. Robinson doesn't have Fournette's long speed but he has just as much power and explosiveness, and it appears he has better vision and instincts as well. In the passing game, Robinson has shown terrific hands and yards after the catch ability, picking up extra yards via hurdles, trucking defenders and shaking loose from them.
4. Can you talk about a player fans out west might not know about, but they should going into Sunday?
I would say Sidney Jones, but some west coast fans probably remember him well from his days at Washington. With that said, I will go with wide receiver Keelan Cole. Cole leads the Jaguars in targets and receptions and is tied for the lead in touchdowns, and the fourth-year receiver is having a breakout year as Jacksonville's slot receiver. Cole is best remembered for his amazing one-handed catch against the Patriots in 2018, but the former UDFA has turned into a complete receiver who is a dangerous threat across from DJ Chark on any given down.
5. The Jags defense has not been very good this season. Do you think that has to do with letting players like Bouye, Ramsey, and Ngakoue leave?
That is the biggest reason. The Jaguars are very young on defense so while they have some intriguing youthful options, they are mostly learning on the fly. When you compare these young players to Ramsey, Campbell and Ngakoue specifically, then there is no real comparison as of today. But a big factor is also Jacksonville's own issues with scouting. They have three first-rounders on the defensive line, two of the NFL's highest-paid linebackers and the No. 9 overall pick at cornerback. They have invested into the defense, it just has yet to pay off.