Sacksonville Returns: Jaguars Now Set to Face Two Former Pass Rushers in Week 15

The Jaguars will see Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell at the same time in Week 15 now that the Ravens have dealt for the former pass rusher.
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Remember the days of Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell terrorizing offensive lines and hunting down quarterbacks for the Jacksonville Jaguars? The days of 'Sacksonville', with Campbell as the mayor and Ngakoue as his young protégé

A refresher course will soon be coming to those who don't, though the tandem won't be chasing down passers for the Jaguars. Instead, the Jaguars and Gardner Minshew will be on the opposite end of the dangerous pass-rushing duo in a Week 15 game vs. the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 20.

Ngakoue was surprisingly traded from the Minnesota Vikings to the Ravens on  Thursday, the second trade involving the former Jaguars defensive end since August 30. The Ravens will send a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to the Vikings for Ngakoue according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The trade comes fewer than two months after the Vikings made a trade with the Jaguars for the 25-year-old pass rusher before the season began. In the first trade, the Jaguars netted a second-round selection in 2021 and a conditional fifth-round selection in 2022. 

It remains to be seen how the trade will impact the Jaguars' conditional pick, but for now it at least means the Jaguars have one game on the schedule that just became much tougher. Their game against the Vikings in Week 13 is a bit easier, but Week 15 will be tough on the line. 

Campbell and Ngakoue have combined for 9 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles this season. Considering the issues Jacksonville has had with keeping Minshew upright this season (23rd in pass-blocking DVOA per Football Outsiders), and the issues Minshew himself has had with pressures, the Jaguars will have their hands full when they meet the Ravens in Baltimore.

The Jaguars already were set to face a tough test in Week 15 considering their own1-5 start and the Ravens current 5-1 record. The Ravens are one year removed from being the AFC's top seed and having the league MVP, while the Jaguars are facing questions of whether Minshew is their franchise quarterback as they stare at another last place AFC South finish.

Campbell and Ngakoue each made massive impacts in Jacksonville, so seeing the two players on the same opposing line will certainly be jarring. The Jaguars' past success was built on their ferocious pass rush, and Ngakoue and Campbell played the two biggest roles in that. 

Ngakoue, who was drafted by Jacksonville in 2016 and spent four seasons with the Jaguars, is second in franchise history in sacks with 37.5. His best year came in 2017, with him earning a Pro Bowl trip after 12 sacks, six forced fumbles and a Jaguars appearance in the AFC Championship.

All but eight of Ngakoue's sacks came with Campbell rushing alongside him. The addition of Campbell in 2017 ended up becoming a pivotal moment for the young Ngakoue, while Campbell himself would earn All-Pro honors in 2017 and record 31.5 sacks in three years with the Jaguars, fourth-most in Jaguars history.

Campbell and Ngakoue each left the Jaguars via trades before the 2020 season began. Ngakoue entered into a bitter contract dispute with the Jaguars following the 2019 offseason, leading to him being dealt before Week 1. Meanwhile, Campbell was traded from Jacksonville to the Ravens in a shocking March move that saw the Jaguars gain just a 2020 fifth-round selection.

The Jaguars selected Auburn safety Daniel Thomas at No. 157 overall with the pick they received from the Ravens for Campbell.

With Campbell and Ngakoue each set to ruin Jacksonville's offensive game plans in December, it is worth noting the Jaguars have struggled to get to the quarterback without the duo in town. Ngakoue alone has as many sacks as the Jaguars do as a team this season, so seeing him and Campbell face off vs. the Jaguars will certainly be a matchup worth monitoring. 

Not long ago, Campbell and Ngakoue were two of the faces of the Jaguars organization. Now, the duo will be doing everything in their power to bring Minshew down when the teams meet later this season.