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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group

In which 2023 games did each Jaguars defensive star shine brightest?

Before the 2023 season began, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive unit was expected to be a weakness. But there were a handful of weeks when defense won the game for the Jaguars.

When Jacksonville was at its best en route to an 8-3 start to the year, the defense was a key piece to the team’s success. The Jaguars’ played well as a unit, but the players stepped up individually at different points throughout the season.

While the defense eventually came unraveled and struggled down the stretch, here were the best single-game performances for each of the Jaguars’ key defensive players during the 2023 season:

Josh Allen: Week 1 vs. Colts

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Allen was the biggest overachiever of the Jaguars’ season and his first game of the year set the tone.

The pass rusher caused rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson constant stress in his first NFL start. Allen racked up 10 total tackles, seven solo tackles, three sacks, and three tackles for loss.

Allen had plenty of strong performances, but his Week 1 performance against the Colts was a moment to remember.

Travon Walker: Week 17 vs. Panthers

Bob Self/Florida Times-Union

After an underwhelming rookie season, Jacksonville linebacker Travon Walker managed a double-digit sack total in 2023.

Walker had a couple of decent performances, but his best came against Jacksonville’s lightest opponent. In Week 17 against the Panthers, Walker achieved two sacks in his only multi-sack game of the season.

If the Jaguars’ No. 1 overall pick investment is going to pay off, Walker will need to accomplish that feat a couple more times next season.

Devin Lloyd: Week 7 vs. Saints

Bob Self/Florida Times-Union

Like Walker, linebacker Devin Lloyd was trying to prove in 2023 that he was worth Jacksonville’s first-round investment. Lloyd was a tackle machine for the Jaguars in 2023, finishing with 127 total tackles.

His best game came against the Saints in Week 7. When in New Orleans, Lloyd registered 11 total tackles and a timely fourth down pass deflection. He received an 82.4 Pro Football Focus grade for his performance.

Foye Oluokun: Week 7 vs. Saints

Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

Lloyd wasn’t the only Jacksonville linebacker that had a season-best game against the Saints in Week 7. Foye Oluokun had an even better outing in New Orleans.

Oluokun tallied 14 total tackles and two pass deflections in the Jaguars’ win. He also added his biggest play of the season. Halfway through the third quarter, Oluokun intercepted a Derek Carr pass and took it 24 yards to the house to give Jacksonville a 24-9 lead.

Tyson Campbell: Week 1 vs. Colts

Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell had a season to forget in 2023. Campbell dealt with injuries throughout the season, and infrequently looked at the top of his game.

Fittingly, his best game came in the first game of the season. In Week 1 against the Colts, Campbell achieved his only interception and forced fumble of the season. He also added six solo tackles.

Jacksonville will be hoping to get that version of Campbell throughout the 2024 season.

Darious Williams: Week 4 vs. Falcons

Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars cornerback Darious Williams settled into an outside cornerback role and thrived in 2023. Williams was the best member of the secondary for essentially the entire season.

His best work came overseas where he tortured the Falcons pass game. Williams allowed only one reception, recorded three pass defenses, and took one Desmond Ridder pass the other way for a pick-six.

Rayshawn Jenkins: Week 15 vs. Ravens

Bob Self/Florida Times-Union

Rayshawn Jenkins became one of the most heavily relied on members of the secondary last season. He held his own against Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, but his best game was against the Ravens in Week 15.

He had six tackles, but his sack and interception were the bigger difference makers. While the Jaguars didn’t win, Jenkins held his own and led a defense that nearly kept Jacksonville in the game.

Andre Cisco: Week 1 vs. Colts

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

As was the trend in Jacksonville, safety Andre Cisco looked his best to open the season.

Cisco looked primed for a huge year three in the Jaguars’ 31-21 win over Indianapolis. He achieved season-highs of seven solo tackles and 10 total tackles. He also forced his only fumble of the season.

While Cisco has a knack for finding the ball in the air, he showed an ability to be a strong player in run support.

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