The last time we saw Josh Allen on the field, he was blitzing the quarterback who went on to be the 2020 NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers, and was besting one of the top offensive lines in professional football.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 18, 2020
However, a lingering knee problem throughout the season allowed Allen to play in only eight games before being placed on IR and finishing his second season in the NFL watching from the couch.
After a Pro Bowl trip as a rookie in which he started four games and played all 16 while collecting 10.5 sacks and 39 pressures, Allen’s sophomore slump was a real struggle for the edge rusher, as he only started seven games with a drastic decrease in production falling down to 2.5 sacks and only 14 pressures.
The Jaguars suffered a similar fate, going 1-15 on the season, tanking, and rebuilding on the season for then presumptive #1 pick Trevor Lawrence. It has been a huge fall for Jacksonville, who were in the AFC Championship in 2018 facing Tom Brady, a year before Allen’s arrival in Duval County.
The team looks completely different compared to the one that was 10 minutes away from making it to the Super Bowl. Key pieces such as Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, Leonard Fournette, and Blake Bortles are no longer on the team, replaced by Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, C.J. Henderson, and first-year coach Urban Meyer.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 13, 2021
With a talented young offense helmed by a generational quarterback, the Jaguars defense looks to match the possibly exciting offense, transitioning to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen with heavy nickel and dime packages which include extra defensive backs on the field.
Cullen also plans to move Allen back to an outside linebacker, his original position that he played in for the Wildcats. With Allen and last year’s first-rounder K’Lavon Chaisson playing the opposite edge rusher spot, and Myles Jack moving back to the middle linebacker spot, the Jaguars defense is hoping to be near the top of the league in sacks produced, matching 2017 when they were second in the league with 55.
Allen is already excited for what Lawrence can do with the young pieces on offense, mentioning how Lawrence is ready to light up the scoreboard. If the Jaguars’ defense can take another positive step, Allen and Chaisson can be the next top pass-rushing duo, similar to what the Denver Broncos have with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.