The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a solid season despite numerous injuries to valuable skill position players. One player who has performed well while filling in for injured starters is Marqise Lee. At 26, Lee is stepping up as the veteran leader for a young Jacksonville Jaguars receiving unit. Allen Hurns has been unable to play the past few weeks due to an ankle injury, and Allen Robinson has been out since injuring his knee in Week 1. With the Jaguars’ top two receivers out, Lee has had to shoulder the increased responsibility of leading young receivers like Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole.
Lee has played his best season in the NFL in 2017, accumulating 637 receiving yards and three touchdowns. After being drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Lee has finally found a starting spot on the Jaguars depth chart after only starting 15 of 39 games over the past three seasons.
Against the Indianapolis Colts, Lee had seven receptions and 86 receiving yards on ten targets to go along with one touchdown. Blake Bortles played well against Indianapolis, which he has historically done throughout his career, but it will be much more difficult for Bortles to have success this upcoming week against Seattle. The Seahawks have had a stellar defensive season so far, despite an injury-riddled secondary. So far this year, Seattle has limited opposing teams to only 223 passing yards per game, which ranks in the top-half of the NFL.
Despite the many injuries to the wide receiving unit, the Jaguars passing game has not been drastically affected. The Jaguars ranked 20th in the NFL last season for passing yards per game, and in 2017, they rank 21st. The Jaguars are on pace to have a few less passing touchdowns, but that could be due to other factors like less garbage-time played, Leonard Fournette’s dominance, and defensive touchdowns.
The Jaguars will also look to get Fournette back on track as the leader of the rushing attack. The Jaguars still lead the NFL with 149 rushing yards per game, but Fournette has struggled to run the ball for the Jaguars the past two weeks, especially last game when he only averaged 2.85 yards per carry on 20 rushes against the Colts. Because of the uncertainty around Fournette and his recent inability to run the ball well, the Jaguars might need to rely on its passing game to carry the team against Seattle. Lee will lead the Jacksonville’s wide receivers next week as the Jaguars look to pass the Tennessee Titans in the standings and take the lead in the AFC South.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Jacksonville Jaguars article is published, fill out our email notification form.