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Ziggy Hood played another solid game at end for Aaron Smith, who's still hurt. Hood was able to get good push on the right side of the Jaguars offensive line and helped create some great opportunities for Lamarr Woodley to get into the backfield.
Chris Hoke subbed in at nose tackle and played a great game, getting good pressure on Brad Meester and keeping the Jaguars off balance. Jacksonville was not able to generate much up the middle.
Brett Keisel had one of the best games of his career and was constantly disrupting the Jacksonville offense. There was almost no production to his side of the field, and he dominated the two rookies on the left side of the Jacksonville offensive line.
The grade is brought down, however, because of the running of Maurice Jones-Drew, who too often was hit at the line but managed to get past the first tacklers and into the second level of the defense. The linemen must wrap up better on those hits or they'll be gashed.
After being criticized for not playing up to his new, huge contract, Lamarr Woodley has come on strong the last two weeks. This time, he was a beast. He was almost always in on the play and chased quarterback Blaine Gabbert around all afternoon, sacking him multiple times.
The interior linebackers were good as well. Larry Foote has been solid so far while replacing Lawrence Timmons, who's on the outside in James Harrison's spot. James Farrior had a big game and was able to get excellent pressure up the middle.
Timmons has been quiet, but has played well and gotten good pressure on the outside. He's definitely better on the inside where he can charge the middle and disrupt the play, but he has held his own.
This unit also could have done better against the run, but made the bulk of the plays in this game.
Overall Grade: B+