Week 11 of the NFL is right around the corner, and the Jacksonville Jaguars remain on the bubble of a playoff opportunity. Coming off a Week 10 bye, the Jaguars are in a position to make a move in the win column of their 4-5 record. They will attempt to do so with a pair of reunited offensive weapons: Dede Westbrook and Nick Foles.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Dede Westbrook Reunites With Nick Foles
After two months of recovery from a broken left clavicle, Foles returns behind center. As a quarterback for Philadelphia Eagles, Foles performed admirably late in the season. Jacksonville hopes his past heroics in Philadelphia can translate during this final stretch for the Jaguars. With his return comes a sense of optimism and anticipation. It also brings a new-look offense than what was portrayed during Minshew Mania. Foles’ success in the final seven regular-season games hinges on the emergence of a playmaker within the Jaguars’ offense.
Heading into the season, wide receiver Dede Westbrook was the clear number one on a nameless receiving corps in Jacksonville. He was the lone receiver to have for fantasy football purposes. Throughout the preseason, Westbrook was the focus of the talk surrounding the Jaguars’ passing game. Both he and Foles seemed to be building some chemistry on the field and Westbrook was the go-to guy. This seemed to be true, as in the third preseason game, Westbrook was targeted six times on 10 passing attempts from Foles in one quarter. A positive outlook full of anticipation for the third-year receiver.
However, the preseason offensive output for Westbrook did not translate into the regular season. In fact, his output has been average, as he has taken a backseat to D.J. Chark (43 receptions for 692 yards) statistically this season. Westbrook has only accounted for 32 receptions (55 targets) for 383 yards and a lone touchdown this season with quarterback Gardner Minshew leading the offense. For sure a disappointing first half of the season for Westbrook, coupled with a nagging shoulder injury.
With Foles back under center, we will discover if there was some truth to the lack of connection between Minshew and Westbrook. Look for Foles to get the ball out to Westbrook quickly and allow him to make plays with the ball in his hands. Bubble screens, jet-sweeps, quick slants, and curl routes are sure to be coming Westbrook’s way. Like most receivers, Westbrook seems to respond when he gets involved early. If Foles can target him on early downs, this will soften things up to take chances on big plays downfield.
It is not too late for Westbrook to get going in 2019. Wouldn’t it be nice to have another receiver emerge? There are still seven meaningful games for him to redeem himself and contribute weekly.
Last Word on Westbrook and Foles Reunion
Starting Sunday on the road against divisional rival Indianapolis Colts, a couple of new faces will take the spot-light for the Jaguars offense. Nick Foles is back and with that is the reunion of a summer-long relationship with receiver Dede Westbrook. The quick decision making of Foles will allow Westbrook to get the ball early and use his quickness for positive gains. Both will need to kick off some rust early. But if they can rekindle their connection, it will benefit the entire offense on Sunday and beyond.