Arden Key: Jaguars defense is ‘more dialed in, more focused than ever’

The Jacksonville Jaguars offense had one of its roughest games of the season Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans. It managed just one touchdown and 222 total yards.

Fortunately for the Jaguars, the defense stepped up. Tennessee’s last five possessions of the night ended with an interception, punt, punt, fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and a game-clinching turnover on downs.

“We’re just more dialed in and more focused than ever,” Jaguars outside linebacker Arden Key said Saturday night, via 1010XL. “We knew way — the first game of the three-game [stretch] in two weeks — we knew what was up. We knew we lose we go home, we win we in the dance. I think everybody across the board just dialed in and focused more on the process.”

During the five-game winning streak that ended the Jaguars’ regular season, the defense forced 11 turnovers and allowed an average of 315.4 yards and 15.6 points. That’s a massive improvement for a defense that allowed 408.6 yards and 27.4 points per game in the seven games prior.

It has certainly helped that the Jaguars have played some hamstrung offenses, though. The Titans were led Saturday night by quarterback Josh Dobbs, who was on the Detroit Lions practice squad just a few weeks ago. Jacksonville also had games against the spiraling New York Jets led by struggling Zach Wilson and the cellar-dwelling Houston Texans.

The Jaguars defense won’t have the same luxury in the playoffs where they’ll meet the Los Angeles Chargers on Wild Card Weekend. The Chargers finished the regular season ninth in total yards.

Still, momentum is back on the Jaguars defense’s side and the once absent pass rush — led by Josh Allen, Travon Walker, and Key — is playing well again. That couldn’t come at a better time for Jacksonville.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire