The New York Jets came away with a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, but it wasn't pretty. They escaped with a five point victory thanks to a late touchdown from Brandon Marshall, which helped them avoid what would have been a very disappointing late-game collapse.
Darrelle Revis and the defense struggled to contain the Jaguars offense, allowing 10 plays of 20-plus yards. One of the lone bright spots on that side of the ball came in the form of rookie outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin.
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Mauldin, a third-round pick out of Louisville, had his best game as a pro Sunday. Entering the game, he hadn't recorded a single sack and only had one quarterback hurry. Against the Jaguars, he brought down Blake Bortles twice and hurried him four times.
His pressure on Bortles was a huge part of the Jets being able to survive on defense and could prove to be a weapon in third-down pass rushing situations. After the game, Mauldin credited his breakout performance to preparation in the film room.
"So I kind of knew what his game plan was," Mauldin said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "He did it a lot in college. My mindset going in was to rush up the field, hoping that he'll step up, which he did a lot, and move around with the ball. He moves around to throw the ball. What I did was basically moved around with him."
Mauldin likely got the attention of Todd Bowles with his performance on Sunday, and although the Jets' defense is loaded with talent, Mauldin's speed as a pass rusher should allow him to see time on the field more regularly.