The Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive line had a lot of questions to answer in Week 11.
Consider the message received.
In the 34-14 win over the Tennessee Titans, the Jaguars' saw arguably their best offensive performance of the year driven by an offensive line that Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said he "didn't really need to" challenge after the previous loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The offensive line was battered in the Week 10 loss, but they rebounded in a big way vs. a good Titans' front in Week 11. Part of this likely has to do with the change in the quality of opponent. But another part could have to do with Walker Little getting settled in at left guard for an offensive line that has lacked continuity this year.
"Yes. Like we’ve mentioned last week, Walker [Little] getting more reps and settling into that role," Pederson said on Monday.
"Obviously, these were bigger body d-tackles, the week before with Javon Hargrave, that’s a lower to the ground body and he got under Walker a little bit, where Walker matched up well this week. He did some great things and improved. Anton [Harrison] was good, Cam [Robinson] was good. Other than Jeffery Simmons making a few plays, which he’s going to do, he’s a great player, I thought the offensive line played really well.”
Along with Little, the Jaguars also worked in new left guard Ezra Cleveland for a series in the first-half. The drive, which ended in a field goal, saw Cleveland rotate with Little to get him reps within the offense.
“Ezra did well. First time out, you can see his athleticism and his ability to run and get out in space, things of that nature," Pederson said.
"We just continue to work him in, get him in wherever we can. It’s hard to say that it’ll be every week, but right now, going into this past game, the plan was to get him some snaps. We’ll see as we go each week.”
Expect for the offensive line to continue to be a storyline entering Week 12 vs. the Houston Texans. The Jaguars' line struggled in their Week 3 loss to the Texans, and it is clear the battle for the AFC South will go through the trenches.
"That helps your quarterback, it helps your run game, it helps the whole offense when your offensive line can play well and they’re playing with confidence. It’s definitely a positive, you see it even with our offensive line yesterday. When they play well, it seems like the offense plays well," Pederson said. "That’s what they’re doing in Houston.”