Bengals vs. Jaguars: Darious Williams is X-Factor in Week 13 match-up

"My guess is that he will be assigned to cover Ja'Marr Chase, and if that's the case, it will be one of the most enticing matchups to watch on Monday."
Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

As the Cincinnati Bengals prepare for Monday Night Football against the Jacksonville Jaguars, they're aware of the obvious star players in Jacksonville such as Trevor Lawrence and Josh Allen. One player they might not be as knowledgeable on is Darious Williams, a former undrafted player out of Alabama-Birmingham who has been in the league since 2018.

Williams has spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Rams, where he won a Super Bowl in the 2021 season. He's been in Jacksonville for the past two years and is thriving this year. PFF has graded him at 79.1 overall and he has a sparkling 84.4 PFF coverage grade.

To get some more insight on the Jaguars, I reached out to Carlos Sanchez Hernandez of Black and Teal, FanSided's site dedicated to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Carlos mentioned Williams as a player that people might not know but should know.

Here's my conversation with Carlos.

Bengals vs. Jaguars Week 13

Q: What is the Jaguars' biggest strength? What is their biggest weakness?

Carlos: The Jaguars' biggest strength is Trevor Lawrence. Although his numbers don't pop off the stat sheet, he's routinely putting the team in a position to win games. A knee injury hindered his mobility at the midpoint of the season but he's gotten done a much better job of navigating the pocket the past two games. Add an improved pass protection and the return of Zay Jones to the receiver corps, and Lawrence can go toe to toe with the best quarterbacks in the league.

Their biggest weakness would be the interior offensive line. They've struggled to get the running game going this season. Their gains are minimal when they run to the right or inside. The biggest link is probably center Luke Fortner, who hasn't improved as much as he was expected in Year 2. That said, Fortner has played much better the last two weeks, giving up two pressures.

Q: Who is a player on the Jaguars roster that people aren't talking about but should be?

Carlos: Darious Williams. Tyson Campbell was a playmaker for the Jaguars last year but he's missed time with a hamstring. In his absence, opposing teams have targeted Wiliams and he's held his own. He's logged three picks this season and leads the league in passes defensed with 16. My guess is that he will be assigned to cover Ja'Marr Chase, and if that's the case, it will be one of the most enticing matchups to watch on Monday.

Q: Aside from Trevor Lawrence, who is the Jaguars MVP this year?

Carlos: I'll go with outside linebacker Josh Allen, who had previously flashed elite talent but wasn't consistent. He was clutch against Houston in Week 12, sacking C.J. Stroud twice in the Texans' last drive. Allen also set a new career best for sacks with 12.0, surpassing the personal best of 10.5 he had as a rookie in 2019.

Allen is at times the Jaguars' lone source of pass rush, which makes his recent success even more impressive. I was skeptical he going to put it all together this season, but he did, and the Jaguars should now be ready to give him a top-market contract in 2024.

Q: The Jaguars have lost 3 games this season because _____.

Carlos: Pass protection, lack of pass rush from the interior offensive line, and the offense stalling by the second quarter. Fortunately, they've gotten much better the past two weeks.

Q: In one sentence, tell us how you think this game might go.

Carlos: I guess it doesn't have the same appeal without Joe Burrow, but the Bengals are the kind of opponent the Jags can't afford to underestimate. They did it with the Texans in Week 3 and lost. Their defense has enough players to make things interesting. I can't tell you much about Jake Browning, since I haven't given him an in-depth look but if he can avoid turning the ball over and gets the ball to Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins (if he's good to go).

Q: The Jaguars will win if _____.

Carlos: The Jags will beat Cincy if they don't shoot themselves on the foot, play mistake-free football, and aren't afraid to take deep shots early in the game. Their defense must contain Joe Mixon, make the Bengals offense one-dimensional, and force Browning into making mistakes.

Q: Give us a score prediction.

Carlos: Jaguars 30 - Bengals 16

Thanks again to Carlos for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure to check out his work on Black and Teal as we prep for Bengals vs. Jaguars!

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