AFCS scouting report
Considering the Jacksonville Jaguars will not only play their divisional rivals twice, but also face the NFCE teams, staying up to date on them, informs you, the reader. Must say up front, the first four games shouldn’t be viewed as much more than a measuring stick.
For QB’s on new teams (or with new coach/new system) or new starting QB’s the first games can either be their savior as defenses have only pre-season game film or they’re learning games and they get better as the season goes on. Therefore, offenses with the above, should be judged lightly, good or bad.
In the first divisional match-up of the season, the Texans/Titans is a must watch for Jags fans. While our offense is nothing to write home about, these two teams were on CPR last week. The reasons are fairly standard.
- as often happens with QBs returning from injuries (Watson) and one who is barely more than a rookie, fear of re-injury combined with defenses having more game film equals Deshaun Watson struggling.
- Marcus Mariota is banged up (thumb) and has another new coach and system. The combo of both can be the death knell for young guys.
- when an offense has QB’s on shaky ground and have issues with their O-line, little good comes from it.
For right now, I think the Texans have a better team, so in this match-up, they may have the leg up. The key for both teams is to go after the QB. Whomever has the best pass rush, wins. Oh, and Blaine Gabbert could be playing, again. Insert the OMG face.
Mark Vrabel is a first time head coach with a defensive background, so the Titans defense should improve; however, many times we’ve seen the reverse. either way, don’t see a big turn around this week. This game should help Watson improve a little with more playing time.
Texans 0-1 @ Titans 0-1 CBS 1:00
Colts 0-1 @ Redskins 1-0 CBS 1:00
Another game with QB issues from above; however, Washington has a better offense. Add the putrid Colts’ defense and it’s tough to see how they get a win on the road against this team.
The only way Indy has a chance is to force Smith to throw intermediate throws to the middle of the field and hope like hell their safeties with a gimpy Clayton Geathers can intercept one.
Minus key injures, it’s tough to come up with any way to scheme against Washington. Especially if you look at this passing chart from Luck. 53 passes, rarely do teams win with that kind of lopsided production. 68 rushing yards (minus Luck’s 7) compared to 319 passing. That’s not a formula for success.
Indy allowed 101 rushing yards against the Bengals; however, Houston gave up 122 vs NE*. The skins had 182 rushing (wow) vs the Cards. These two QB’s are accurate short passers, so more than likely the game will come from rushing and defense. TO make matters worse, 4 Colts players are out, two being on the O-line, the last thing Luck needs. While the skins look pretty healthy.
Only Troy Apke is out for Washington. Alex Smith will also be down an OL. Every team has issues with health on the OL except the Texans. Even so, Smith is a better athlete than Andrew Luck, this match-up should go their way.
Patriots* 1-0 @ Jaguars 1-0 CBS 4:25
Like the Jaguars, the Patriots* have two RB’s who are banged up. However, it’s the Patriots* and more times than not, Belichick always finds a way to work around his roster.
Let’s address Leonard Fournette right from the jump. NE* gave up 167 rushing yards to the Texans last week. That’s a lot and if Leo was healthy, this match-up would be leaning heavily towards Jax; however, a hamstring injury shouldn’t be rushed. Read here as to why.
This means Jax will need to lean heavily on TJ Yeldon, but he’s not a power runner. What Doug Marrone ought to do is pull a NE* and motion him around so they have a linebacker on him. In addition, they should play rookie DJ Chark. He’s big, he’s fast and can block well.
With no film on the rookie, he could give NE* a headache especially if they use him as a quasi-TE. They won’t know if he’s blocking or running a route. Not to mention, that receiving corps needs help. Hopefully, last week it was the rain that gave them the drops.
To beat Brady*
- rush him up the middle, so the pocket is gone. He’s usually good against the blitz, so they should only rush three.
- have Leon Jacobs and Myles Jack take on Gronk
- play man
- hit him as often as possible
I believe I saw a stat that Brady* has only won one game with the heat over 90°. With the humidity, it will feel 102°. That will help Jax since they practiced all summer during the heat of the day. The warmth may be the deciding factor, the 12th man. The hottest I’ve ever felt was during a Jags game in September, the ambulances couldn’t keep up with those suffering from heat stroke.
As an aside, air travel increases dehydration.
Half of the 122 rushing yards NE* had last week came from Burkhead, so if he’s out that could even things a tad for the run games of each team. If NE* can
For the AFC South teams, the only thing left to wonder is which 46 will dress out on Sunday. This concludes the Week 2 AFCS Friday injury report. We will post game day rosters as they come in.