The Jaguars need a leader…or three.

I love Ray Lewis. Yes, I know he may have killed two people, but I’m talking about Ray as the football player and analyst. I watch, Inside the NFL, just to hear what he says because he always, ALWAYS imparts wisdom. This article is based on things he said, that got me thinking.

The man knows defenses even though he’s biased towards the Ravens, but he knows what it takes to be dominant. Over the last few weeks he’s said a few things and I’m cobbling them together, along with something I heard here.

Will lead off with what I heard. The first deals with the offense and that is Doug Marrone is old-school ground and pound and doesn’t know how to deal with an offense based on having to pass. Considering he got conservative against NE* in the play-offs, that seems true.

Is he overruling Nate Hackett? It could be that the reason we’ve seen some bi-polar games week to week and even inside a game may be due to this tug-of war. Which means Marrone needs to let his OC do his job or Hackett needs to lead by telling him to piss off and let him do his job.

The ground and pound does a hole in it because why not use Tommy Bohanon more to help Yeldon? Especially in the red zone. He’s been MIA in the game plans. Also, (broken record here) but who has a run game without any Tight Ends? These guys can block and with the OL we saw, they need all they help they could get.

Is Dave Caldwell or Marrone not seeing this or are they blinded to only wanting to use in-house guys? But they pulled guys off the street for the practice squad and then elevated them. Moving on because no is asking them these questions.

Defense. Overheard that the secondary isn’t communicating and there’s no trust among them, so each player isn’t doing just his job. I believe this. Boy, do I ever. The fact that the secondary had no qualms going out drinking until four AM and Ramsey didn’t go with them, says a lot.

Ramsey also pointed to the locker room when asked about issues. I read a coach’s quote recently (sorry can’t remember the coach) who said that one guy can disrupt an entire locker room, drag it down. It would be too easy to say it was Donte Fowler; however, he wasn’t at the bar in London. Maybe they didn’t invite him because he is an issue, but I don’t believe any of the DL was there.

Which circles back around to: who’s the leader? Barry Church and Bouye brought along rookies on their foolish outing. An outing that says, who cares we have a must win game that could move us up? Who cares if we dump large quantities of alcohol into our bodies a day before a game and right after flying for hours? Both dehydrate and can lead to injuries. What did we see in London?

Members of the drinking crew needing trainers. This is after a, come to Jesus meeting, held by Calais Campbell. Obviously, it didn’t work showing he’s not the leader. Or maybe he is, but not to the linebackers and secondary. Nor a few members of the offense.

SO, here we are, 3-5 and it doesn’t appear anyone is leading this ship. Not Bortles or Campbell or the coaches.

Speaking of which, if they didn’t go get a TE, are they thinking the season is over? If so, why not bench all the drinking crew for a game? He benched Fournette for missing a team photo. If they think the season isn’t over, then what message did he give to the team to instill fear and discipline?

Moving on to the secondary, the one piece of the team we thought was rocking it. If there’s no communication, if the four aren’t trusting one another to do their jobs, how is anything going to get better if there’s no leader?

The members of Denver’s once vaunted No Fly Zone often remarked how they knew how each others’ thoughts, they had such great communication and that was key. Sometimes teams find the right four guys and right coach- Aqib Talib, TJ Ward, Chris Harris, Darian Stewart and DB coach Joe Woods had it in 2015. They lost two of their members, the coach and the magic.

Is the problem with the wrong four guys in Jax or the wrong coach? Jalen Ramsey is the nearest to Talib, so it’s up to him to forget his age, kick some ass and take names because the team is dependent upon it.

Ray Lewis also said that during a game, you need that vocal leader to grab a guy and give him hell for not doing his job. Two is even better, he and Ed Reed instilled fear. That bled over to the entire defense.

On offense, you need a QB who also does that. Watch all the micc’d up films, the QB’s are going off on their guys, even mild-mannered Drew Brees is seen losing it and Peyton Manning was so fearsome, some of his teammates were petrified to talk to him. Guess what? His teams won, and won and won.

It’s (past) time for Jacksonville’s front office to look around and find the answers. I’ve seen what lax leadership at the top can do to an entire team. It needs to draft a QB who isn’t a laid-back beach guy (that makes me sad to write). They need to draft guys who eat, sleep and dream football. Young men who burn for football.

I asked Kareem Hunt before he was drafted if there was anything he didn’t like about being a running back, such as getting hit all the time. He replied that he loved everything because it all went to football and he loved football. You can’t take one anyway, you have to accept it all. His eyes burned with that answer, his passion was evident and not a canned reply. That’s what you need.

Guys with chips on their shoulders. Remember, Hunt was the overlooked back because he went to a smaller school.

Who the Jaguars are missing is Paul Posluszny

As I write this, the Jags blew their assignments after Eric Ebron scored and can be seen “discussing” what happened. So, the issue hasn’t been fixed, there is a communication problem and until that is fixed, this season is toast and maybe next one, too.

Just saw another blown coverage, this time because of a linebacker. As an aside, the Colts are using three tight ends which has steam coming from my ears.

A team shows its true character when they lose, how they react to losing. Do they rally together as a team, don the three musketeers motto or fall apart? Teams with good leaders, put their heads down, pull up their socks, blocks out the outside world and works harder (and stays out of bars).

I truly hope this team can bond during this game, pull off a win and show grit and leadership.

 

Week 10 NFL Game Predictions – He Said/She Said

Week 10 NFL Game Predictions

Last week, we got 70% correct, as a grade, it’s poor, as a QB completion rate, that’s great. We’ll split the difference and say it was good. There are four teams this week on bye and we don’t predict Thursday games because it’s too out in front for the Sunday ones, that leaves 11 to choose. Here are our Week 10 NFL Game Predictions.

1:00 GAMES

Lions (3-5) vs Bears (5-3) FOX

Jay: Home team because Detroit can’t run the football and the Bears pass defense is too good.

Jules: Tough to pick which one, they each look good and then suck. Going Bears because their DL should make Detroit’s OL continue to suck at protecting Stafford.

Saints (7-1) vs Bengals (5-3) FOX

Jay: New Orleans for many reasons, first being that Cincy is like the walking wounded. Cinco will put up points, but NO gets the job done in the 4th quarter.

Jules: Cincy isn’t a better team, but sometimes I wonder about let down games. Logic says NO in a beat down.

Falcons (4-4) vs Browns (2-6-1)

Jay: Falcons. Next

Jules: Falcons, no way Cleveland can put up the numbers Atlanta has.

Jaguars (3-5) vs Colts (3-5) CBS

Jay: One team on the rise, one team falling down. Let’s see if there is a correction. If the Jaguars need a chip on their shoulder by being flexed, there are massive issues in the locker room. Home team in the division and quite frankly, the team that is playing better football. Colts by 3

Jules: I think the Jags may finally pull out a win 1) Fournette is back and along with Carlos Hyde a 1-2 punch at RB could help score and 2) being flexed has given the guys a chip and Fowler is gone (word was he was a disruption in the locker room)…with that said, this team feels like it gave up (to draft a QB) because it didn’t bring in a desperately needed TE.

Cardinals (2-6) vs Chiefs (8-1) CBS

Jay: Kansas City. Next

Jules: KC

Bills (2-7) vs Jets (3-6)

Jay: J-E-T-S because Washington is an injured mess.

Jules: Good grief, the NFL should just cancel this game and give them each a tie. Buffalo is starting some guy off the street and Darnold is getting pummeled, so he can’t even learn. Going Jets only because a week to learn a system isn’t a recipe for success.

Redskins (5-3) vs Buccaneers (3-5)

Jay: Bucs due to another QB, if you used four, you have none.

Jules: Washington no longer has an OL, a run game that won’t be helpful, Jay Gruden is a big step down from Andy Reid, so it’s tough to pick them even though the Bucs defense is bad and Fitz always makes a big mistake at the worst time. But no OL is the big loser.

Patriots* (7-2) vs Titans (4-4) CBS

Jay: Students meets teacher, and still has lessons to learn. Patriots, but Tennessee is going to give them a fight to get there.

Jules: NE*, one time I actually hope they win.

4:05 GAME

Chargers (6-2) vs Raiders (1-7) FOX

Jay: LA…next

Jules: LA, if the Jags flame out, I want Phil Rivers to get a ring.

4:25 GAMES

Dolphins (5-4) vs Packers (3-4-1)

Jay: Green Bay at home in a gotta have it game.

Jules: Even though GB has looked like crap, as I’ve said before, have zero faith in Asweiler being why Miami wins.

Seahawks (4-4) vs Rams (8-1) CBS

Jay: Questions abound about the wildfires in LA and with the shooting this week in Thousand Oaks, count me as a Ram fan this week. LA, we stand with you

Jules: this seems like a slam dunk like several of the games above, but the NFL has been crazy with bizarre losses. Despite that, going with LA who will be playing with extra heart this week.

Cowboys (3-5) vs Eagles (4-4)

Jay: I have more faith in Philly getting geared up to make a run at a decimated Washington team in the East. Philly

Jules: gee, another late game for the Cowboys. Hope they get the snot beat out of them again, so maybe, just maybe, the NFL will stop giving them so many prime spots. Besides that though, Wentz is a far better QB and that’s who I’m going with.

Monday 8:15 ESPN

Giants (1-7) vs 49ers (2-7)

Jay: I REALLY couldn’t care less about this game. I’m very certain there is a college basketball game that will find it’s way on to my main tv while this one chills on the side. I’ll take New York to find a way. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

Jules: This is a night game? Yuck. Going with SF because Mullens looks better than Eli.

Teams on Bye week

Ravens, Vikings, Texans, Broncos

Week 9 NFL Game predictions – He said/She said

Week 9 NFL Game predictions - He said/She said

He is still leading She and she is thinking to just pick what he does because he found a crystal ball that overrules stats. But, that logic went out the window when it got to the Miami game, which is one game of two picks they disagree on. Let the games begin in Week 9 NFL Game predictions – He said/She said

1:00 Games

Steelers (4-2-1) vs Ravens (4-4) CBS

Jay: One of my favorite games of the year. I’ll take Baltimore at home by a field goal

Jules: Pittsburgh is picking up steam while Baltimore is losing theirs. Roethlisberger is a streaky QB who can look brilliant and then throw 4 picks in a game. What a match-up to see. No clue who wins. Saying home team not that it’s mattered much this season except for NE*.

Bears (4-3) vs Bills (2-6) FOX

Jay: Depends on who the qb is for Buffalo, but I’ll take Chicago here if it’s against Peterman.

Jules: The Bills gave NE* a hell of a game, if they had a QB who’d been with the team more than a week, clearly would’ve won. The problem is, Nathan Peterman is back starting, so I say Bears even if Tribinishy is all over the place.

Buccaneers (3-4) vs Panthers (5-3) FOX

Jay: Ohh ohh its fitzmagic…..uh-uh…The Panthers by 6

Jules: Panthers. People forget that Fitzpatrick had lost his magic because teams had film on him. That happens, again. Plus, Newton should carve up that atrocious defense.

Chiefs (7-1) vs Browns (2-5-1) CBS

Jay: Chiefs. Next

Jules: Chiefs, no need to explain why.

Jets (3-5) vs Dolphins (4-4) CBS

Jay: Tossup game, but I’ll take Miami at home here

Jules: Here’s my first emotional pick. I can’t stand Asweiler, so going for the Jets to pick him apart.

Lions (3-4) vs Vikings (4-3-1) FOX

Jay: Hard to see Minnesota losing a “gotta have it” division game at home. I don’t see it happening

Jules: Can the Lions be who they almost are or will Minnesota stop the Jekyll and Hyde? Tough to pick MN losing two weeks in a row at home with the super stars of Diggs and Thielen.

Falcons (3-4) vs Redskins (5-2) FOX

Jay: This is an interesting game because it’s the high flying offense of Atlanta meeting a stingy Washington defense. Home field counts here. Redskins in another last possession type game.

Jules: Washington is the most shocking 5-2 team by far. You watch them play and think how are they winning? And you watch Atlanta and think, how are they losing? Think the skins defense wins.

Texans (5-3) vs Broncos (3-5) CBS

Jay: I don’t see the Broncos scoring. I see Houston scoring. #analysis.

Jules: I really want Denver to win because the Jags need the help. However, Keenum is ranked 29th in TD-INT, you can’t do that against a good defense, plus Demaryius Thomas was done dirty and will pump Houston with all the info.

4:05 Game

Chargers (5-2) vs Seahawks (4-3) CBS

Jay: Fun game coming here. Seahawks will run the football to death here and I think that’s enough to get the job done in a squeaker.

Jules: LA is coming off a bye which means Rivers will have all his weapons, but Seattle is playing far better than earlier in the year. This should be a good game, I’m torn who to pick. Better O or better D. LA has only allowed 3 rushing TD’s, so I pick them.

4:25 Games

Rams (8-0) vs Saints (6-1) FOX

Jay: Fun game. I think the Rams are just a touch better. I’ll take the Rams with very little confidence

Jules: Another good game. Going with LA because NO defense isn’t good vs the pass. They should do well stopping Gurley, but Cooper Kupp is back and that makes up for it.

8:20 Game

Packers (3-3-1) vs Patriots* (6-2) NBC

Jay: Patriots. I think they’re the better football team all around.

Jules: I don’t think this game will be as good as everyone is hyping. NE* looked like garbage against the Bills. Good for them GB doesn’t have a defense otherwise they’d get blown out. Only picking NE* because the home refs will most likely make a call that helps them pull out a squeaker.

Monday 8:15 ESPN

Titans (3-4) vs Cowboys (3-4)

Jay: Another garbage Monday night game. I’ll take the cowboys by 3

Jules: Yuck and double yuck. Trying to think of why to pick Dallas to win to help out the Jags. Their defense is why against a bottom ranked offense.

BYE TEAMS

Bengals, Colts, Jaguars, Cardinals, Eagles, Giants

I am a pissed off Jaguar fan, aren’t you? Will they survive?

Jaguar fan

I have no idea what possessed so many from the Jacksonville Jaguars to go out drinking, so much that they racked up a £50,000 bill. This Jaguars fan doesn’t care why.

This is what I know – if members of the team who weren’t playing wanted to go have fun like DJ Hayden, fine. Having Barry Church and Jeremy Parnell there, too is flatly inexcusable. Not to mention, they thought it was ok to skip out on the bill and then get in a fight when confronted about it.

Fighting, along with the tab amount indicates drunk and belligerent. I have to ask, where were the coaches?

Did they know? Was there a curfew set? Reports say they were “detained” at 4AM and spent the next nine hours at the jail. NINE HOURS. Nine hours cuts into sleep and practice time, meetings, physical therapy, whatever was planned.

This is early reporting, so I’m sure some of these things are wrong, but this is a bad look no matter how you slice it.

If indeed they were out to 4 or even 1 AM so close to a game, the question is, why? Most teams have curfews and bed checks when traveling. Was one done? If it was, did the coaches just not know where to go looking?

I find that tough to imagine since no one goes anywhere without a phone. Where were the team captains? Center Brandon Linder is a “C”. Was he there with Parnell? Not like this Line is setting the world on fire with their blocking and can afford to be guzzling champagne like they won a super bowl.

As fans, we’re invested in this team and seeing such reckless behavior is maddening. It’s a distraction because coaches and team personnel had to spend time on this matter instead of focusing on the game. It’s not as if the Jaguars can afford to waste precious time dealing with idiocy like this.

Before SB 48, John Fox let his players go out in New York City and they posted themselves having a good ole time. Remember what happened next? An absolute beat-down. Not to mention, several of the players were sick, which partying I’m sure didn’t help. Know who didn’t go out? The Seahawks.

Know who wasn’t arrested in London? The Eagles.

I’m sure some think this is no big deal, but it is a big deal, a Big Freakin Deal.

Shad Khan has many business dealings in London, this looks bad on him. Worse than if the players got in trouble in Jacksonville. That game is on an international stage, so you can bet the NFL is none too happy, either. This reflects poorly on the entire franchise from Tom Coughlin on down.

For the players who didn’t go out, who were studying their playbooks and give a damn, this is just another division in the locker room. Jalen Ramsey indicated there’s a few who were an issue. Wonder if it’s the group who went out?

Not thinking ahead is laziness and a lack of caring. It’s one thing to go for an early dinner, it’s quite another to still be there at 4AM.

While the four that were arrested were all in the secondary (need I remind that 90 points have been given up in the last three games), reports indicate others were there, too. They just weren’t arrested/detained.

I hope none of this matters, that they go out and ball. I hope I’m pissed for nothing, that this is just a tiny blip on the way to Atlanta. I hope this wakes the coaches and locker room up and they rally together to fight back against the perception out there. A perception that looks like some players don’t give a damn about being prepared.

I hope this ends up being a scene from the Replacements and they all start singing, I Will Survive, then go out and kick some ass. (PLEASE)

Week 8 NFL Game Predictions – He Said/She Said

He said, she said week 8 NFL game predictions

He is beating she, so Jules has decided to put the risky picks aside and just go for the flat out obvious in the Week 8 NFL Game Predictions – He Said/She Said Jay didn’t get a chance to weigh in, but in her game preview for the Texans, she predicted they would win. Yes, grasping at straws.

This season we’ve seen that home field advantage hasn’t meant a whole lot for most teams, so that’s something to keep in mind. First up to see if she’ll stick to facts and not wants, is

0930 LONDON NFL NETWORK

Eagles (3-4) vs Jaguars (3-4)

Jay: Fun game. Until I see the Jaguars actually respond to some adversity, I will continue to pick against them. Philly by a FG

Jules: Until AJ Bouye went down, I was picking the Jags because Phillie’s defense is the type Bortles does well against, but Jax is down to Jalen Ramsey and some guys off the street at CB. Tough to see Wentz with his plethora of weapons not take advantage of DB’s and linebackers so beat-up.

1:00 GAMES

Ravens (4-3) vs Panthers (4-2) CBS

Jay: Another fun game. Home team typically takes these kind of games. Lets go right there Carolina 24-21

Jules: Good game. Neither team feels like one you can bet on. Both defenses are top 7 – Ravens defense better vs the pass, Carolina vs the run and the reverse. When it comes to their offenses, yards-wise in passing, Baltimore is killing it, but both have the same passing TD’s. Carolina is tearing up the rushing yards far more than the Ravens, but they’ve scored four less. I’m leaning Ravens by a FG.

Jets (3-4) vs Bears (3-3) CBS

Jay: This should be the Bears and I’ll take them, but the Jets under Todd are stingy as all get out and that defense is darn tough. Bears win by 4

Jules: New York is like the worst 3-4 team out there, but their defense seems to make the right plays at the right time to squat out wins. Trubisky and Darnold are like watching a dual of Two-Faces. The thing about these two defenses are they give up a lot of passing TD’s. In fact, they’ve given up more than they’ve thrown. Picking Bears because Mitch throws less interceptions.

Buccaneers (3-3) vs Bengals (4-3) FOX

Jay: I trust Jameis less than I trust Andy. Bengals by a touchdown

Jules: Neither of these teams has a run game worth a spit, so this could be a high scoring passing game. When it comes to passing defenses, both suck like their run game. Even though McCoy is out, going TB in a squeaker just because Cincy hasn’t down much in rushing. Not real confident.

Seahawks (3-3) vs Lions (3-3) FOX

Jay: This is a tough one to pick. The Lions are on the way, but I’ll take the Seattle run game to win a low scoring game.

Jules: Detroit. I’m riding on Kerryon Johnson, again. Seattle is among the worst in the league against the run in yards per carry. Matt Stafford is a good quarterback who finally has a run game to help him out. Stats-wise these teams are close, but it feels like the Lions are starting to gel.

Broncos (3-4) vs Chiefs (6-1) CBS

Jay: Chiefs. That’s all

Jules: Denver hasn’t beaten KC since Manning was there, and even then it was a last minute save way back in September of 2015. Strong Safety Darian Stewart was on the injury report, his back-up isn’t good, so Mahones should have a good day and Keenum will turn the ball over, twice.

Redskins (4-2) vs Giants (1-6) FOX

Jay: Redskins. Giants are an unmitigated disaster. Enough said.

Jules: Washington looks so bad every week and yet, they’re won four. I think the skins will terrorize Eli. Right now, there are two quarterbacks over 36 that still has the arm to make every throw – Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers. I’d bench Manning except they were dumb and chose a RB over a QB and have no good choice behind him.

Browns (2-4-1) vs Steelers (3-2-1) CBS

Jay: Pittsburgh in a close one that gets away at the end. Baker is good, but Ben is better. Pittsburgh will be awake this time.

Jules: Pittsburgh in a tight one. They have all they game film they need to shut down a rookie quarterback who’s now showing it isn’t easy once teams figure you out. The one thing though is the Steelers suck vs the pass, but can stop the run. This game will lay on Mayfield’s tiny shoulders.

4:05 GAME

Colts (2-5) vs Raiders (1-5) CBS

Jay: Wow…lets all not watch this game. I’ll take the Colts

Jules: Gee, what an exciting game this will be -says no one. The Colts win because Luck will throw all over that defense and Carr won’t get as much. Indy’s defense has slowly improved as their team’s health has. Oh, and reports say TE Jack Doyle will play. That’s a game changer.

4:25 GAMES

49ers (1-6) vs Cardinals (1-6) FOX

Jay: Yuck. Thank God for Sunday Ticket if you live in the bay area or Arizona. 49ers by 5.

Jules: Not to be outdone by the ho-hum 4:05 game, a few poor slobs get this one in their area. Picking the Cards because I like their uniforms better and they’re not bad against the pass. Beathard and a hurt Rosen, such joy to see.

Packers (3-2-1) vs Rams (7-0) FOX

Jay: Yuck. Fun game to watch here. Green Bay’s defense isn’t ready for this battle, but Aaron keeps it closer than the spread indicates.

Jules: as a kick in the pants to the fans of SF and Arizona, the rest of the country gets to see Rodgers and Goff. Oh, boy! However, tough to see much from the Packers who are good against the pass, but not great vs the rush and they haven’t faced Todd Hercules Gurley. GB loses another.

8:20 GAME

Saints (5-1) vs Vikings (4-2-1) NBC

Jay: I’m very, very excited for this game. And I don’t have a clue as to how it goes. I’ll take the Vikings by a FG in a game that will go a long way towards playoff seeding.

Jules: oh, boy another good game! I may be OD’d on football by the end of the day. The Vikings won because of Diggs, his magic legs and one dumb mistake from a young CB. However, Cousins is a far better QB than Keenum, otherwise it would be a slam dunk picking NO if Casey was still there. These teams balance each other so well. Going out waaaay on a limb (can’t help myself), NO wins because Kirk chokes in the closing minutes.

Monday ESPN 8:15

Patriots (5-2) vs Bills (2-5)

Jay: TB12

Jules: think I’ll clean my house during the game like NE* will to the Bills. What a crapfest this will be, a real cold shower to Sunday’s games

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning should give Jaguars fans hope. Read why.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning should give Jaguars fans hope

Sometimes lost in the heat of the moment, is the ability to take a step back and look at other thoughts. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are names most fans don’t put in the same sentence as Blake Borltes, but maybe they can.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been benched

One September 24th back in 2014, Tom Brady threw two interceptions (including a pick six), gave a fumble and was so bad, they lost 41-14. During that game, he was benched in the 4th quarter.

At that point, they were 2-2 had lost to the Miami Dolphins, and Brady was only completing 59% of his passes. The headlines ran the gamut from asking if this was the end of Brady, to wondering about Belichick and the New England dynasty.

“Tom Brady stunk so bad his job security is up for discussion” – New York Post

After the benching, they went on to Cincinnati, blew them out 43-17 and finished the season 12-4 with home field advantage.

A little over a year later, during the third quarter of a game, Peyton Manning was benched after throwing four interceptions. He was so bad, his passer rating was 0. He completed 5-20 for a total of 35 yards. They too lost to the Chiefs, 29-13.

The Broncos were 7-1 going into that game, but then lost three more, ending their season 12-4. That last win against the San Diego Chargers was the difference between home field advantage and the #1 spot, or being the 6th seed and playing three straight on the road.

Manning threw 17 interceptions in ten games to 9 TDs, 5.1% int rate. He had a total 67.9 rating and only completed 59.8 of his passes. B-A-D.

Both New England and Denver were counted out after those benchings. The media had their quarterbacks dead and buried and fully expected their back-ups to remain the starters.

A funny thing happened tough, both teams, who suffered through a litany of injuries throughout the seasons, emerged with rings.

Down, but NOT out

I’m NOT saying Blake Bortles is Brady or Manning. Nor am I saying Doug Marrone is Belichick (he is better than Kubiak, though), only that overreactions are easy and it happens to every team, fan base and the media.

Are the injuries to Jacksonville far more severe than those to NE* and Denver? Yes, but Jacksonville is playing in a division that is lacking a dominating team to overcome.

As a reminder, the 2012 Ravens won a Super Bowl with an 11-6 season. Denver lost to their division opponents, the Chiefs and Raiders. NE* lost to Miami and the Bills.

All is not lost.

Carlos Hyde can put the run back into the run-first game plan. After the bye, Leonard Fournette and he could be a powerful 21 personnel grouping that helps the banged up offensive line and most importantly, Bortles.

With the run game back, the offense can burn more clock. This helps the defense. Not to mention, if they can be the team they were set up to be before the injury bug struck with a vengeance, they can score. When they do, that makes defenses have to pass more. Guess what?

Jacksonville is #1 against passing scores

The defense is set to defend against the pass and they do that remarkably well. When teams have to go to the air, it means less wear and tear on the defensive line to defend against the run.

If offenses can run all day and avoid the ferocious secondary, why wouldn’t they? That’s what’s happening. To make matters worse, Calais Campbell, the anchor, is dealing with a hip injury which zaps his power and now everything is a snowball.

The defense just needs some rest from the bye and a little help from the offense. His name is Hyde, Carlos Hyde and I wish he could wear the 007 number. If he can be what they hope, he’s our secret agent man.

Right now, it’s easy to panic, to want to throw Cody Kessler into London. That’s the wrong mindset.

  1. it’s a loser mindset. It says, you’ve conceded defeat, and don’t trust that Hyde can replace Fournette for one week. Blake has won the last three times in London. It’s a big deal playing there. Not just the time change. Tossing in an inexperienced QB into that isn’t going to change anything except disrupt the locker room even more.
  2. if fans (or coaches) want to enter the loser mindset, then play Tanner Lee, not Kessler.  Toss him to the wolves, ride him the rest of the season and then see if drafting is the answer, or he is.

What I know is this defense, who is also banged up, can win. It just needs a little help and that can come from a run game. If fans want to enter panic mode, fine, but let’s wait until  after London. Mr Hyde may actually be our Dr Jekyll on the field of play and slay those in his path.

Week 7 NFL Game Predictions – He Said/She Said

Titans (3-3) vs Chargers (4-2) CBS 9:30 AM LONDON

Jay: The Chargers are the better team, but I don’t know by how much. Tennessee is a weird team. I’ll take the Chargers and probably live to regret it.

Jules: LA. I know it’s been a rough week for them, but they’re a better team.

1:00 GAMES

Patriots (4-2) vs Bears (3-2) CBS

Jay: No Gronk here, but I think the Pats do the job because they’ll prove to just be a little too much on offense.

Jules: I’m rolling with the Bears defense.

Bills (2-4) vs Colts (1-5) CBS

Jay: Not worth spending a lot of time on this one. Which qb do you trust? I trust Luck. That’s the pick

Jules: Hold my nose. An extremely healthy Bills team with a decent defense, but have Derek Anderson or a banged up Colts who only has Andrew Luck? Indy because of Luck.

Texans (3-3) vs Jaguars (3-3) CBS

Jay: Tough game to pick. I’ve been fading the Jaguars lately and it’s been working well for me. I wonder if Jaylen Ramsey will have much to say in his post game press conference this week. I’ll take Houston in a 3 point game.

Jules: The Jags are one beat-up mess, how can I pick my team to win? I’m a fan girl and will root that the defense (even one with a few injured guys) makes Watson lose the game.

Lions (2-3) vs Dolphins (4-2) FOX

Jay: Lions, but I’m going to regret it in the morning

Jules: Lions. I just can’t pick any team Asweiler is playing on. Plus, Matt Patricia has played against BO a couple of times, he knows his many weaknesses and Matt Stafford is a better QB than he’s given credit for..oh, and Kerryon Johnson.

Vikings (3-2-1) vs Jets (3-3) FOX

Jules: I don’t know what it is about Kirk Cousins, but he always leaves me cold. I shouldn’t pick the Jets, I know I shouldn’t, I don’t think they’re the better team, but the Vikings just feel, off.

Jay: Another disagreement. The Vikings aren’t playing great football yet, but they’re a lot more talented than the Jets. Just too many weapons on offense and they go get a hard road win.

Panthers (3-2) vs Eagles (3-3) FOX

Jay: Can’t wait to watch this game. Both teams have a little Jekyll and Hyde to them. I’ll take the Eagles at home

Jules: Going with Philly because it’s a home game. That’s my lone reason. All these teams that have 4 or 3 wins are so tough to guess.

Browns (2-3-1) vs Buccaneers (2-3) FOX

Jay: Coin flip game…I don’t trust Jameis ever and I trust that defense less. But I’m sure Cleveland will somehow not accept the gifts that Tampa gives them.

Jules: Eesh. The Bucs defense is bad, commode hugging bad and now Gerald McCoy is hurt, and they have a “new” DC. Flip a coin – Good QB vs Browns good defense or shaky QB vs Bucs bad defense? I’m going to say the home team off a bye.

4:05 GAME

Saints (4-1) vs Ravens (4-2) FOX

Jay: This game really should be the game everybody sees at 4:25. Drew Brees in his whole career has not beaten the Ravens. Look for that streak to continue.

Jules: Now this is a good game. Top offense vs top defense. Joe Flacco is the big Will the good Joe come out to play, or the, what were you thinking, Joe? Brees is playing like the best QB in the league, but their defense has been stinky. I want NO to win, but going with home team in a squeaker.

4:25 GAMES

Cowboys (3-3) vs Redskins (3-2) CBS

Jay: I’ll take Dallas in a low scoring game here

Jules: I don’t like either of these teams or their coaches and think both are posers who’ve won based on weird days. If Washington doesn’t play sloppy as they have been, they can win. I’m not on the Dak train.

Rams (6-0) vs 49ers (1-5) CBS

Jules: When you think trap game, this is it. Despite the outstanding coaching of Shanahan, the Rams are clearly the better team. Too often when one team is so much better, they play down. That’s my lone concern. Not SF’s quarterback, defense or offense – just the Rams beating themselves. Still picking them, though.

Jay: Very well could be a trap game, and I’ll fall freely into that trap. I’m not picking against the Rams here. Just can’t pull that trigger.

8:20

Bengals (4-2) vs Chiefs (5-1) NBC

Jay: I’m stoked to watch this game. Can’t wait. I’ll take the team that resides in Arrowhead.

Jules: Who would’ve thought going into this season, a Cincy/KC game would be good?! These two defenses are so bad, this could be a game with 80 points scored. Going with Chiefs, but only because of the crowd, 44-43 or something crazy like that.

Monday ESPN 8:15

Giants (1-5) vs Falcons (2-4)

Jay: This is not exactly a visual gift the NFL has given us. I’ll take Atlanta and I think it won’t be all that close.

Jules: Bleh. Falcons at home, this time their offense gets rewarded with a win.

Tight End: quick way to right Jacksonville’s listing ship?

Jacksonville Tight end

Jacksonville fans are looking for answers to stop another week of sub-par performance. Maybe another tight end is the answer? Two teams who recently made last minute winning drives, used extra protections.

In the case of New England*, they employ extra running backs and in Green Bay it’s using three tight ends. Those two teams have a common issue – a need to help their quarterbacks.

Tom Brady no longer can toss the ball longer than ten yards and be consistently accurate and Aaron Rodgers needs an extra body to protect his.

Why say tight end instead of running back? Because an experienced tight end gives the biggest bang for the buck.

Blake Bortles needs help and getting Leonard Fournette back won’t solve everything because the offensive line is so banged up. Not to mention, I think if they play him too soon, he’ll end up on injured reserve. While a good running back can aid in his OL doing better, they still need to be healthy.

Enter the tight end. He can block, catch and did I say, block? We also saw a tight end act as a running back Monday night in Green Bay and run with the ball. The beauty of tight ends is how versatile they can be in the right plans.

The chicken or the egg?

Does a tight end help an offense/quarterback or does the quarterback make the tight end? When Phillip Rivers was learning, did he make Antonio Gates or did Gates help him succeed? That can be debated for a while, but what we do know is Jacksonville hasn’t ever had a stud tight end.

Mark Brunell has been the closest quarterback that could be called successful and even his completion percentage rarely went over 60%. Maybe tight end should be a higher priority?

Tight End Stats

There is one TD from TE’s in Jacksonville. One. The three tight ends combined, have 240 yards, 17 first downs. Two of them, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Niles Paul account for the TD and 11 of the downs – both now on Injured Reserve. Did they add anyone to the 53 man roster, except bringing up David Grinnage from the practice squad? No. That leaves only James O’Shaughnessy and Grinnage.

Patrick Mahones has Travis Kelce and his 468 yards. Vance McDonald and Jesse James in Pittsburgh have 548 yards and 24 first downs. Of the top five offenses, only the Rams and Chargers have used their tight ends little and that’s because their receivers and catching running backs are tearing it up.

However, they are out there blocking, giving their QB’s time, plus they do add an extra wrinkle. It’s tough for defenses to defend good TE’s. If a team double teams them, it leaves an open wide receiver.

Gronk has 405 yards, and 17 first downs. As Carson Wentz eases back in, he’s targeted Zach Ertz 67 times, racking up 24 first downs. Tampa Bay has OJ Howard and Cameron Brate in the top 20 and they have 5 TD’s. The Colts have a losing record, but without Eric Ebron, they’d be 0-5 and not given any team a run for their money. He has 16 first downs, six TD’s and 326 yards.

This lack of tight end depth in Jacksonville should be addressed. The Oline is hurt, Fournette isn’t going to make everything all better. He has as much power as a bandaid on an arterial bleed. Adding some beef that can block, catch and maybe even run will help.

Many have mentioned trading Donte Fowler, Jr., for a few different positions, maybe TE could also be an option? There are a few teams with serious issues on defense who might be open to that thought. Give up some offense for more defense, which in turn would make them need less offense.

The NFL is about acheiving the right balance, teams that do, are still playing through January. At this moment, the Jaguars are listing and a tight end may help right the ship.

 

Overreaction Monday leads to finger pointing – mine is Lady Luck.

Overreaction Monday leads to finger pointing - mine is Lady Luck.

Lets face it, the last two weeks have given us flashbacks to the years spent in the cellar on the AFCS. It’s easy to blame Blake Bortles, Doug Marrone, Todd Wash, Nate Hackett, the equipment guy, my grandma and the teal pants.

We can blame everyone/thing above except my grandma, but you can blame the Dolphins lover, too if you want – she’s not on social media. The real blame lies though in a slew of injuries.

If lacking depth to overcome the injury bug is a concern, then look at Dave Caldwell and/or Tom Coughlin. Neither of whom is getting fired today or this season, so move on to the issue at hand.

Here’s the deal, the team the coaches put together for week one, doesn’t exist right now. In a few short weeks, the promising roster looks like Swiss cheese.

The coaches and players spent months practicing together, honing techniques, work ethics and building chemistry. Fans now expect, in a two-week time span, for them to just plug in any player without a missing a beat.

That’s unrealistic.

Here’s the injuries and the impact.

Offensive Line:

Actually, Blake Bortles needs to be addressed first even though he’s not injured because it all starts with him. We know he’s not elite. We accept it. However, we’ve seen he can be good enough to win games. Hence the frustration.

The truth is, unless he does more running and throwing on the move, the Oline has to give him a tick more time because he doesn’t release the ball quickly. It is what it is and that’s not going to change.

That’s the dilemma facing Hackett, how to draw up plays that keep the entire banged-up OL from going on Injured Reserve. That’s where this team is headed.

What do the really good lines have in common? Consistency. They, and their quarterback, take time to gel, build chemistry and get a feel for how each blocks, reads a defense, where their strengths and weaknesses come from. As one unit, they learn to help one another. This isn’t something built in a day or a month.

This especially true in zone blocking when it’s about having a partner. Which leads us to the left side.

LT Cam Robinson went down, then Josh Wells. Now they’re on Josh Walker and that impacts…

LG Andrew Norwellwas seen as a great signing and it was – until he became hobbled. Power comes from the feet and radiates up and out. All technique comes from the feet, whether it’s OL or DL or QB, etc. If your feet aint right, you aint right.

Norwell has been dealing with calf and foot issues since training camp. He missed practices, and pre-season games.

C Brandon Linderthe QB of the OL, has been dealing with a knee.

RT Jermey Parnell has been dealing with a knee/calf ailment since training camp, as well.

Against the Patriots*, RG A.J. Cann suffered a right arm injury.

Add that all up and what you have is a revolving door of different linemen practicing and playing at different levels – no consistency and none are healthy.

Want to help Bortles, help the offense? Wave a magic wand and make them all healed. Unfortunately, that isn’t an option and I fear that until week ten, the bye, not much can change.

TE/WR/RB

Marqise Lee was the first to go down, then Leonard Fournette, then Corey Grant and then Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Oh, and TE Niles Paul took a hit this week.

Tell me, what kind of cohesion can be built when inside of a few weeks, all your starters go to IR or end up on the injury report week after week?

Then there’s T.J. Yeldon who’s playing with his own ankle injury. That’s our offense.

Defensive Line

If your offense is struggling, that usually means the defense has to play longer and harder to make up for a lack of points. What comes from a lot of playing time? Injuries.

DE Calais Campbell is the heart of the Line and he’s been hobbled for weeks.

DE Yannick Ngakoue has a shoulder, DT Malik Jackson has a back (those can take forever to heal)

While we haven’t seen Marcell Dareus on the injury report since training camp, he did miss the Vikings game. Meaning, he isn’t 100%, either. The question is, at what percentage is he? And with Campbell struggling, it’s up to him to work a little harder.

Defensive Backs

D.J. Hayden was the nickel and with him missing so much time, that puts more burden on the linebackers and defensive backs. Back-up Tre Herndon is nursing a hamstring.

Tashaun Gipson Sr. has been dealing with a couple different ailments since training camp. That puts more burden on, you guessed it – the LBs and DB’s. It can also affect the DL, too because they need to work harder.

Now Jalen Ramsey is dealing with a knee injury.

People keep screaming – play more man! Guess what, kiddies? Man is tough on the body. Todd Wash may not have a choice if he wants his players to survive to week ten. He’s a smart guy and a coach everyone loved until two weeks ago, That didn’t change, but the health of his team, did.

The End Result

So, here we are. An OL that must protect Bortles a hair longer, but can’t because they’re hurt. There’s no RB1 to help out, no WR1 he had built chemistry with over the years. He has a rookie WR who’s still learning.

The current WR1 is Keelan Cole, who’s streaky and new addition, Donte Moncrief. Bortles is on his third LT and down to RB3 as his starter and behind him is an old vet just added and an unsigned rookie from another practice squad.

The bottom line is, until, or if the OL can get and stay healthy, the offense is going to struggle and that struggle will affect the defense. The bad news is it sounds as if they’re going to rush Fournette back.

Read here about hamstring injuries.

All in all, there’s not much the coaches can do except channel the most creative game plans of their lives to combat such a hobbled team. It’s going to be rough on us fans, but finger-pointing and laying blame and asking for the heads of coaches isn’t going to help.

Make no mistake about it, this franchise wants to win, they’re not laying down on the job, they need our support. Injuries happen, they suck, but there’s not much they can do about it besides break the bank on trades. That isn’t much of an answer either because it doesn’t help the chemistry and consistency issue.

For right now, all we can do is cheer and give them the #DUUUVAL spirit because Lady Luck forgot to bless this team with health.

 

 

 

 

Game Predictions Week 6 – He Said/She Said

Last week, was not good for us, especially Jules. She only got 9 correct and Jay got 11 out of the 14 we picked. Here go with our Game Predictions Week 6 – He Said/She Said

1:00 Games

Buccaneers (2-2) vs Falcons (1-4) Fox

Jay: I don’t trust either defense. I have less distrust in Matt Ryan than in Jameis. Atlanta by a touchdown.

Jules: The Falcons are the most disappointing team this season. On paper, this should be an Atlanta win, it’s at home, Jameis Winston’s first game starting and Tampa’s defense is really bad; however, the Falcons’ defense is equally putrid. While both defenses are bad, I’m thinking (and this hurts to write), Ryan can put more points up than Winston.

Steelers (2-2-1) vs Bengals (4-1) CBS

Jay: this is a coin flip game that I’m really excited to see. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ll take Cincinnati.

Jules: Then we have the Bengals are the most surprising good team. It feels so odd to chose Cincy over the Steelers, but I’m doing that.

Chargers (3-2) vs Browns (2-2-1) CBS

Jay: I think the Browns are stingy enough on defense, but I’ll take LA and live to regret it.

Jules: Philip Rivers is among the best quarterbacks getting no love, doubt that will change this week against a good defense. Los Angeles’s defense is missing Bosa and it’s why, along with kicking issues (again), for the 2 losses – but see a squeaker win (I blame the back-up kicker if they lose).

Bills (2-3) vs Texans (2-3) CBS

Jay: Houston is the better team on paper. Paper covers rocks. Take Houston.

Jules: as much as it pains me to say, think Houston wins, again. Neither team is very good, but the Bills are worse and this will be on the road for them. Plus, Watson is feeling more comfortable and that makes a big difference.

Bears (3-1) vs Dolphins (3-2) FOX

Jay: Bears. Next

Jules: Dolphins being 3-0 seemed like an illusion and it was. Bears aren’t complete, but they’re better than Miami…and tons better with Asweiler under center.

Cardinals (1-4) vs Vikings (2-2-1) FOX

Jay: Vikings. Next question please.

Jules: If the Vikes can’t pull this off, then tough to see their season ending well.

Colts (1-4) vs Jets (2-3) CBS

Jay: I’ll take the Colts because I think it will take 25 points to win this game and I don’t think the Jets can score 25 points.

Jules: Picking the Jets because a) the Colts have half their team injured and b) it’s in NJ.

Seahawks (2-3) vs Raiders (1-4) FOX (weird this game is at 1)

Jay: Seattle. In another agonizing defeat for the Raiders.

Jules: Seattle. Oakland has two things going for them – desperation and KISS wannabes.

Panthers (3-1) vs Redskins ( 2-2) FOX

Jay: Carolina in a game that’s closer than it should be.

Jules: Washington has a coaching problem and that’s not going to fix itself against a decent and rested Carolina team.

4:05 Game

Rams (5-0) vs Broncos (2-3) FOX

Jay: Snow is flying around in Denver. Will it slow down the Greatest Show On Surf?? I doubt it.

Jules: LA. When a team president has to go out and say he has confidence in his HC, a franchise is in trouble and Denver is drowning.

4:25 Games

Jaguars (3-2) vs Cowboys (2-3) CBS

Jay: Dallas. Bortles is 8-26 in road games. Low scoring, defensive affair. Have no faith in either team.

Jules: This game comes down to one thing – does Bortles have time? Jamal Charles and Ereck Flowers were added to this decimated offense that desperately needs more bodies. I don’t see Dallas’s offense being an issue even with a gimpy Jalen Ramsey. Jags win if the Oline can do its job.

Ravens (3-2) vs Titans (3-2) CBS

Jay: who are you Tennessee? Give us an identity please. We know who the Ravens are. I’ll take them by 3.

Jules: I guess some suit decided this game was worth national attention. I’m going to pick whomever plays the Titans every week, even if I’m not sure. But, I do believe Baltimore is better than Tennessee.

8:20 ESPN

Chiefs (5-0) vs Patriots (3-2)

Jay: Look for a lot of 21 personnel from the Pats. Michel is going to get 20 touches tonight. The Chiefs defense isn’t as bad as people think it is, but I think Tom makes a few big plays. I think that there’s a little book on Patrick Mahomes now. It’s a small one, and even if there is one, he has so many weapons around him, that he can hide some deficiencies. Look for NE to make him do it the long way on defense. I’ll take NE 34-31.

Jules: Games played in Foxboro are: 50% NE*, 15% refs, so any team going in there has a 35% chance of winning even if they’re 5-0. Both Denver and Jax had their games won, but their QB’s gave the games away. Tough to see even a diminished Brady* be as bad as them. The lone question is if NE*’s slow DB’s can keep up. I should say NE*, but I’m picking KC because I like losing these predictions.

NFL Week 5 Game predictions – He Said/She Said

NFL Week 5 Game predictions - He Said/She Said

There were 13 games last week, but we don’t predict Thursday games because it’s too much of a lead time for the Sunday games, however we do mention it to ourselves. NO shocker we both chose NE. As far as predictions for the 12 games last week, we each got 10 correct.

Here’s our NFL Week 5 Game predictions:

1:00 GAMES

Titan (3-1) vs Bills (1-3) CBS

Jay: Titans in a physical game.

Jules: sad to say the Titans. Tough to see a rookie QB do well against a pretty good defense.

Giants (1-3) vs Panthers (2-1) FOX

Jay: Carolina off a bye and I think it’s a 2 score game. The Giants just aren’t very good right now.

Jules: Carolina coming off a bye will be healthy and fired up at home.

Dolphins (3-1) vs Bengals (3-1) CBS

Jay: Miami regressed back to reality. I like Cincinnati here because of their offensive options. Close game. Cinco wins by 3.

Jules: I don’t trust Miami’s defense, they were embarrassingly bad against a Patriots team that’s truthfully not that great. However, few teams win in Foxboro.

Ravens (3-1) vs Browns (1-2-1) CBS

Jay: The Browns are tough and they’ll come out swinging, but I think the Ravens are too good and they win a tough, hard fought game

Jules: Ravens. Greg Williams has put together a good defense, problem is Don Martindale has done the same. While Flacco leaves me cold, he’s done pretty well this season. Mayfield has looked good against poor defenses, not sure he can pull this off.

Packers (2-1-1) vs Lions (1-3) FOX

Jay: The Lions are a work in progress. They’re not ready yet to beat Aaron Rodgers (who is getting healthier by the week).

Jules: Packers. I think the Lions have a lot of tools, but aren’t quite done baking, yet. This should be a tight game if Kerryon Johnson can keep on motoring. Would love a Lions win, but I don’t know.

Jaguars (3-1) vs Chiefs (4-0) CBS

Jay: This will be and extremely fun and competitive game and I’m really looking forward to it. I still think Mahomes takes care of the game at home, by a field goal.

Jules: Jacksonville’s pass defense is quite a bit better than Denver’s who kept Mahones to Zero passing TD’s . Bortles is better than Keenum, and KC’s defense is bad – Jags win by hassling Pat, shutting down his receivers and for once can keep penalties under 70 yards.

Broncos (2-2) vs Jets (1-3) CBS

Jay; Broncos. Their defense will give Darnold a tough time, and while the Jets are tough on defense, I see the Broncos winning a game that’s played in the teens.

Jules: Broncos. While the Jets defense isn’t bad, they sure looked that way in Jacksonville. Rookie Darnold will struggle again, but this time should be able to put up more points.

Falcons (1-3) vs Steelers (1-2-1) FOX

Jay: This game is sneaky good and quite possibly a must win for both sides. Pittsburgh in a tight one at home.

Jules: At some point Matt Ryan and his arm should be enough to outscore an opponent. Big Ben has some really bad games. I’m predicting this will be one.

4:05 GAME

Raiders (1-3) vs Chargers (2-2) CBS

Jay: Chargers, even though this will be a home game for the Raiders. Will be a fun one to watch

Jules: Chargers. Raiders won through some questionable calls and it’s tough to see that defense have an answer for Uncle Phil…as long as their kicker doesn’t loose another game.

4:25 GAMES

Vikings (1-2-1) vs Eagles (2-2) FOX

Jay: I like Philly at home but I do see the Vikings as a having their backs against the wall here. I have no confidence, but I’ll take Philly.

Jules: Who would’ve thought a couple weeks ago this game would be ho hum? Neither team’s defense has looked good. Picking Philly because it’s a home game.

Cardinals (0-4) vs 49ers (1-3) FOX

Jay: Bad game. San Francisco at home will give Rosen a tough time.

Jules: Putrid vs bad. Who cares who wins? This division is the Rams’. SF because it’s a home game.

Rams (4-0) vs Seahawks (2-2) FOX

Jay: Rams…where is the 12th man?

Jules: Is this a trick question? Rams.

8:20 GAME

Cowboys (2-2) vs Texans (1-3) NBC

Jay: Anticlimactic night game with those 2 special ones at 1:00. I’ll take Houston in a low scoring affair.

Jules: What a crappy night game. Coin flip says Texans due to the better QB.

Monday 8:15 ESPN GAME

Redskins (2-1) vs Saints (3-1)

Jay: Saints. Saints at home and I don’t usually go against that.

Jules: Hmm. Can Washington catch a pass and not play sloppy? Alex Smith has the talent and smarts to beat NO, but can the rest of the team keep up? It’s all up to Gruden who has a rested team who can win.

A Battle Royale is about to go down and the Jaguars can feast on Kermit if they…

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chief game preview

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chief game preview

Everyone knows the Chiefs are on a passing roll, but have a poor defense. However, Denver’s defense kept them to 27 points and if their QB had made one simple throw at the end, would have won.

That’s important for two reasons. First, Denver’s total defense is ranked 16th, but 18th against the pass. That’s a big difference between the Broncos and Jags. Denver’s key was getting in Mahones’ face, not so much from pass coverage, an area Jax is tops at.

Second reason the 27-24 score matters: Denver’s total offense is ranked 15th, but their passing offense is 19th with Keenum having a Rating ranked 29th (last TD pass was week 1). Bortles rating is 18th, the Jaguars total offense at 16th. Denver’s rushing attack is 2nd and Jax is 12th.

I bring this up because KC couldn’t stop the run (141 yards/2 TDS to backs) and they allowed a bottom ranked QB to throw 245 yards. KC total defense is ranked 26th, 30th against the pass allowing an average 7.9 yards a throw and eight passing TD’s. That’s kind of pitiful.

So, if Blake Bortles‘ offense just plays their average game and their defense plays theirs – the Jaguars should win. No craziness needed – just be themselves. Their average rush is 4.3 yards, while KC allows 5.7 – dead last in stopping the run.

Bortles’ average yards per pass is 7.3. KC allows 7.9, ranking 30th. Just based on stats, Jacksonville’s receivers and running backs should have a good day.

Sorry, Pat but this is laugh out loud funny. (except the stolen FSU War Chant)

Jacksonville should NOT defer

Most of the time when a team wins the coin toss, they defer. If Jacksonville wins it, I think they shouldn’t. When the Jaguars score a touchdown first in a game, good things happen – like wins. Not to mention, it’ll help quiet the noise for a bit.

Going first also sends a message – we trust our offense and your defense stinks. Both of these should hold true. In addition, when Jax marches down the field this season, they’ve been burning a lot of clock.

Best way to keep Patrick Mahones off the field and keep the defense fresh is to dink and dunk. Bortles and T.J. Yeldonhave been fairly good at mixing things up which helps in that goal. Yes, we’d love to see aggressive play-calling, which often equates to an aerial attack, but that can still be accomplished with constant short passes.

If Jacksonville can put a TD up first, it’ll change how the Chiefs play because now they’re in catch-up mode. Best way is take the ball first and march down the field. While some may say having the ball first after half-time is the way to go, the Jags have been flat in third quarters.

Jacksonville has scored one TD in the 3rd Quarter, but only allowed 1.

The one TD Jax scored when receiving the ball after the half, was late in the third on  a break out run by Donte Moncrief; therefore, I don’t see an advantage of deferring. By contrast, the defense has come out of the locker room in the 3rd quarter, firing on all cylinders and haven’t allowed a TD on a first possession, yet.

Against the Giants, a FG was allowed after a couple of penalties on their first possession of the 3rd. Against the Titans, a FG was allowed first possession because of penalties. A TD was given up in the third to the Patriots*, after a fumble by our rookie WR. Do you see a theme, here? Against the Jets’ first drive, the defense got a safety. Not until late in the 3rd did the Jets kick a FG.

This season, winning the coin toss hasn’t mattered.

We know our identity and it’s not an aerial attack team – it’s smash mouth defense. Mahones has three tools to use: Hill, Hunt and Kelce. If Gibson can eliminate Travis Kelce like he did Gronk, that’s a huge (literally) target removed.

When Jalen Ramsey dismissed Gronk, although they didn’t match-up all that much, it set a precedent. He’s now done the same to Tyrek Hill. The question may not be between those two, but how Tyler Patmon does since Hill often lines up as a slot. He did well last week, but it was the Jets.

The key may be for the CBs to play hard press, jam the receivers at the line disrupting the timing, but keep Barry Church high. Pressing the wide receivers usually means the QB has to hold the ball a touch longer to find an open guy and that should be when Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue bookend Patrick Mahones and meet in the middle for a for a Kermit sandwich. Denver almost made it work.

A collision is coming

The Jags allow a paltry 5.8 per pass and only have given up 3 passing TDs, QB’s have a 81.3 rating against them. Completion rate is 60.6%, 5th best. Mahones is averaging 8.7 per pass with a completion rate of 65.2%. Obviously, we have a collision coming since Pat’s biggest asset is his receivers making 14 TD’s. That’s the bottom line. Stop them, stop him.

KC rushing gets an average of 4.3 per carry, with 4 TDs and 113 yards a game. Meanwhile, Jax gets 4.3, 113.5. The flaw is only 1 TD and to me that lack of scoring points to Leonard Fournette – big power back who can muscle his way into the EZ is sorely missed.

Here’s the thing about Bortles (and most any QB), give him 2.8-3 seconds and he can deliver the ball. He needs a touch longer because his release isn’t quick due to his wind-up. So, this game may boil down to the Oline. Keep Ford and Houston off him.

The one area KC and Jax are equal is sacks- tied at 12th with 10. That’s where the walking wounded Oline must prevail. Luckily, Bortles can and does scramble well.

When he’s rushed, he throws a lot of ducks – slow and wobbly. This may be why the receivers go on drop runs. It’s tough catching a ball that comes in sideways, especially when you’re on the move. Blake needs to throw better spirals to help them out, that can occur if he has time.

Biggest Key

The biggest key though is PENALTIES. The Jags can’t be giving away 70 yards of flags, especially when they hand offenses points. 11-119 vs NYG, 7-71 vs NE, 8-75 vs Titans and 9-89 vs the Jets = 354 YARDS IN PENALTIES, 88.5 A GAME (avg)

My keys for winning

  • Defer
  • Get the ball first and score, changing how KC may attack.
  • take away Kelce, Mahones’ safety net
  • press the receivers so Mahones has to hold the ball enabling the ends to rattle him
  • stop with the flags

No Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chief game preview can be complete without saying – don’t turn the ball over. These sloppy mistakes lost the game to the Titans and kept shut-outs from occurring. The last thing KC needs is extra chances to score. Not to mention, the Jaguars defense needs to stay fresh, they can’t do that if the offense is giving the Chiefs the ball.

Jags win and feast on Frog Legs (yum)