AFCS Week 10 Game Previews – stats, ref crews, injury reports, QB charts

AFCS Week 10 Game Previews

The Texans have a bye, so this week there are only two games in this AFCS Week 10 Game Previews. To say that the Jaguars must win and the Titans need to lose is an understatement. There will be no hope of winning a play off spot without wins throughout. If the Texans could stumble, that would best. Duh.

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

This game is in Nashville giving the Titans a slim chance because the refs should be more fair.

Referee Crew

patriots vs titans ref crew

Notable injury is to Gronk, but Sony Michel is back, so these two are washes. I’ve seen different reports on if Gronk is out, but it’s early, so will wait for an official statement. Also, no one ever believes their injury reports, so take them with a grain of salt.

An already beat-up Marcus Mariota will be down his tackle, which is where NE* will attack.

It’s tough muster up any kind of excitement for this game, I can’t stand either team and despise Brady*. How can anyone cheer for NE*? At this point, the AFC PO roads go through KC, LA (yes, said LAR because they could be the dark horse) and NE*. For Jacksonville, if  they were to win out, Titans winning just this game, wouldn’t be horrid to help knock NE* down.

KC is the team Jax would least want to face since they would have to play there in a tie. A tie vs NE* means Jax at home. Since winning the division is key, that means beating Pitt and so the same applies.

Moving on, the Titans defense has a chance because their defense (on a good day) isn’t bad and Tom Brady* beyond ten yards is looking suspect. His accuracy is very off this season; however, his receivers have been helping him out and he finds ways to pick defenses a part even though the zip isn’t there – like Peyton his ending years. His mind wins over strength.

Tennessee is 6th vs the pass, Jax gave the league the blueprint to beat them and the Titans may have the talent to do something similar in their house. They’re really good vs the rush and with Sony Michel back that may be key. Combine that with having 20 sacks and they have a chance. The way to beat Brady* is get in his face and bump him (I’d sack him, but if they touch him harder than a hip bump, they’ll get flagged).

When it comes to Mariota, his passing charts aren’t stellar, but he’s been hurt. New England is 28th vs the pass which could help him out; however, he’s got two hurt WR’s and a tackle out.

New England is 21st vs the run, but they’ve only allowed 3 TD’s and that’s big since Tennessee has five rushing TD’s and Mariota only has six passing. This offense has been one more of opportunity than a well-oiled machine.

When it comes to NE*, they’re 8th in passing and 9th in rushing. They also create turnovers, 11 interceptions, something the Titans don’t do well, they only have six.

Keys for Tennessee to get a win:

  1. hope their secondary finds a way to cover well enough giving them time to jam Brady*.
  2. they can run the ball
  3. Mariota runs

Keys for NE*

  1. contain Mariota
  2. play Patriot* football

Here’s the thing, NE* isn’t a speedy team, they beat you with their play calling. They love their 21 personnel and matching up Patterson (who is a true flex player) on the slowest linebacker. I don’t think TN is quite there, yet in speed and discipline to beat NE*.

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

Referee Crew

jaguars vs colts ref crew

The Jags injury report is smaller than it’s been in a while, but after a bye week, it should be. It is disconcerting that both TE’s (neither have more than a combined single game of experience) is on here. I just don’t understand their blasé attitude towards having no TE’s.

The good news is: no OL! Can they stay healthy is the biggest question because with a healthy line, we see good Bortles, without, we see the turnover machine. Combine that with two power backs and we could witness what was envisioned before the season was wrecked with injuries.

Meanwhile, the surging Colts are still dealing with injuries and a few of their players go off a week, only to pop back up the next. What’s to note is although they got Jack Doyle back, their other TE’s are out.

Ok, here’s some brass tacks: Jax run defense stinks, it’s allowing over 125 yards a game and almost a TD per outing. Their bread and butter was in the passing game with AJ Bouye. They were stingy with yards per pass and air TD’s.

These two teams on offense are polar opposites and if Bouye was playing, I’d say this could be a strong win. Also, since Indy is middle of the pack stopping run yards (but even with Jax in allowing TD’s), this would be a good match-up for a strong run first team.

However, do we know how Fournette and Hyde will do? How healthy is the OL, really? That’s what this game will come down to: can Jacksonville be the pass defending juggernaut and Fournette be at 2017 form?

If those two are yeses, then Jax could be on the receiving end of a win.

Must add this. Jalen Ramsey has to be a leader out there. If the DB’s aren’t communicating, missing assignments, he needs to channel some Ray Lewis and get in their face. Someone needs to be the leader of the secondary and it for dang sure isn’t Barry, drink until 4am, Church.

Looking at Indy, they’ve really shored up their pass defense which isn’t good news for Bortles if that OL can’t give him the time he needs. To me, I’d try to come out passing because Indy will be expecting the run.

Test them. See if they prepared for a heavy run defense and maybe Bortles can surprise them because that is going to be crucial if the Jags’ secondary isn’t dominant. Jacksonville can’t be spending seven minutes a drive for a rush TD and Luck throws a TD in two minutes.

The way to stop Indy is for the secondary to play man as often as they can buying time for the DL to sack him, hit him. They’ve got to take away the pass game to even things out.

It would seem prudent to play a safety high and stop the short pass which is where getting DJ Hayden could be a huge help (but keep reading). Luck is among the worst at air yards, Indy’s dink and dunk game is the short pass which is averaging 6.4 air yards. The guy throws 4 TD’s in a game with 156 yards.

He’s a surgeon in reading the field and knowing exactly where to go with the ball. That’s the bad news to leaving one safety, he lulls defenses into playing short and then lobs one deep.

Based on that, Jax will need to get very creative in the looks they show Luck. They’ve got to confuse him.

Even though Jax stinks at run stopping, better that than allowing him to pass. Speaking of which, clearly he’s a GOD in the RZ and that is what must be stopped, letting him get there.

I debated posting Bortles passing charts because they’re pitiful, but they include his running and that should be made a part of the game plan. RPO the snot out of them today. Oh, have to add that the receivers drop a lot and that does affect his numbers.

Keys to winning for Jags:

  1. defense: white on rice for the receivers
  2. DL needs to get in his face early and often
  3. OL needs to block, give BB confidence to throw

Keys to winning for Indy:

  1. pick on injured Telvin Smith
  2. pick on Patmon
  3. play press because Jax receivers rarely get separation

From the Jax coaches, we need to see some aggressive play calling out there. The season is on the line, go for broke.

Jacksonville Jaguars, News, Notes for 10/17/2018 – “Stay steadfast, stay committed to us”

Jacksonville Jaguars, News, Notes for 10/17/2018

Jacksonville, FL. Doug Marone, Blake Bortles and Telvin Smith met with the press today. The Jaguars owner, Shad Khan also made some news.

We’ll address The Khan news first, then Marrone presser.

Below is his statement, but what he doesn’t say is the Football Association’s 10-member board and 127-member council are out of touch with reality. What they want, is leaving the FA behind. Which can be witnesses from them not winning a championship since the 1990’s.

Reports suggest that the dissenting voters believe that having American Football gain traction in Great Britain would hurt the FA. Their belief is they can do a better job at keeping Wembley a thriving entity under their direction.

Obviously, they have no clue how Mr. Kahn can meld the traditional with cutting edge technology and produce a better product. Their loss.

Knee jerk reactions in Jacksonville vary from – yay, no chance now the Jaguars are moved to England, to boo, this means the Jaguars won’t have an extra revenue stream and could end up leaving Jacksonville without a pro team.

There is also fear that some other NFL owner will put in a bid for Wembley or another city will build a stadium and snatch the Jags away.

Here are my thoughts on the above

  • I would say that the chance the Jaguars are moved overseas will always be a back burner option until the team is able to consistently have season tickets sold out and a full stadium. Wembley or no Wembley. Roger Goodell decides this, anyway at the behest of the owners association.
  • The potential revenue stream from having Wembley, is just that – potential. Until some team is housed there permanently, the continued extra 15% stream continues because the Jags are still the number team with the fans, and that continues to grow.
  • The potential stream from owning Wembley can be made up, if the downtown plans go through. “The Cordish Companies’ entertainment districts operate successfully in major cities throughout the U.S., and are the most visited destinations in their respective regions, attracting more than 50 million people each year.” Their place in Louisville, KY attracts more than 4.5 million a year. That’s a lot of moola.
  • Has anything been written or said that indicates that Khan had buying Wembley as part of his package when buying the Jags? As in, he factored in that revenue as part of the financial picture? If not, then this was an added bonus and not contingent on keeping the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Not to mention, where the Cordish companies build, are mostly around a professional sport. Whether it’s football, soccer, bull riding, baseball. The exceptions are on the ocean.
  • Another NFL owner isn’t going to buy Wembley as long as the same elitist mentality continues with the FA. Unless their older voters start dying out and are replaced with younger thinkers, no one else as a chance.

Would adding Wembley bring in more revenue? Yes. Would it impact whether or not the Jaguars stay in Jacksonville? Probably not unless the Shipyard hits some major snags. Either way, the only thing residents of NE Florida can do is buy tickets and show up.


Moving on to Doug Marrone. He thinks the team has played like shit, that the coaches (pointing to himself first) need to do a better job at focusing on the fundamentals. He believes being 3-3 sucks, but sees it as a good thing because it’s a challenge.

Having a couple of weeks of losing builds a team and tests their mettle – he sees how they can bounce back. What was missing from his words was how they’re going to address the weaknesses on offense. Neither Leonard Fournette or TJ Yeldon practiced today. The Jaguars are now down their starting tight ends and the Oline is beat up.

More questions and answers were about the defense; however, I don’t care if they’re playing lights out, the offense still needs to score points.

Blake Bortles thinks that when injuries happen, it’s up to the QB to make up for them. He also mentioned the bad luck that seems to run with this team and also why they may be last in the differentials. The ball seems to bounce the wrong way. Even so, they need to get back to being the team they know they are.

When he addresses the injuries to the team he said they’re limited on the plays they can run because of them. Even so, they need to find ways to be effective. He also said that scoring early happened in the games they won.

Linebacker Telvin Smith said when it came to the defense getting the ball back, they weren’t causing other teams to make mistakes, which is where turnovers come from. They did better against the teams without running quarterbacks, which they know needs to be fixed. Smith believes they’re fine and will overcome the injuries.

“Stay steadfast, stay committed to us”

Smith was steadfast himself in believing no one has given up. He said he’s seen it before from years past in Jacksonville and that’s not in the locker room. They’ve faced lot of adversity, but they’re over coming it. The bad communication over the last couple weeks will be fixed during practice.

One thing that came across from the three was a difference in attitude. They acted as calm firemen who already put a fire out, but they couldn’t avoid the soot.

Malik Jackson, DJ Chark, Niles Paul and Allen Lazard gave back to the community

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. On their “day off”, several Jacksonville Jaguars players used their time to give back to the community. For Malik Jackson it was important to him to meet and show his appreciation first responders.

DJ Chark, Niles Paul and Allen Lazard stopped by the Jericho School for Children with Autism and spent time the students.

Jericho School for Children with Autism

 

Why the Jaguars

I’m writing this to be up front and honest with the readers. While my family and I have lived in the Jacksonville area since 1994 and have been to many games in the following 22+ years (see my t-shirt with the outlawed logo), my first love was for another team.

I grew up in South Florida to Dolphins’ season ticket holders; however, I picked my team 40 years ago and didn’t look back…until 2015. That’s the year Denver fans boo’d Peyton Freakin’ Manning.

We’ve been to Jags games when Bortles threw interceptions and even had one go off a cleat, but never heard a boo. In fact, in 22 years, the only boo’s we’ve heard from the fans was towards the other team and once at Jack Del Rio (deserved). Yes, 22 years of games because while Denver was my first love, the Jags were a close second. In fact, my brother is a first year season ticket holder, a loyal fan through a couple decades of misery.

Which leads me to why I dumped the Broncos, a team I wrote about for a couple of years, loved, sweated and cried over. Professionalism. Integrity. The Jaguars, their media and fans have it, the Broncos don’t.

After having an up-close encounter with Denver, their coaches, team make-up, their in-house media and fans, it became apparent they make the Bills fans at the play off game look like nice people. I won’t address the appalling media surrounding Denver.

Remember when Tom Coughlin was fired and Wayne Weaver seemed to check out as an owner? How the Jaguars became stale, the media became belligerent and there was this sense that the Jags were being left behind? That’s Broncos Country times ten. When Shad Khan bought the team, that all went away.

The Khans brought fun back to Jacksonville. They brought professionalism, cutting edge thoughts, technology and while they needed to go through two head coaches, they found their men in Doug Marrone and Coughlin. Plus, props to Dave Caldwell who’s done a good job drafting.

While some may say I’ve jumped on this bandwagon because of last season’s winning, the truth is, the wins came from the above paragraph. What I love, why I kicked a lifetime team to the curb, is the way the Jaguars operate. As a longtime Navy wife, that leadership style gets my blood going.

In May, I had a gruesome injury that could have killed or left me without a lower leg. That’s when I realized that life is too short and fragile to waste it on dysfunctional things and people.

Even during the dark times, one thing the Jags fans never lost was their sense of loyalty, fairness and honor. Maybe it’s because there are so many veterans here, but fans know there is something wrong with booing a player and booing one before he takes the field. I find it difficult to believe that the Khans, Tad Dickman, Coughlin, Caldwell or Marrone would ever allow that to happen. Or allow local media to destroy a player.

Call me a bandwagon fan, I will own it, but know this, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be my last team because this is home. This is where I belong. In the South, with southern fans, southern charm and writing about a franchise that is run with military precision and leads the NFL in innovation.

HOORAH and Go Jags!

 

 

I’LL ALWAYS CHEER, NEVER BOO A JAGS PLAYER OR THE TEAM! 

4-3 formation, Cover 2 and other Defensive terms: Football 101

Jacksonville uses what is called a 4-3 formation. It employs four guys on the line called, Defensive Linemen, and four Linebackers. What formation a team uses, is determined by the personnel. In order for the tougher 3-4 to work, it needs a really good Nose Tackle and four superb linebackers. Most teams don’t have both.

Below is a base 4-3 Defense (under) in a Cover 2. This is a standard formation, for a standard play, usually on downs one and two against an average team. The defensive backs are in a Cover 2 (2 cornerbacks and 2 safeties).

To avoid saying generally and usually fifty times throughout the piece, please assume almost everything is a ‘usually’. This is about covering the Basics. Football 101. Just know that defenses use many formations that are based on down, distance and offensive formations, etc.

Going to put current names for positions to give you an idea of who plays where and why.

In case you were wondering, football diagrams always have the defense on top, so while it looks like the L should be R and vice versa, the players are facing the offenses; therefore, the diagram is correct.

Defensive Linemen (4-3)

*Both Ngakoue and Campbell do switch sides dependent on different factors*

The Right Defensive End is currently Yannick Ngakoue. DE’s are big guys, but also agile because the best ones can get to the QB and hit him, but also stop running backs.

Left Defensive End That’s Calais Campbell. Great ends like Campbell, can read the offense and know it’s a pass play and bull doze his way through the line to sack or break up the pass. He is a rare breed because he’s huge, bigger than most DE’s, but has the quickness of a smaller guy.

In a 4-3, ends are tasked with stopping the pass and harassing the QB. In a 3-4, the outside linebackers are predominately who do that because the ends (or at least one of them) is focused on stopping the run.

Defensive tackles (4-3)

There are two types: Nose Tackles and Tackles. They line up side by side.

Nose Tackle – Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones. NT’s are tasked with lining up based on the center.  NT’s are usually the biggest mamajamma of the starters. NT need long arms and superhuman strength, they set the tone, keep teams from running up the middle and force running backs to the edge. The Jags want teams to abandon the run and pass the ball because they have the best secondary on the planet.

In addition, forcing the run to the edge gives more time for the defenders on that side to get there to make a tackle. They’re also easier to see. When you have eight HUGE bodies on the LOS, a small RB can be tough to spot.

Defensive Tackle. Malik Jackson He takes on a Guard along with either a offensive tackle or the center depending on the play. The NT & DT work together to stop the run. Teams can and do swap out the NT for two DT depending on the play. In another article, I talk about techniques and that determines how these guys line up.

Linebackers

In a 4-3 defense, you have 3 LB’s, a Weak (Will), Middle (Mike) and Strong (Sam). LB’s can and do line up wherever they want depending on the play. For Jax’s base defense, I set it up on the offense in a 11 formation (1 RB, 1 TE). Each have certain roles: stop whatever type of body comes their way. Clog up the middle of the field, discouraging passes. Cover any passes that are to the middle of the field. In plays to the corners, back them up. Sack the quarterback.

Inside Linebackers (Will) and Inside Linebacker (Mike)

The Will  (Telvin Smith Sr. ) is usually smaller and quicker than the Mike and has better cover skills. He’s often going to get tasked to watch the slot, if there is one, but their job is to tackle any one with the ball in their hands.

Mike (Myles Jack wasn’t down) is the usually the run stopper and power tackler. DC’s (defensive coordinators) can use different skill sets to become a match-up nightmare. It all starts with the Fearsome Foursome (DL). Those men need to stuff/slow down the rush because if the Will is the ‘cover guy’, he’s not going to be great at stopping the run by himself.

*a MLB is referred to as Mike, but it is not the same as being the MIKE (read here for more info)*

Outside Linebacker (Sam), in a 3-4 there’s also a 4th guy, I call him Elephant, he’s their premier edge rusher. Leon Jacobs If you look below, you’ll see there is a TE in my typical offense. That is the strong side because there are more players on that side of the ball. If an offense uses two wide receivers on each side of the ball, the defense decides which side is more likely to be the “play” side and puts the Sam there.

Sams have two jobs: rush the QB and stop the outside runner. They typically are the LB that is the quickest with the best agility to bend under a reaching OT/TE.

Defensive Backs

The defensive players who cover the back field are called; defensive backs. They are the secondary line of defense, hence they’re also referred to as the secondary. DB’s are broken down into two types: corners and safeties. Cornerbacks tend to cover the corners of the field, the edges. Safeties cover the back and linebackers, the middle section.

Right Cornerback. A.J. Bouye. Jacksonville is blessed to have two CB’s so gifted. Shutdown corners rarely get the accolades they deserve. Players who make interceptions get the splashy news, but what’s overlooked is in order for an interception to happen, the ball has to be thrown to the player the corner is covering. The unsung hero is the guy who’s sticky glue taking away an option for the QB.

Left Cornerback is currently Jalen Ramsey The left CB lines up across from the Z WR. The Z is the quickest and fastest receiver and since he lines up closest to the QB and easiest to see, he gets a lot of action. This means his CB must be as quick and shifty.

In man coverage, if an opponent moves its WR1 or 2 to the other side, a CB will move with them. In zone coverage, he stays put and covers whomever comes into his area. A CB’s job is to not let the WR he is ‘covering’, to catch the ball, if he does, stop him quickly.

CB’s are fast, agile and must be scholars of the game. They’re in a battle of wits against the WR, and the QB. They anticipate what the play is, where the QB is going to throw the ball, stick with the WR who’s facing forward while he’s facing backward and within very tight rules of “no’s’. If you’d like t read more about corners, read here on standard, hard and soft press.

If plays get past the LB’s and the CB’s (yikes), the Safeties are there for mop duty. There are two kinds and they line up with the Strong Safety on the left and the Free Safety on the right.

As stated above, when the guys in front of them mess up, it’s up to these safety nets to keep the play out of the End Zone. The Strong Safety is the guy made to stop the run. He’s the bouncer. He’s got his eyes on the rusher and will move up to get him. Barry Church is our thumper.

SS play closer to the line. Occasionally they know a play is a pass and they will full on rush the passer. The types of attacks on the QB will be covered on another day as there are different ways. Since he’s bigger, he’s often teamed up with a LB to take on a receiving TE.

The Free Safety (Tashaun Gipson Sr.) plays further back, he is tasked with the deeper pass, either moving quickly to stop the WR who caught the ball already or break one up. He’s also the guy who reads the play so well, he calls out to his fellow DB’s what’s what.

While each safety has an expertise, stopping the run or coverage for a pass, both must be great tacklers. While the SS may be better at it, the FS is no slump. And while the FS has better hands and cover skills, the SS still must be a ball hawk, too.
Hope this was informative. Ask any questions below.