The Jaguars Welcome New England to TIAA Bank Field With Open Arms as Revenge Surrounds Duval County
Jacksonville, FL —
Revenge: verb (used with object), re·venged, re·veng·ing.
- to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit
- to take vengeance for; inflict punishment for; avenge
The thought of revenge is on the mind of every person within the Jacksonville Jaguars’ organization. It’s without a doubt, on the mind of every single fan that roots for the Jags, “Miles Jack wasn’t down.”
As for the players and coaches, it’s all business as Jacksonville seeks its first 2-0 start since 2006 after beating the New York Giants last week, 15-10.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said it best Monday when asked about that AFC Championship game result and if it is in the mindset of his team this week.
“People always want to take you back, but you can’t.”
- A rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game. Jacksonville had a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost due to conservativeness.
- There’s quite a bit of familiarity as Jacksonville’s EVP of Football Operations, Tom Coughlin, beat Bill Belichick in Super Bowls XXLII, and XLVI. Also, Marrone was the Buffalo Bills head coach in 2015 and 2016.
- Jags’ running back Leonard Fournette is nursing a hamstring injury from week one. The second-year running back will be a game-time decision.
- With Fournette less than 100 percent or out, how will the $54 million quarterback, Blake Bortles, hand the pressure of more responsibility?
- How effective can the Patriots be on offense with a below average supporting cast surrounding quarterback Tom Brady?
Keep An Eye On…
Jags Rushing Attack: The Patriots gave up 167 yards last week to Houston — at home. Whether Fournette plays or not, Jacksonville must stay true to themselves by running the ball. Running the ball helps keep Brady off the Field. Jags’ running back T.J. Yeldon will get the start if Fournette cannot go. Last week, Yeldon had 51 yards on 14 carries. Also, Yeldon a is threat to catch the ball as well; he led the Jags in targets last week with seven.
Bortles and Company: New England’s top task will be to shut down Jacksonville’s run game no matter who’s in the backfield. It’s up to Bortles to diagnose the Patriots’ defense and find the mismatches on the outside. With no true number one receiver, Sunday is a prime opportunity for Bortles to show he’s worth his new contract. Look for Jacksonville to take some deep shots to keep New England honest.
Brady vs. Jags Defense: The Patriots’ game plan for Sunday will be all scheme due to physical mismatches at all three levels of Jacksonville’s defense. There will be a lot of crossing routes, screen passes, and bootlegs as Brady tries to elude the Jags’ pass rush. Brady will look to tight end Rob Gronkowski as his go-to playmaker. The Jalen Ramsey’s banter about Gronk is all fun and games in the press. Come Sunday, its time to put up or shut up.
X-Factor: Jacksonville’s ability to run the ball will be a significant factor. However, Bortles ability to convert third downs in the passing game will be the most essential facet of Sunday’s matchup.
Prediction: Jacksonville 27 – New England 20