Jaguars Preview: Week 4

The Jags have a great opportunity this Sunday to win the 1st quarter of the season, something head coach Doug Marrone has emphasized throughout his tenure here in Jacksonville. As the Jags go into week 4, things are looking a lot like last year. Sitting 2-1 with the New York Jets next on the menu, the déjà vu can be felt. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at TIAA Bank Field.

Meeting: 

This Sunday’s matchup will be the 14thall time meeting, with New York leading the all-time series 7-6, with one of those victories coming in the playoffs.  The Jaguars are on a four game losing streak against the Jets. The last meeting was in October 2017 in Metlife Stadium up in East Rutherford, NJ, where the Jaguars lost 23-20. That game is most memorable to Jaguars’ faithful for the infamous run by Jets RB Bilal Powell. With over seven minutes left in the 1st quarter, Powell busted through the line and stumbled. Appearing to be down, Jaguars players like cornerback Jalen Ramsey eased up… but the whistle never blew. The play resulted in a Jets TD, and while the Jags would regain the lead for a short period, they would never regain the momentum.

Connections:

Jets kicker Jason Myers played in Jacksonville from 2015-17. He was cut after 6 weeks in the 2017 season after having a career in Jacksonville known for missing many field goals and extra points.

Jets starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum played in Jacksonville for the 2016 season. He was signed to a one year deal with an option for a four-year deal. The Jaguars declined that option, which allowed him to sign with the Jets in the offseason prior to the 2017 season.

Jets tight end Neal Sterling played in Jacksonville from 2015-17, and was cut prior to the 2017 season.

Jaguars fullback Tommy Bohanan played for the Jets from the 2013-15 seasons prior to joining the Jaguars in 2017.

What to Watch:

Jaguars secondary needs to be more aggressive. We have not yet seen a defensive game plan where we take advantage of our strength at corner. With a rookie QB in Sam Darnold coming off of a multiple interception performance with a passing game ranked 21st overall, look for Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye to play more aggressive, pressing receivers at the line. Thus far, Darnold is 56 of 93 passing, a 60% completion percentage. Respectable, but he’s yet to face a defense such as Jacksonville’s in his early career. Expect this unit to play much more aggressive to begin the ball game.

The offense needs to get rolling, and quickly. We saw it happen, signs of life in week 2 showcasing Blake’s ability against weaker competition. i.e. Eric Rowe. But this won’t be the same match up, unfortunately. The absence of a running attack has been apparent. The front office spent good money with off-season acquisition Andrew Norwell. So far, he has three penalties, two illegal hands to the face. Look for Norwell to clean up the penalties and have a monster performance. With $30mil guaranteed look for this man to have something to prove Sunday. The Jets gave up 135 rushing yards last Thursday to a mediocre Browns rushing attack. The Jags should be able to run at will on Sunday if they can execute.

About the Opponent: 

The Jags face a Jets team that is hungry for a win. The Jets are looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss last Thursday night to the Cleveland Browns. The Jets had three turnovers that could have easily been four. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold had 2 interceptions late, losing in dramatic fashion to fellow rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield lead offense 21-17. This is a must win game. The Jags face falling to 2-2 with a trip to undefeated Kansas City looming in Week 5.

Matchup to watch: 

With the absence of a running attack so far this season, look for the Jags to get back to power football with the likely return of running back Leonard Fournette. The strength of the Jets defense is in the secondary lead by second year SS Jamal Adams. Jets coach Todd Bowles loves to bring pressure, the Jags offensive line will have to show up Sunday. If the Jaguars can establish a running game early, it could be a long hot day for Jets fans.

3 keys to victory: 

Get after the quarterback. Get the running game going. Force turnovers against the rookie.

How to Listen:

Frank Frangie, Tony Boselli and Jeff Lageman will provide the call on 1010XL and 92.5 FM with Rick Ballou working the sidelines. It’s the fifth season of the Jaguars being on Jacksonville’s sports superstation.

Where to Watch: 

The Jets-Jaguars matchup will air on FOX and locally on WFOXD 30 at 1 p.m. Sunday. Dan Hellie will provide the play by play with Jeff Fisher for color commentary.