The Jacksonville Jaguars can extend their winning streak to four games on Sunday, which will be the franchise's longest winning streak since the 2007 season. Since the bye week the Jaguars have looked like a completely different football team. Some of that is the product of the teams they're matched up against now, along with a little luck.
They've beaten the Houston Texans twice as well as two teams with back up quarterbacks. Those things have contributed to the wins, but the biggest factor in their run as of late is the fact that they've consistently won the turnover battle in their wins.
More from our team sites
More from our team sites
Over the past five games, the Jaguars are +5 in the turnover battle (10 takeaways to 5 giveaways). In their one loss over the past few weeks, they were -2 in the turnover battle. While typically in the NFL teams who win the turnover battle go on to win, some teams like the Jaguars simply cannot over come turning the ball over.
Through the first eight games, the Jaguars were -7 in the turnover battle.
The Jaguars right now are a classic scrappy "try hard" team. They don't have a ton of talent, some could argue less overall talent than some of the teams they're beating, but they play hard every down and limit their mistakes, especially over the past month or so.
Teams like that can win close games.
The Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans 29-27, capped off by a sack/fumble returned for a touchdown. They ended that game with four takeaways and two turnovers, winning the turnover battle +2.
Against the Arizona Cardinals the Jaguars lost 27-14, generating no turnovers and turning it over twice themselves.
They beat the Houston Texans 13-7 by dominating the time of possession and forcing a turnover.
Against the Cleveland Browns the Jaguars were gifted multiple possessions before the end of the half to take the lead and ended the day +2 in the turnover battle with three takeaways to win 32-28 on a late drive.
The Jaguars beat the Texans for a second time on Thursday Night Football winning the turnover battle again at +2, picking off both Matt Schaub and Case Keenum. The Jaguars dominated time of possession once again and didn't turn it over for a 27-20 win.
In all four wins, it's been by a single score and it's been because they continue to fight the whole game and don't turn it over.
I'm not trying to buzzkill any good feeling here, because the difference in the last five weeks as opposed to the first eight weeks has been drastic, but the Jaguars are still pressing through wins and getting by. But, that's what this team has to do this year.
Luckily on Sunday, the Jaguars are playing a team in the Buffalo Bills that are on a slide. The Bills turned the ball over five times in their 27-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including four interceptions by rookie quarterback EJ Manuel, and on the season have 24 total giveaways. Currently they're -1 in the turnover battle on the season (Jacksonville is -2), but are -3 over the last five games.
I personally think the Jaguars come away with another win on Sunday against the Bills, but a big factor is going to be the turnovers. Both teams are teams that are not built to over come them.