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Jaguars vs. Buccaneers: Individual matchups that could decide the game

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The Jaguars face the Buccaneers on Sunday. Which individual matchups will impact the outcome of the game?

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

While it has so far been a disappointing season for the Jaguars, hopes are still high as they go into Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers this Sunday. While it will be a battle between the two teams on each side of the ball, I'm looking for a specific individual matchup that could potentially make-or-break the game for Jacksonville.

But "individual matchups" does not necessarily mean just two players facing off against each other. It could be AJ Cann vs. Gerald McCoy, the Jaguars' offense vs. their red zone issues, and more.

My "matchup" of the week is the example itself, the Jaguars' offense vs. their red zone issues. I know, that's a weird "matchup", but this has become a serious problem that is holding Jacksonville back from winning.


Jaguars' offense vs. their red zone issues

The Jaguars' offense has honestly looked very good for a good amount of the young season. Players like quarterback Blake Bortles, running back T.J. Yeldon, and wide receiver Allen Hurns have put up good numbers so far. Bortles has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards and tossed six touchdowns. Yeldon leads all rookies in touches with 80, and Allen Robinson leads the league in yards per catch, with just over 22.

This is great. These are really good numbers. But none of those numbers are relevant when it comes to the Jaguars production in the red zone (or second half, but I'm keeping this red zone).

According to ESPN Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco, the Jaguars rank 28th in the NFL when it comes to scoring touchdowns in the red zone, scoring touchdowns on only 36.36% of their red zone drives. Another way to look at it: the Jaguars have made it to the red zone 11 times this season, and have only scored touchdowns on four of those opportunities. That's horrific.

How the Jaguars can win this "matchup"

The Jaguars need to start executing more on offense when they enter the red zone. The Jaguars have scored only six offensive touchdowns as a whole this season, and only four of them have been in the red zone.

As shown by the players' stats above, the Jaguars have put up good numbers and have the talent to be a productive team offensively, but they need to take advantage of their opportunities in the red zone and turn those drives into touchdowns if they want to win ball games.