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This is the Jaguars opportunity to show the country what this team is made of, as the game will be on national TV.
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 Blake Bortles vs. the Titans defense, Kendall Wright vs. Davon House, and more.
Last week's matchup of the Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens game was running back T.J.Yeldon vs. the Ravens front 7. The Jaguars miraculously won the game, but I would go as far as to say Yeldon did not win this matchup. Yeldon rushed 18 times for only 61 yards; a measly 3.4 yards per carry, and did not help establish a run game against the Ravens.
My matchup of the week is Blake Bortles vs. the Titans defense.
Blake Bortles vs. the Titans defense:
The word has spread. The league knows. Jacksonville has themselves a quarterback, and his name is Blake Bortles. Bortles has established himself as the future of this team, as he has really developed well throughout his second season as the Jaguars franchise quarterback.
While he has had his struggles here and there, making decisions to hold onto the ball too long or throwing some passes that make you scratch your head, he has put up the numbers and made the plays that gives us the assurance that he is the guy. Bortles has thrown for 19 touchdowns in 9 games this year, which easily surpasses how many touchdowns he threw in his rookie season (11 in 14 games), and has passed for 2381 yards. He has the ability to extend plays with his legs, and looks poised as he stands in the pocket, which is a good sign for a young QB.
Bortles goes against an unidentifiable Titans defense this Thursday night. The Titans placed star cornerback Jason McCourty on injured reserve on Monday, and other than McCourty, this defense appears to lack play makers, other than pass rusher Brian Orakpo, who has six sacks this year.
How this matchup will impact the game:
As I said before, Blake Bortles is the future of this team. He has the abilities to lead the team with his arm and his legs, he is tough, he is smart, and he can put points on the scoreboard.
If Jacksonville wants to win on Thursday night against the Titans with America watching, Blake Bortles needs to have a standout game. I'm personally looking for a career game out of Bortles, and I would be willing to go as far as to say that I think Blake Bortles will throw for 400 yards against this Titans defense. Call me crazy if you'd like.
All I can say is, Thursday night is the night for Blake Bortles to show the nation what he's got. Thursday night is the night for Bortles to lead the Jaguars to victory in primetime.
Be bold, Blake Bortles. Be bold.