Last week, I published and article in which I pretty much wrote off the rest of the Jacksonville Jaguars 2015 season.
Now, the Jaguars look to beat a struggling Atlanta Falcons team on Sunday. The Falcons, although very talented on offense, are a very "meh" team this year. The Falcons started the season on a hot streak, winning their first five games, but have since only won one of their last eight games.
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 Devonta Freeman vs. the Jaguars front 7, Allen Robinson vs. Desmond Trufant, and more.
Last week's matchup of the Jaguars vs. Colts game was the Jaguars defense vs. Matt Hasselbeck. Although Hasslbeck threw for 252 yards, he failed to score any touchdowns and the Jaguars defense consistently pressured Hasselbeck, which has been rare for the Jaguars defense to accomplish this year. Therefore, the jaguars defense won the matchup.
My matchup of the week is Davon House vs. Julio Jones.
Davon House vs. Julio Jones:
The Jaguars No. 1 cornerback Davon House faces his toughest challenge of the year in Julio Jones, who is one of the best if not the best wide receiver in the NFL.
Davon House has had himself a breakout season in his first year with the Jaguars, in my opinion. House has accounted for 45 tackles so far this season, a team-leading three interceptions, 19 pass breakups, which ranks second in the NFL, and a forced fumble (via nfl.com and sports.yahoo.com). House has lived up to the expectations set when the Jaguars signed him to a 5 year, $24 million dollar contract last March.
Julio Jones is known to be one of the best and hardest receivers to cover in the league. Through 13 games this year, Jones already has 109 receptions, 1426 yards, and six touchdowns (via nfl.com). Over his five seasons in the NFL, Jones has accounted for 387 receptions, 5756 yards, and 32 touchdowns.
This particular matchup has been seen before, when Jones and House went head to head last year on Monday Night Football in Green Bay, when House played for the Packers. While House did not start the game, he did find the field a multitude of times, and his matchup was Julio Jones. A more detailed (and better, to be honest) breakdown of last year's Julio Jones vs. Davon House matchup can be found here, brought to you by fellow BCC writer, Cole Hartley.
House's most notable play of the night was on a second down at the Packers' 48 yard line. Jones lines up out left and House lines up in press coverage in the Packers' Cover 3 scheme.
This is a confident move by House, because cover 3 entails the cornerback to cover deep thirds opposite of the other cornerback, with help in coverage from the free safety. However, House steps up and plays heavy man coverage on Jones, calling for a one-on-one battle.
Jones realizes that House is playing press defense, so Jones tries to outplay House on a deep ball.
House continues to play heavy man coverage and does not let Jones get away from him. When quarterback Matt Ryan throws the deep ball, House makes a beautiful play on the ball and breaks up the play.
How this matchup will affect the game:
As seen in the film breakdown above, as well as Cole's complete film breakdown last March, this is going to be quite the matchup between two very good, competitive football players.
If Jones finds ways to break free and make plays against House and the Jaguars defense, the Falcons will have a complete edge in the passing game, which will probably lead the Falcons to a victory. That's how important Jones is to the Atlanta offense.
However, if House can limit Jones in the passing game, the Atlanta offense will become very limited, which gives the Jaguars more opportunities and time to pound the Falcons into the ground with their offense.
This matchup will be Davon House's most challenging and important matchup of his season, and probably his career to date. Davon House needs to shine in order for the Jaguars to win the game.