The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a must-win game. In years past, the bar of expectation wasn't so high. But because playoffs are (and should) be the goal, going down 0-2 isn't an option. Since 2007, only six percent of NFL teams have gone 0-2 and made the playoffs.
What's going to happen today during the Jaguars vs. Chargers game? I've got a few guesses.
1. Dante Fowler gets the first sack of he and Yannick Ngakoue
Last week, the plan was to contain Aaron Rodgers... not let him out of the pocket and improvise his way towards a big play. This week, this line needs to rush the hell out of Philip Rivers. He's not nearly as mobile and athletic as Rodgers but he's every bit as dangerous in the passing game. They'll need to get pressure from all sources -- edge, interior, linebackers, and blitzing defensive backs -- and I think our LEO group gets at least one of those sacks today. And I think it's Dante Fowler.
So, why is this a bold prediction? Isn't he the former third overall pick? Yup, but he's been relegated to defensive end opposite Yannick Ngakoue who is currently the starting LEO. Fowler is getting less snaps and is in a slightly less advantageous position to get sacks. But I think he does it and I think he does it before Ngakoue.
2. Blake Bortles gets 300 yards
Yes, the Jaguars have a potent offense, but 300-yard games are nothing to sneeze at. Blake Bortles has thrown for 300 yards just eight times out of 30 starts. That's 27% and a similar percentage as Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, and other strong-armed quarterbacks.
This is also a bold prediction because...
3. The Jaguars will win
Yes, winning a game is a bold prediction. Go Jaguars.
First, Blake has never thrown for 300 yards and won. Ever. Which makes sense... you don't throw the ball for a ton of yards if you're winning.
Also, Gus Bradley has won just three times in the months of September and October, they've never won any farther west than Houston, and they're missing their best defender from Week 1. But I think they'll win because the team looked vastly improved in Week 1 and if not for 16 missed calls against the Green Bay Packers, that game is likely a win too. I said it earlier this week, I'll say it again -- Jaguars win 27-25.