The Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to win back-to-back games in since uh... a while, but their matchup with the New York Jets should lean towards another win and move the team to 3-1 headed to Pittsburgh.
I don’t think anyone will argue that the Jets are a bad football team, even realistic Jets fans, but to outsides the Jaguars are still one of those teams that you “should” beat, true or not. I think Jimmy Siettmann laid it out earlier in the week, that if the Jaguars want to be a good team they’ll need to start winning those “should” games, because good teams win the games they’re supposed to.
Here are my three keys to the Jaguars winning on Sunday:
If you don’t watch the games, you might think the fourth overall pick Leonard Fournette has been a disappointment for the Jaguars at running back. While you would like to see a significant increase in his 3.5 yards per carry, he clearly is someone that the other team game plans for and that does more that what you can show on the stat sheet. Teams put eight or nine in the box and try to take Fournette away, but even with that he seems to get positive yards, he’s just got to break through one day. The Jets run defense, statistically, is bad but I think that’s more about the team playing from behind and the other team running the ball to kill clock than anything.
Win turnover battle
In the Jaguars two wins they are +7 in the turnover battle and in their one loss they are -2 in the turnover battle. When you win the turnover battle, as a team built to run the ball and play good defense, you typically win. When you lose the turnover battle, you typically lose. Duh.
Build Bortles early
Last week against the Baltimore Ravens the Jaguars were able to jump on the Ravens early and keep their foot on the gas, thanks to some big plays by Blake Bortles. On one of the first plays of the game he connected with Marqise Lee for a 35-yard gain, and you could see his confidence growing. I’ve mentioned before that Bortles is a peaks and valleys player, but re-watching the game on Sunday you could see that he was playing with a lot of confidence, thanks to some of his success early in the game. We haven’t really had to see Bortles overcome anything this season just yet, but that concern is always going to loom until he does. If he gets an early turnover, will it snowball like we’ve seen way too many times? Ideally, the Jaguars build Bortles confidence early in the passing game and it rolls up hill.