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Jaguars vs Ravens: Players to watch

Keep a close eye on outside receivers and interior linebackers this week against Baltimore

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off its Week 11 bye, the 3-7 Jacksonville Jaguars are set to host the banged-up 7-3 Baltimore Ravens. The Jags are 3.5-point underdogs according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

These are the players I’ll be watching most on either side of the ball.

WRs Marvin Jones and Zay Jones

Baltimore boasts one of the best cornerbacks in the league in Marlon Humphrey. The two-time Pro Bowler is a dominant slot defender, so it could be a quiet day for Jaguars leading receiver Christian Kirk.

With Roquan Smith, Patrick Queen, and Kyle Hamilton lurking over the middle as well, the Jaguars may be looking to the perimeter often this week.

According to Sports Info Solutions, Zay Jones leads the Jaguars in late down targets, and Marvin Jones ranks 17th in the league in average depth of target. The latter hauled in this deep ball against the Chiefs in Week 10.

With the assumption that Humphrey will blanket Kirk, and all eyes on Jacksonville’s defense will be on Mark Andrews, secondary receivers will have a big role in Sunday’s outcome.

LBs Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma

Lloyd played the worst game of his young career against Kansas City. The Jaguars were forced to bench their first-rounder in favor of their third-rounder, Chad Muma, halfway through the contest.

I wouldn’t blame Lloyd if he had RPOs and play action passes from the MVP frontrunner in the back of his head. But his latest performance against the run was troublesome, especially with Lamar Jackson and Baltimore’s power-heavy scheme up next.

Lloyd’s nine missed tackles this season are tied for eighth-most in the NFL (and safety Rayshawn Jenkins leads the entire league with 15). The Cardinals are the only team with more missed tackles than the Jaguars this year.

Regardless of who draws the start, Lloyd and Muma both figure to see a lot of snaps against Baltimore’s heavy-personnel offense. Jacksonville’s entire defense must play physical and fast on Sunday, or the Ravens could run away with this game.