Whatever way you’re rooting for the Jets this season, a dominating win over a division rival is always fun to watch. Now the Jets take on the 2-1 Jacksonville Jaguars in what is a very winnable game. I’ll take a look at how both teams matchup against each other.
Blake Bortles has only thrown two interceptions and fumbled the ball one time this year, which is a vast improvement from years past. He looked great against a ball hawking Ravens defense in London last Sunday and threw four touchdown passes. However, coming back from London and beating a good Ravens team screams let down game from Sir Blake Bortles.
Josh McCown is the perfect Jets quarterback for this season. He’s not abysmal like Ryan Fitzpatrick was last year but he keeps you in games and more importantly keeps Jet fans engaged in 60 minutes of football. If the team needs it, he can go out and win you a game. The offense isn’t flashy under him but he does what is needed to see what the young receivers have moving forward. If I have to choose what guy I’m rolling with Sunday to win, I’m rolling with McCown.
Running Back: Jaguars
The Jets are going to have to tackle like they did against the Dolphins in order to have a chance. Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory are bruising backs that don’t go down easy and the Jets are going to need to gang tackle to slow them down.
This is the first week this season that we get to see what an increased workload for Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire looks like. Matt Forte is out and we finally get to see what the Jets do in the backfield. Unfortunately, the Jags front four is one of the best in the league right now and it’s going to be a tough time getting yards Sunday. I give the edge to the Jaguars.
Wide Receivers: Jets
The Jets finally listened and gave the ball to Robby Anderson in which they were rewarded with a nice 69 yard touchdown where he beat Dolphins corner Alterraun Verner right from the snap. Jermaine Kearse has been a very good pickup and is second to only Robby Anderson (18) in targets with 17. ArDarius Stewart and Jeremy Kerley also provide good secondary options as well.
Losing Allen Robinson hurts for the Jaguars. Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee don’t strike fear in many secondaries. After those two guys, it’s a really a scrap heap of receivers on the Jags roster. I give the edge to the Jets.
Tight End: Jets
Don’t let Marcedes Lewis’ three touchdown game fool you. He had his first touchdown catch since September of last season and his first catch of the season was in Sundays game. He might become a bigger option in the Jaguars offense but until I see it, I won’t get too excited.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins had a nice productive game Sunday in his return to the field (5 receptions on 6 targets and 31 yards). He had more receptions Sunday after missing two games than Lewis had playing all three games. I expect him to have a bigger workload moving forward and I think he scores his first touchdown as a Jet on Sunday.
Offensive Line: Jaguars
The Jaguars offensive line has been a surprise to many for how good they’ve played so far. They ran it for 155 yards against Houstons defense and against the Ravens, put up 166 more. They’re going up against a Jets defensive line that has yet to record a sack and as a unit, is 27th in the league in rushing yards per game (giving up 133.3 yds/gm).
The Jets offensive line has played very well and to most, has been a surprise in their own right. This will be the second week in a row they go up against a great front four. I don’t think they handle it as well as they did last week. I give the Jaguars the edge.
Defensive Line: Jaguars
The Jets defensive line hasn’t recorded a sack all year while Calais Campbell had four sacks in one game. This one really isn’t all that hard. Until the Jets defensive line creates pressure and produces sacks, they’re not getting the edge.
Demario Davis has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. He leads the team in tackles and has been okay in coverage. However Darron Lee has been abysmal. Their biggest test of the season comes against the Jaguars Sunday when they go against the Jags running backs. Fournette can catch out of the backfield and we will see if the Jets can limit him in both aspects of the offense.
For as good as the Jets secondary played last week, the Jaguars secondary played better. Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye are forces on the outside and I can see them giving the Jets receivers fits all day. I do think the Jets have the edge in the safety department. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are playing phenomenal so far. However, the cornerbacks get most of the action and Jacksonville’s corners are top notch. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got two interceptions Sunday.
Special Teams: Push
Neither special teams unit is very bad. Both kickers have only missed one field goal all year, respectively. Hell the Jets even forced a turnover on special teams when the Dolphins ran a fake punt. This game might come down to field goals and at this point, I’d be okay with either kicker.
For all the negative that has been thrown Todd Bowles’ way, he’s had the Jets ready for every single game this season and even made some good adjustments against Miami on Sunday. He’s not as bad as we all thought he was.
On the other side, this is a big game for Doug Marrone. He’s traveling back from London, the Jaguars are 2-1 and they’re facing a rejuvenated Jets team with hungry, young guys. I’m riding with Bowles on this one.
Photo courtesy of: newyorkjets.com