Sunday, September 7th, 1:00 p.m.
2013 Records: Jaguars 4-12; 3rd place in AFC South/ Eagles 10-6; NFC East champs
Kickoff Temperature: 77 degrees, 0% chance of precipitation
Line: Eagles by 11
The Jaguars begin their second season under the Bradley/Caldwell era with a trip to Philadelphia to take on the defending NFC East champion Eagles. The Jags certainly have their work cut out for them as they are double-digit underdogs. We’re going to look at the keys to the game and what we’ll be saying on Monday.
Keys To A Jaguars Victory
1. Slow it down. The trend all across football, at all levels, is to speed up the game and get more plays. That’s a novel idea but the Jaguars are taking on Chip Kelly, the master of speeding up the game. When you don’t have as much talent as your opponent, and last year’s records would be indicative of that, you want to slow down and ugly up the game as much as possible.
2. Take some chances. You’re a big underdog and nobody thinks you’re going to win. Again, the reason for that is a major talent disparity. Go for some fourth downs, maybe fake a punt or field goal and be aggressive on both offense and defense.
3. Win the turnover battle. It’s going to be tough to go on the road and win this game straight up without any “help” from Philly. Nick Foles only threw two interceptions last season, but that isn’t likely to hold up. If the Jaguars defense can force some turnovers and they can get some “cheap” points, they’ll need that as they’re expected to struggle on offense.
4. Be efficient on 3rd down. The best defense against the Eagles high-octane offense is keeping them on the sideline. If the Jaguars can get into 3rd and manageable situations they can keep moving the chains and running the clock. It’s easier said than done, but the Jaguars will need Chad Henne to be more effective than what he’s shown.
5. Put the game on Nick Foles. The Eagles have one of the best running backs in the game in LeSean McCoy and the Jaguars need to do their best to slow him down. Although Foles was great last season he’s still a bit of an unknown commodity and the Jaguars should make Foles beat them, rather than McCoy and company.
What We’ll Be Saying On Monday
1. The Jaguars played hard. Gus Bradley’s teams don’t quit and we expect the Jaguars to hang around for a while in this one.
2. Toby Gerhart put up stats. The Jaguars running back will have a solid game on Sunday against a mediocre Philly D.
3. Chad Henne didn’t turn it over. Henne will be safe with the football, potentially too safe.
4. The Jaguars forced turnovers. The Jaguars defense will make some plays in this one.
5. The Jaguars didn’t lose too much ground. With Indy and Tennessee playing on the road and underdogs, the Jags won’t likely lose too much ground in the division race.