The New England Patriots have been the most successful team in the NFL over the past 15 years, which pretty much coincides with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's arrival. As difficult as they are to beat on your field, they are even more difficult to beat at home.
The Jaguars will try to take down New England at their place on Sunday, and the tall task grew quite a bit taller with the emergence of the latest injury report.
The Jaguars will likely be without the best defensive player Sen'Derrick Marks, their best offensive player, Julius Thomas, as well as starting safety Jonathan Cyprien, starting left tackle Luke Joeckel and now, starting guard Brandon Linder.
Linder's injury happened on Sunday on a somewhat innocuous play.
"We’ll see as he goes through the rest of the week,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said.
“Yeah, it just pulled. It was on a pass rush. It didn’t look like much on tape.”
The injury situation in Dallas has brought most of the national headlines, but no team has lost more starters early on than Jacksonville has.
Bradley downplayed the severity of the situation.
“I don’t know. I go back and look and I think every team has some starters that are down," Bradley explained. "We do have quite a few that are down but I look at guys like Sam Young that step it up and had a good game. Peyton made a critical play at a critical time, so I think you look more at the guys that are here and know that when they get their opportunity you’re excited for them. But there is, I think when we look at juggling the roster a little bit, who to bring up, are we good with certain spots because of some injuries depth-wise? That’s more of the challenge.”
On top of the injuries mentioned, the wide receiver position is very thin. Rookie Rashad Greene, who's had 17 targets in roughly a game and a half was placed on the IR-DFR (Injured reserve- Designated for return) list. The Jaguars will have a healthy Allen Robinson, Bryan Walters, Allen Hurns, who missed part of Thursday's practice with a thigh injury and Marqise Lee, who's still on somewhat of a pitch-count.
"We’re still monitoring some of his reps but he went through the whole practice and got a few more reps than he normally does and looked good," Bradley said.
The Jaguars head coach was asked about Lee's availability on Sunday.
“I would say there will be some sort of a limitation.”
Considering the Jaguars injury situation, a victory in New England would be somewhat miraculous, but even a strong showing could go a long way in raising the confidence level of a young team.