Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) vs. New England Patriots (2-0)
Sunday, September 27th, 1:00 P.M. EST
Kickoff temperature: 72 degrees, 0% chance of precipitation
Line: Patriots by 14.5
It's always a tall task to try and beat the Patriots at home, and the Jaguars will be trying to do it with a depleted roster as they will be without Julius Thomas, Andre Branch, Denard Robinson, Sen'Derrick Marks and Dwayne Gratz. Starting offensive linemen Luke Joeckel and Brandon Linder are both questionable, as is starting safety Jonathan Cyprien.
We're going to take a look at what has to happen for the Jaguars to find a victory.
Keys to a Jaguars victory:
1. Play keep away. The Jaguars don't have the firepower to get into a shootout with the Patriots. They need to take the opposite approach and try to control the clock with their running game and play some keep away.
2. No turnovers whatsoever. Jacksonville is playing a better football team and they can't give them any short fields. Quarterback Blake Bortles must take care of the football at all times.
3. Catch the football. It sounds easy, but it's proven to be anything but for Jaguars receivers. Jacksonville needs to catch every catchable pass, on both offense and defense.
4. Cover Gronk. He's the best tight end in the league and New England's best weapon. The Jaguars need to make sure he's accounted for on every play.
5. Play the game of your life. If the Jaguars were to win in Foxboro with this many injuries, it would be one of the biggest upsets in regular season NFL history. To do so, everyone is going to have to play great, starting with Blake Bortles. Receivers need to make plays, running backs need to find holes, and the defense needs to be really physical.
What to look for:
1. Look for a Gronk-spike. It's difficult, if not impossible to stop Rob Gronkowski, and it's more than likely that the league leader in touchdown receptions will find another on Sunday.
2. T.J. Yeldon will struggle. The Patriots will stack the line of scrimmage to take away the Jaguars running game, and it will especially struggle without two starters on the offensive line (even if they play they won't be 100 percent).
3. Tom Brady goes over 300. Brady is off to the best start of his career and there's no reason to believe it won't continue against a depleted Jaguars defense.
4. Bortles throws two interceptions. Young quarterbacks often struggle against Bill Belichick defenses, and it's likely that the Jaguars will have to play catch-up. This should be a learning experience for Bortles.
5. The Jaguars put up a good fight for a half. The team has heart, but it's just outmanned against a much better team with maybe the greatest quarterback in the history of the game. This one could get ugly.