Atlanta Falcons (6-7) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8)
Sunday, December 20th, 1:00 PM
Line: Jaguars by 3
Kickoff Temperature: 67 degrees, 0% chance of precipitation
The Atlanta Falcons have slim playoff hopes, but more importantly they're trying to snap a six-game losing streak. The Jaguars are hoping to play meaningful football for at least another week and they'll accomplish that with a win. Find out what the Jaguars need to do to take down the Falcons.
Keys to a Jaguars Victory:
1. Get some pressure on Matt Ryan. If the Jaguars need to blitz, then blitz. They have to do whatever it takes to make Ryan feel uncomfortable because if he gets into a rhythm the Jags defense will be on the field for a long time.
2. Bracket Julio Jones. If the Jaguars are going to get beat through the air, don't let No. 11 be the guy who beats you. Jones may be the most physically talented wide receiver in football and he's a mismatch for any one player to cover. Don't let one player cover him.
3. Don't shy away from the running game. The Jaguars likely won't have T.J. Yeldon, but that doesn't mean they need to abandon the run altogether. Denard Robinson is a capable back, especially when you get him the ball in space. Stick with the run, just do it more creatively, with some read option and maybe a couple reverses.
4. Make your kicks. Jason Myers has missed more extra points than any kicker in 40 years. The talent is there, but he can't leave any more points on the field.
5. Win the turnover battle. When the Jaguars win the turnover battle, they're a pretty solid team. When they don't, they're vying for the top pick in the draft. The Falcons are down, get off to a good start and don't give them any short fields.
What to look for:
1. A Julio Jones TD. Jones is a mismatch and Davon House is a gambler. House has played great football of late, but it's more than likely Jones will get the best of him at least once.
2. Less than two sacks by the Jaguars. The Jaguars haven't been able to pressure opposing quarterbacks all that much this season and they will likely struggle with that again on Sunday.
3. Look for a Bortles interception. Blake has been playing spectacular, but the Falcons secondary can make some big plays and they'll likely get an errant toss or two.
4. Return of Allen Robinson to triple-digits. A-Rob had just one catch for four yards last week. He's too good for that to happen again, even if Desmond Trufant covers him the entire game. Robinson will play well.
5. The season ends. The Jaguars need to win out and get a lot of help to make the playoffs. That dream will die on Sunday because this is a bad matchup.