Week six is a huge week for Jacksonville. They’re coming fresh off of a bye against a not-so-great Chicago Bears team that just lost to the Colts, the same Colts that Jacksonville managed to beat in London. This game is much the same for the Jaguars as the Indianapolis game was: a perfectly placed game against a team that they have an excellent chance of beating.
Gus Bradley finally managed to cool down the chatter about his job status, chatter that was growing louder and louder as the Jaguars continued to lose early in the season. The win over the Colts was huge for Bradley and the Jaguars. If the Jaguars lose this game, it drops them to 1-4 on the season and the discontent will certainly begin to grow. Losing this game isn’t something Bradley needs. Following this game against the Bears is an extremely tough game against the Raiders, which the Jaguars won’t be favored in. Bradley can’t afford to lose this game, not with the Oakland game right behind it.
As to the team itself, the Jags just managed to get their confidence back and surging due to their win against the Colts. Defensively, they were able to smother Andrew Luck for most of the game, registering six sacks, an interception, and they were able to hold firm against the Colts’ attempted comeback and secure the win. Offensively, Blake Bortles didn’t turn the ball over for the first time this season and they managed to get their running game going for the first time all year. The Bears aren’t much better than the Colts, and this game is one that Jacksonville can use to continue that upwards trend of team confidence they will have following their win against the Colts. As stated earlier, following the Bears is a tough game against the Raiders at home. They’ll need all the confidence they can get for that game.
Another reason this game is so important is because the AFC South is just bad. Houston, after starting 3-0, has lost two straight games, both of which have been blowouts. Indianapolis and Tennessee both managed to win, shrinking Houston’s division lead by a game. If Jacksonville wins this game, they are still in the thick of things in this division.
Jacksonville still has a lot to play for this season, and they’ll be looking to continue the upward trend that was started in week 4 this week in Chicago.