Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at New York Jets (1-1)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
TV: CBS, Gus Johnson, Brent Jones
6th meeting. The Jaguars have a 3-2 edge in the five regular season games although they lost the last meeting, 13-10, in 2003 at Giants Stadium. The Jaguars also were eliminated from the playoffs by the Jets after the 1997 season in their only playoff meeting.
Jaguars: offense 13th (8th rush, 19th pass); defense 13th (26th rush, 7th pass).
Jets: offense 17th (25th rush, 7th pass); defense 17th (28th rush, 9th pass)
PREDICTION: Jets 17-16
KEYS TO THE GAME
The running games for both offenses will tell the story. Jets backup RB Derrick Blaylock is expected to see significant work with Curtis Martin battling a sore knee. Whoever gets the bulk of the carries needs to have success against the Jaguars' strong interior defensive line in order to set up the play-action passes that make QB
Chad Pennington so effective. He'll have to complete a few downfield throws before Jacksonville will truly respect the pass. Meanwhile, expect the Jaguars to increase RB Fred Taylor's workload after just 16 carries last Sunday. QB Byron Leftwich has a sore groin and while he fully intends to play, the Jaguars don't want to see him trying to avoid Jets DEs John Abraham and Shaun Ellis in third-and-long situations.
Jaguars: Are 7-0 when Leftwich throws two or more touchdown passes. ... Coach Jack Del Rio was 1-8-1 as a player and is 0-1 as a coach at The Meadowlands.
Jets: WR Laveranues Coles leads the league with six third-down receptions. ... Have won seven of their past nine home games.
Byron Leftwich expects that he might have some slight discomfort from the groin injury he suffered against the Colts last weekend, but believes he can play through it.
"It shouldn't be getting any worse than what it was on Sunday. I know my leg won't be in that much pain," he said.
The Jaguars have to prove they can protect him after he was sacked six times in Indianapolis. All those sacks prompted the Jaguars to tell rookie left tackle
Khalif Barnes, who was inactive for the first two games, that he'll be active in this game. Barnes isn't sure how much action he'll see. Last week, Ephraim Salaam and Mike Pearson rotated at the position. Pearson started the first game and Salaam the second.
Jets running back Curtis Martin was hobbled last weekend as well, but he'll be out there on Sunday just like Leftwich.
"I've got a job to do that's what they pay me to do," Martin said. "It's about me being able to do my job ... and if I can't, then I just can't. I feel obligated to be out there simply for the role I play on this team as a leader. I want to be out there. For me not to be out there, I feel like it should have to be drastic."