Final Game Preview: Jaguars at Saints

Final Game Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints

Sunday, November 4, 2007, 1:00 p.m.

Kickoff Temperature: Dome

Line: Saints by 3

Records:

    Jaguars 5-2, tied for second in the AFC South; Saints 3-4, third in the NFC South


Series notes:

    Jaguars lead the all-time series 2-1, with the last game coming in the home finale in December of 2003, a game in which the Jaguars won 20-19, on a missed John Carney extra point following a touchdown in which the Saints used several laterals before Jerome Pathon dove into the end zone. This will be the Jaguars first trip to New Orleans since 1996.

Five most important things for the Jaguars:

    1. Dominate the line of scrimmage. The Jaguars showed very little ability to throw the ball downfield last week with Quinn Gray under center. They ran the ball 44 times, and it will take a similar effort to be on the victorious end this week, even though the Saints know what's coming and will try anything to stop it.

    2. Win the early downs. Third and three's or four's are okay, third and nine's are not. The Jaguars must get positive yardage on early downs.

    3. No penalties on offense. This particular version of the Jaguars offense cannot function when playing behind the sticks. It's hard enough to gain yardage and get first downs when you're one-dimensional, it's nearly impossible when you have to go farther than 10 yards.

    4. Pressure Drew Brees. Brees is deadly accurate when he has time. When he's pressured, he struggles like most quarterbacks. The Jaguars must be aggressive on defense and knock Brees around.

    5. Make Reggie Bush run between the tackles. Reggie Bush is fantastic in the open field, but he doesn't look very comfortable when he has to make the tough runs up the middle. If the Jaguars can keep Bush from getting outside, he should have a quiet day.

What to look for:

    1. Look for more of Quinn Gray on the move. I can't imagine that the Jaguars will be able to run on the Saints 10th ranked rushing defense effectively and consistently for four quarters. The Jaguars will be forced to throw the ball more than last week, and Gray seemed to be a little better when throwing on the run.

    2. Let's get tricky. Look for the Jaguars to try a trick play or two. End-arounds, reverses or laterals on kickoff returns, and/or a possible fake punt may be in the coach's bag of tricks.

    3. Look for Marques Colston around the goal line. Colston caught three touchdown passes last week, and with Jaguars cornerback Brian Williams still injured, Colston should have an advantage when lined up against Aaron Glenn or Terry Cousin.

    4. Look for a Reggie Bush touchdown. The Saints will line him up all over the field and he can create quite a mismatch for anyone trying to cover him. I think Bush gets away from the Jaguars defense at least once.

    5. Look for another 100-yard receiver by New Orleans. The Jaguars have allowed an opposing pass catcher to go for over 100 yards for five consecutive games. Look for it to be six Sunday afternoon.

Prediction:

    The Jaguars depleted secondary is going to get exposed this week against a very good quarterback in Drew Brees. The Saints will score points, and I don't think the Jaguars can score enough points to keep up. Final score: Saints 27, Jaguars 13.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

For more, go to: JagNation.com

Jags Illustrated Top Stories