Game Preview: Jaguars vs Patriots

Our game preview this week looks at the important matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots.

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7) vs. New England Patriots (9-5)

Sunday, December 27th

Gilette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts

Kickoff temperature: 46 degrees, 100% chance of precipitation

Line: Patriots by 8

Trends: Jaguars have dropped two straight games and three of four; Patriots have won two straight.


Three most important things for the Jaguars on defense:

1. Make Brady move around. The last time these two teams squared off, Tom Brady was able to operate in a phone booth with a clean uniform, as no Jaguars were near him. The Jaguars need to do whatever it takes to get some pressure on the quarterback.

2. Be physical with Moss. Randy Moss may be the most physically gifted receiver in the history of the NFL. That said, he has an aversion to contact and if the Jaguars can rough him up early on, he may just pack it in for the afternoon.

3. Make Welker work. Not only because I'm playing against him in my fantasy league championship, but Wes Welker is perhaps the best underneath receiver in the game. Welker is the Patriots resident back-breaker as he seemingly always picks up key third downs. The Jaguars need to limit Welker as much of possible.


Three most important things for the Jaguars on offense:

1. No 4th period shutdown. The Jags haven't scored in the fourth quarter since the Buffalo game. That says a lot about the quarterback. That type of effort won't get it done in Foxboro.

2. Make big plays. Sounds simple, but the Jaguars need to go above and beyond and make some big plays on offense. Diving catches, crushing blocks, and avoid defenders.

3. 7's, not 3's. The Jaguars have to do a better job of scoring touchdowns in the red zone. We know Brady and the Pats are going to score plenty of points. Can the Jags offense keep up?


What to look for:

1. Look for MJD to struggle. By listening to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's comments, Maurice Jones-Drew will be the Pats primary focus defensively. New England is going to force someone else to beat them.

2. Look for Brady to go over 300. A motivated Tom Brady plus all his weapons against the 31st ranked pass defense in the NFL is not a good combination for the Jags.

3. Look for MSW to hit the century mark and beyond. This looks like it will be a big game for Mike Sims-Walker. Look for the UCF grad to light up the Pats secondary.

4. Look for Welker to get 10+ catches. Welker does a great job of getting open and Tom Brady does a great job of finding him. Look for a lot of underneath stuff.

5. Look for a critical fourth period turnover by Garrard. Why should we believe anything but this will happen?


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