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Wednesday primer: Cardinals-Jaguars

Posted Nov 13, 2013

Senior writer John Oehser primes Jaguars-Cardinals week with five topics to watch during Jaguars media access Wednesday…

JACKSONVILLE – Here’s this week’s Wednesday primer.

Each Wednesday morning during the 2013 regular season, jaguars.com senior writer John Oehser sets the stage for the Jaguars’ media access that day by previewing major topics facing the team. Each Wednesday afternoon/evening, he will break down what was learned from Jaguars players and coaches that day.

Here’s a look at five key Wednesday topics as the Jaguars prepare for the Arizona Cardinals …

 

1. Can the Jaguars make it two? The Jaguars believed throughout the first half of the season they were improving. It just wasn’t showing up on the field. They beat Tennessee Sunday in Nashville to snap a 13-game regular-season losing streak, in the process giving Head Coach Gus Bradley his first NFL head coaching victory. Bradley after the game emphasized the Jaguars’ long-term goal of improvement more than the victory itself, but the question Wednesday will be, “Can the Jaguars turn one victory into two in succession?” They haven’t done that since 2010.

2. Can the Jaguars win at home? The Jaguars not only haven’t won at home since the 11th game of last season, they have struggled mightily more often than not in recent seasons in games at EverBank Field. They went 1-7 there last season, and have scored 11 points in three losses at EverBank this season. The Jaguars want more than just their first touchdown at EverBank Field Sunday, but their effort to get it will be a topic Wednesday.

3. What do the Jaguars need to do to run? The struggles to run have been a season-long issue, and while running back Maurice Jones-Drew has had several productive games, he has yet to run for more than 80 yards in a game this season. The struggles were pronounced Sunday, in large part because of the absence of wide receiver Justin Blackmon. With the second-year receiver suspended indefinitely, the Titans crowded the box, particularly late in the game. As a result, the Jaguars averaged 1.8 yards a carry, with Jones-Drew rushing for 41 yards on 21 carries. That’s on the interior of the line more than Jones-Drew, but Blackmon or no Blackmon, that’s not enough.

4. Will Paul Posluszny play? The Jaguars may not have an answer on this until late in the week. Paul Posluszny, the Jaguars’ middle linebacker and leading tackler, sustained a concussion with just over two minutes remaining against Tennessee Sunday. He did not return, but he has not been ruled out of Sunday’s game. Guard Will Rackley and wide receiver Stephen Burton are also in the NFL’s concussion program and the status of all three players will be updated Wednesday.

5. How will the defense line up? With Posluszny out Sunday, veteran outside linebacker Russell Allen moved inside, with John Lotulelei playing outside. Lotulelei already had played some for Allen by that point, so the potential lineup at linebacker will be an issue, as will the free safety position. Winston Guy got repetitions there Sunday, sharing time with starter Josh Evans, but Bradley said Evans played better than he has in recent weeks. What will the rotation be there Sunday? Bradley may not know by Wednesday, but it will be a question.

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