JACKSONVILLE – Each Saturday during the 2018 season, nine Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – will break down the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
*The Jaguars will win if: *They eliminate mistakes on offense. Everything that could go wrong did against Tennessee. Look for Jacksonville to respond with a balanced attack both in the air and on the ground against the Jets.
The Jets will win if:If the Jags don't get to Sam Darnold. The Jets' rookie quarterback is doing a nice job getting out of the pocket and completing throws downfield. If Jacksonville can't get to him and force some turnovers, the Jets could pull off the upset.
*As Ballou sees it: *Jacksonville, 28-10. It's been a rough week in the building, and the Jaguars will score early and run away with the game. Look for quarterback Blake Bortles to bounce back and throw a couple of touchdowns.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
*The Jaguars will win if: *If they can find a rhythm in the passing game. They never found that a week ago. They must hit some passes down the field. They also must truly harass Darnold, a very young quarterback still developing NFL pocket presence.
The Jets will win if:If they can get to Bortles and stuff the run. The Jets won't do much with the Jaguars defense, so they would have to win a very low-scoring game.
*As Frangie sees it: *The Jaguars find their rhythm this time: Jaguars by two or three scores.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
*The Jaguars will win if: *They control the Jets' running game, which features two good backs in Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell. A young quarterback's best friend is a strong running game and Darnold will need it to have any kind of success against this Jaguars defense. The Jaguars have shown that they can control the run with a "BIG" nickel package featuring rookie safety Ronnie Harrison, and it will be needed against a Jets offense that likes to play three wide receivers.
The Jets will win if:If they can force the Jaguars into turning the ball over, giving better and more opportunities for their young quarterback. The Jets defense is not afraid to play an aggressive style with frequent blitzing. Jamal Adams, Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette's former teammate at Louisiana State, is a dominant player from the safety position and a leader of the Jets' defense. His disruptive style is best suited in the box to help in run defense and as a blitzer, and that is more than likely where he will be against the Jaguars offense.
*As Lageman sees it: *The Jaguars will win with a defense that takes the ball away from a young quarterback who will be under pressure throughout the game. Darnold had an impressive debut at Detroit, but – like most young quarterbacks – finding consistency has not been easy since. The Jaguars offense will be more productive after seeing last week against the Titans that execution is the key to offensive success.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
*The Jaguars will win if: *If they take the lead in the first 20 minutes. The Jaguars allowed Tennessee to dictate the game a week ago, and there's a good chance the Jets would like to make the game similarly ugly. If the Jaguars jump in front, that allows this defense to go to work and create turnovers. It's a simple formula in most Jaguars victories.
The Jets will win if:They win the trenches on offense. New York must keep the Jaguars' defensive front at bay; if they do so, the Jets can play a ball-control offense. The Jets won't want Darnold taking too many risks against this defense; if they can't win the trenches, turnovers and mistakes will happen.
As Martineau sees it:I got it wrong last week in a big way. The Jaguars need to win this game and will win this game. This outcome has a potential big swing to the first half of the season. The Jaguars will play like a hungry team, the offense will bounce back with a productive 24-point effort and Sacksonville will take care of the rest in a 24-13 victory.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
*The Jaguars will win if: *They can get back to what they are offensively. That means using the running backs effectively, which ideally will mean the return of Fournette. Even without him, they must run effectively and use the backs out the backfield effectively more consistently than they did against Tennessee.
The Jets will win if:They can run. The Jets rushed for 256 yards in a Week 4 victory over the Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' defense has improved dramatically against the run since, but the unit must play like it Sunday. If the Jets run effectively and put Darnold in manageable situations, they're capable of pulling the upset.
*As Oehser sees it: *The Jaguars will win this one – possibly big. They have responded well in urgent situations under Head Coach Doug Marrone, and they will do so again on Sunday. If the Jaguars can get an early lead and get into pass-rushing situations early, they will have a huge advantage.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
*The Jaguars will win if: *The defense does what it does best: attack the quarterback. Darnold is going to be very good, but he's making his fourth NFL start and hasn't seen a defense that can do what this one does. I expect the offense to find the red zone and the end zone this week but even if it doesn't, the defense can win this one by itself if it does what it does best.
The Jets will win if:They can protect Darnold from the Jaguars' pass rush. I don't think they can.
*As Sexton sees it: *A year ago, in Week 4, this was a game the Jaguars were supposed to win and they didn't. The Jets ran for 256 yards and two long touchdowns – and they scored on defense. I don't think they'll do that against this team twice – plus this is a Jaguars team that believes it should be undefeated. Do not underestimate how that factors into this equation. This, too, is a game the Jaguars should win. A year later, they will.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
*The Jaguars will win if: *They find offensive consistency. Last week was strange, as the Jags passed the 50-yard line only twice and did not take a snap in the red zone. They must move the ball, get back on track and outscore a Jets offense that is led by a rookie quarterback.
The Jets will win if:They get some takeaways and cash in their scoring opportunities off those. The Jets' defense is good, the pass rush is real and they take the ball away. The Jags must avoid the momentum-changing giveaway.
*As Shadrick sees it: *I have no idea any more – most would argue that I never did. Last week I had the Jags 38, Titans 9; all I got right was the "nine." It's all up to the Jaguars offense, as this Jaguars defense can go toe-to-toe with any offense in the NFL. It's a game the Jags need to get back on track after a letdown last week, plus only one game over the next six weeks will be played at TIAA Bank Field (Texans game, three on road, one in London, bye week).
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
*The Jaguars will win if: *The offense can find its way. The Jaguars never took an offensive snap in the red zone in the loss to the Titans. The wide receivers need to step up and the Jaguars need to figure out their options with the running game.
The Jets will win if:The Jaguars' defense underestimates the rookie. Darnold can make plays with his feet and will be force in the NFL in the future. He has thrown two interceptions in each of the Jets' losses this season. The Jaguars need to pressure him.
*As Sullivan sees it: *The Jaguars will get back on track this week. Defensive end Calais Campbell said good teams do not lose two in a row; the entire locker room believes that. The Jaguars know they will be traveling to play a tough Kansas City team in two weeks and need to finish this three-game homestand with a victory in front of Duval.