JACKSONVILLE – Each Saturday during the 2019 season, nine Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Tony Boselli, 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 get to Sam Darnold. The Jets quarterback had the worst game of his career on Monday night and his confidence is in question. If the Jaguars can create a pass rush, Darnold should turn the ball over.
The Jets will win if: They stop Jacksonville's rushing attack and make the Jaguars one-dimensional. The Jets do a solid job with their run defense, allowing just over 92 yards a game. They will do all they can to make Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II beat them.
As Ballou sees it: The Jaguars will win the turnover battle for a second consecutive week and have some success in the red zone. They will win by 10 to even their record at 4-4.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
The Jaguars will win if: They get running back Leonard Fournette going, get off to a good start offensively and make the Jets play from behind. It's important for the Jaguars to get into the end zone; they only have one offensive touchdown in the past nine quarters. If they get a lead, they can harass Darnold and make life miserable for the Jets, a team that has to be coming in with wounded egos after the Patriots walloped them Monday night.
The Jets will win if: Darnold plays much better than he has and takes much better care of the ball. They have to get running back Le'Veon Bell going and find a way to stop or at least limit Fournette on first down. But that will be a tall task against the AFC's leading rusher.
As Frangie sees it: The Jaguars have the better team, have a little momentum after last week and are at home. If they take care of the ball and don't let a Jets team lacking confidence gain any at all in the early going, the Jags will win easily.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
The Jaguars will win: If they continue to show Darnold the ghosts that he saw on Monday Night Football. Darnold was just plain awful in that game against a Patriots defense that didn't really do anything exotic or unexpected. The Jaguars defense hopefully has started a bit of a roll in the takeaway category after forcing four in Cincinnati. The Jaguars' offensive line is getting better and center Brandon Linder will have a big game getting the line calls right against a blitzing defense.
The Jets will win: If the team that hosted the Dallas Cowboys a couple weeks ago in New York shows up. The Jets' defense was stifling in that Jets victory, creating plenty of problems for both running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott. Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' scheme is very aggressive; it will be a huge challenge for Minshew and the Jaguars' protection if they are unable to run effectively with Fournette to create favorable down and distances.
As Lageman sees it: The Jaguars will find a way to discover big plays in the passing game against the aggressive Jets defense. Minshew has had a couple of so-so games but will be able to rise to the challenge with Fournette having a big day. The Jets' defense is one of the NFL's best against the run, allowing only 3.25 yards per rush. But the Jaguars' offensive line will rise to the challenge.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
The Jaguars will win if: They do better on third down; a conversion rate of 40 percent would be nice. That is average in the NFL, but right now the Jaguars are closer to 30 percent on the season. If they keep drives going, the points will come and the Jags will play from in front. The Jets don't feel good about themselves, so a good early start would lead to big things for the Jaguars.
The Jets will win if: They force turnovers. The Jets are in trouble. They have a lot of issues and they will need some turnover help in this football game. If they are not plus two in turnovers and Bell doesn't have more than 100 total yards, it is going to be another long day for New York.
As Martineau sees it: I thought the Jets would be playing better coming into Jacksonville; now they are a complete mess. This is good timing for the Jags. This is a huge game in front of the home crowd and there will be plenty to cheer about. The Jaguars are going to win this one big: 31-13.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
The Jaguars will win if: They score touchdowns when they're near the end zone. The offense played better than many observers believed in Cincinnati but squandered 15-to-20 points when drives stalled inside the 20. The Jaguars' offense must help an injured defense and get ahead Sunday, which will allow a healthy pass-rush group opportunity to pressure Darnold.
The Jets will win if: Darnold responds. The second-year quarterback's brief history in the NFL suggests he's better than he showed against New England Monday. He reportedly is mentally tough and confident. If he shows that and avoids interceptions, the Jets can take advantage of a beat-up Jaguars defense.
As Oehser sees it: The Jaguars should win this game at home, and the thought here is they will. The key remains the Jaguars' ability to get a lead. If they're playing from ahead, the pass rush is good enough to turn this game in their favor.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
The Jaguars will win if: They keep creating turnovers. They turned four last week into 13 of their 27 points, and they're getting a quarterback in Darnold who threw four interceptions and lost a fumble on Monday Night Football. If they can spook Darnold with a combination of pressure and coverages, they will give their offense and Minshew much better field position and possibly some points. That would help against an aggressive and talented New York defense. They don't need five or even four; two will get the job done.
The Jets will win if: They take advantage of the Jaguars' injury troubles on defense. New York paid top dollar for Bell last March with the idea that his patient running style would make life easier on their young quarterback. Bell loves to stretch the field looking for a soft spot then use his 6-feet-1, 225-pound frame to blast through it. The Jaguars are looking at a couple of soft spots this week with defensive tackle Marcell Dareus suffering a core muscle injury and a couple of linebackers down with hamstrings. If the Jaguars can't find a way to shore up those spots, Bell could blast them and help his beleaguered quarterback.
As Sexton sees it: The Jets are a huge challenge. Not only are the stinging from their embarrassing shutout loss on national television, they have a talented defense, a power runner with size and speed and a quarterback capable of making every throw. They're 1-5 but they're not the Bengals. Not only that, but defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been known to turn young quarterbacks inside out with his schemes. But I still like the vibe I'm getting from Head Coach Doug Marrone and the Jaguars. They're confident but also fully aware they can and have to play much better than they have this season. I think the Jaguars even their record with a victory Sunday.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
The Jaguars will win if: They protect the football. The Jets' defense is good against the run, and the Jaguars will certainly try to get the run game going. But there will be times when Minshew is forced into certain passing situations. He must make good decisions and keep the football safe.
The Jets will win if: The Jaguars' somewhat new faces on defense/special teams struggle to adjust. The linebackers were beat up a week ago in Cincinnati, and the Jaguars had to go the street and practice squad to sign players. That's a lot of change for one position group in one week, and the special teams changes that come with it could be just as concerning.
As Shadrick sees it: The Jaguars should win, but there are no slam dunks on the schedule right now. If the Jaguars get an early lead, they should be able to unleash the hounds. The longer the Jets stay in this game, the longer the chance they can win. The Jaguars must advantage of the home field and put the Jets away early.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
The Jaguars will win if: They are effective in the red zone. Last week against Cincinnati the Jaguars had trouble converting drives into touchdowns. Minshew is going to have to play better than he did during the last home game against the Saints.
The Jets will win if: Bell gets going. The stats don't show it, but Bell is one of the league's best running backs. It concerns me that middle linebacker Myles Jack must help two new linebackers playing on Sunday due to injuries. The Jaguars will have to focus on stopping the run first to win.
As Sullivan sees it: The Jaguars will get to 4-4 this weekend. The Jets are a more talented team than the Bengals, so the Jaguars will have a tougher time getting the victory. However, I think the Jaguars offense is making strides in the right direction and will produce on Sunday.