JACKSONVILLE – Each Saturday during the 2018 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 Washington Redskins at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
The Jaguars will win if: They force Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson to turn the ball over. Jacksonville should be able to stop the run, even after last week’s debacle against Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, and force Johnson to beat them in the air. Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette will leave the home crowd thinking of what could have been with his best game of the year.
The Redskins will win if: They rattle Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler. Jacksonville only has scored 15 points in the two games Kessler has been under center. If Washington can create pressure and force turnovers, they could win a one-possession game.
As Ballou sees it: Jaguars, 16-7. The Jaguars’ defense will respond after getting blistered a week ago. Fournette will rush for more than 100 yards and Jacksonville will have three field goals in the victory.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
The Jaguars will win if: They cover downfield even moderately well and make things very tough for Johnson, who hasn't played much meaningful football in recent years. I can't imagine the Redskins will do much offensively in this game. The Jaguars must cover, harass Johnson and hit a few plays down the field.
The Redskins will win if: They can get a lead. After trailing by 40 points a week ago, they need some confidence. The Jaguars aren't full of confidence, either, so the team that starts well has a huge advantage. These are two struggling teams that had decent expectations before the season began.
As Frangie sees it: I think the Jags will win. I can't see Washington scoring very much; I think the Jaguars will get Fournette going and will win a low-scoring game.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
The Jaguars will win if: If they play defense as they are capable. Last week in Nashville was disappointing or embarrassing – however you look at it.
The Redskins will win if: They keep the Jaguars’ offense in its current state. Fifteen points with one meaningful touchdown in two weeks since changes were made has not given the Jaguars the desired result.
As Lageman sees it: The Redskins have lost four consecutive games, but still have meaningful football to be played with an opportunity at getting in the playoffs. The Jaguars are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and can win from losing to improve draft position for a future quarterback. That being said, the Jaguars will win their final home game of the season.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
The Jaguars will win if: They win the turnover battle. It’s as simple as that in this low-scoring affair. That turnover-battle thing has not always resulted in victories or losses for the Jaguars this season, but it definitely will against Washington. Punting will not be a bad play against the Redskins.
The Redskins will win if: They get a special teams or defensive touchdown. Johnson can't be reliable in this situation, so the Jaguars will stuff the run now that Henry got their fundamental tackling attention. Washington needs something exotic to happen to pull this one out.
As Martineau sees it: This game should be sponsored by a doctor's office. The attrition on offense for both these teams is now comical. The teams have played a combined six different quarterbacks in 2018. That's crazy – not to mention all the other positions that are injured on both teams. The Jaguars will win 17-6 to close out the home season.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
The Jaguars will win if: They can find a way to run effectively. This seemed like the formula to win in Tennessee last week, but the Jaguars struggled in Fournette’s return from a one-game suspension. The passing game hasn’t improved enough in Kessler’s two starts to expect that area to carry the offense, so Fournette must be more effective.
The Redskins will win if: Johnson carries last week’s second-half effectiveness into this week. Despite not starting since 2011, Johnson played well in a loss to the Giants last Sunday. Yes, the performance came with the game long since decided, but if Johnson plays as well Sunday as he did last week, the Redskins will remain alive in the postseason chase.
As Oehser sees it: The Jaguars will win a low-scoring game. The Jaguars will be focused and motivated following a one-sided, nationally-televised loss at Tennessee last Thursday. That should be enough against the beat-up Redskins.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
The Jaguars will win if: They score early. The Redskins are as injured and ineffective on offense as the Jaguars, which is really saying something. They fell behind 40-0 last week before throwing up meaningless touchdowns. The Jaguars must get ahead early and get after the quarterback who was playing in a charity basketball game two Sundays ago.
The Redskins will win if: They go for broke. Why not? They must craft a creative game plan built around a mobile quarterback who hasn't played in the NFL since 2014; when he did play, he wore 12 of the 32 uniforms so he isn't exactly a franchise quarterback. Single wing, triple option, wildcat ... some of it, all of it, you name it. If they can catch the Jaguars off guard, then they can make something happen.
As Sexton sees it: The Jaguars will win, because they're starting their backup quarterback and not their backup, backup, backup quarterback.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
The Jaguars will win if: They can score two touchdowns. The Redskins’ offense might be the only offense more injured than the Jaguars’ in the entire league. If the Jaguars can score somehow, the Jags’ defense should be able to hold down Johnson at quarterback.
The Redskins will win if: They stuff Fournette and the Jaguars’ running attack, forcing a one-dimensional throwing offense. Running is vital, as the Jaguars have struggled to keep Kessler clean the last couple of weeks.
As Shadrick sees it: It’s the final home game of the season, and far from what anyone thought would be the storyline entering this game. We’re already looking ahead to 2019 since the Jaguars were mathematically eliminated with last week’s loss. I don’t think it will be the case, but if the Jaguars on the field are looking to 2019 as well, it could be a long day at the office. I expect a low-scoring game.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
The Jaguars will win if: They score more points than they have lately. This game is going to be a defensive battle with both offenses struggling lately. Johnson should not scare the Jaguars’ defense. It’s all on the Jaguars’ offense this week to put scoring drives together.
The Redskins will win if: The Jaguars defense gets run over by Redskins running back Adrian Peterson. The Jaguars’ defense had no answers to stop Henry last week. They defense has emphasized going back to basics, revamping tackling techniques this week at practice to attempt to stop the run. If they adopt the same tackling technique they did last week, they aren’t going to be able to stop AP.
As Sullivan sees it: This locker room wants to win this week for Jacksonville. Head Coach Doug Marrone has made that a goal this week for his team; it seems the players have bought in. The Jaguars defense’ has the talent to perform at a high level against a limited Redskins offense. All eyes are on Fournette and Kessler to make something happen on offense for the Jaguars to win this one.