JACKSONVILLE – Each Saturday during the 2017 season, seven Jaguars experts – Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton and J.P. Shadrick – will break down the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Tony Boselli, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars left tackle
The Jaguars will win if:They offensively stick to the formula they were built on: a heavy dose of Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory, with Blake Bortles having around 25 attempts. Defensively, the key is making Flacco beat you with the pass.
The Ravens will win if:They shut down the Jaguars' run.
As Boselli sees it: The Jaguars win. I think the defense will have a big day and Fournette will have another big day with 100-plus yards.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
The Jaguars will win if:They can establish a downfield passing game early. It is clear opponents will stack the box – really stack it -- until Jacksonville proves it can loosen it up with some semblance of a vertical passing game.
The Ravens will win if:If they can stop the run and force Jacksonville to throw. Also, if they protect Joe Flacco. Flacco is one of the better quarterbacks in the league among guys who never get mentioned as such. He is very good when given time.
As Frangie sees it: The Jags have the advantage here. They know the trip and have played the Ravens well in recent years. But they have to stretch the field at least some. If they do, they have a good chance.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
The Jaguars will win if:They can find ways to get explosive plays in the passing game. The Titans gave the winning formula of loading "the box" with extra defenders to stop the run last Sunday and the Jaguars had no answer with their passing game. The wide receivers need to step up and win man-coverage opportunities – and Bortles has to be accurate.
The Ravens will win if:They continue to create turnovers with their defense. That gives an average Ravens offense extra possessions and the ability to continue to run the football, which takes pressure off Flacco as his recovery from a preseason back injury continues.
As Lageman sees it:The Jaguars' experience traveling to the United Kingdom will be an advantage. It will be a low-scoring affair and the Jaguars' defense will outplay the Ravens' defense. The Jaguars' passing game will find just enough explosive plays from wide receiver Marqise Lee to win.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
The Jaguars will win if:They can get back to their formula, which essentially is a magic number of 25. If the Jaguars can get Fournette around 25 touches - not all carries – and can keep Bortles at 25 or under passing attempts, that is a winning formula. There might be some give and take in those numbers but the recipe of offensive success is simply that.
The Ravens will win if:They continue to be a turnover-forcing machine. Baltimore has forced a ridiculous ten turnovers in the first two games. The Jaguars have lost the turnover battle for seemingly the better part of a decade. We know the impact of turnovers on every football game and it's as simple as that in London Sunday.
As Martineau sees it:I have confidence the Jaguars can win this game. I liked the mentality of the team following the disappointment of last Sunday. The Ravens' offense is not concerning and the Jaguars' defense will be eager to take advantage of a beat-up offensive line. This might be the most pivotal game of the first half of the season for the Jags.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
The Jaguars will win if:The defensive line controls the line of scrimmage in similar fashion to the way it did in Week 1 at Houston. This Ravens team has run the ball well in two games, but the Jaguars' defensive front should have an edge against a Baltimore offensive line that has been rebuilt on the fly because of injuries.
The Ravens will win if: If they control the tempo offensively with the running game and if Flacco doesn't commit a turnover. Defensively, the Ravens need to create multiple turnovers; they've created five per game so far this season, so "multiple" is certainly doable.
As Oehser sees it:This matchup should favor the Jaguars. The Ravens' offense has been effective early in the season, but it shouldn't be a unit that scores enough to get away from the Jaguars. The Jaguars' defensive line should be the difference in a low-scoring game.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
The Jaguars will win if: They avoid becoming the next victim of the Baltimore Ravens' takeaway team. The Ravens have created an amazing ten turnovers in two games and have an NFL best plus-seven turnover margin. The Jaguars were plus-four leaving Houston, but three turnovers and a takeaway against the Titans left them plus two. The Jaguars need takeaways to fuel an offense that has shown only a limited ability to play consistent football through the first two games. They absolutely CANNOT afford turnovers, giving the ball back to Flacco and the Ravens who – while not a prolific scoring offense – can certainly make you pay.
The Ravens will win if:They protect Flacco. Baltimore's offensive line already was decimated by injuries to their center and right-tackle spots before guard Marshal Yanda – the Ravens' best player – sustained a season-ending broken ankle last week. The Jaguars took advantage of a similarly beleaguered line in Houston and created both scoring opportunities and points. If the Ravens can't protect Flacco, they cannot win. If they can, they might.
As Sexton sees it:The teams are remarkably similar: run-heavy units with receivers and tight ends who can make plays but who aren't game-breakers. The Ravens have a decided advantage with one-time Super Bowl MVP Flacco at quarterback. But the Jaguars have experience to their advantage this weekend. The nine-hour flight to London was a difficult lift the first few times the Jaguars went. Now, they have it down pat – plus they have a crowd increasingly behind them with victories over the Bills and Colts the last two seasons. I thought they would play well in their home opener and missed the mark, so I say their London game is a victory and a nice, long ride home to follow.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
The Jaguars will win if:They eliminate the 10-penalties-for-99-yards thing that put them behind the chains last week. Also, if they hit a handful of explosive plays of 20-plus yards in the run or pass game. This is an offense that doesn't have much of that yet; if running gets tough, big plays become bigger.
The Ravens will win if:They keep Flacco upright and get a special-teams splash play. Flacco has some back issues in his recent past, so hitting and sacking him all day will be key to keep him uncomfortable. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was a special teams coach before becoming a head coach; a big return, a kick/punt block – something like that is not out of the realm of possibility for this Ravens team.
As Shadrick sees it:Experience matters with London. It's just different – from the Friday practice to the locker room to the pitch at Wembley. It is Year No. 5 there for the Jags, but it is the first-ever visit for the Ravens. Use your experience at Wembley to get an early lead and get some early momentum so the Jags can get into what they do best: solid defense and a physical run game. That, and don't get behind the chains.