There might be only two weeks left to play in the season, but this week still definitely matters especially given that Jaguars owner Shad Khan let go of Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin Wednesday night. This season has been a long bumpy ride - but there are bright spots to look forward to, and the Jaguars still have a chance to finish the season 7-9 if they win out.
That being said, the first order of business is to take on the Atlanta Falcons this week in the ATL. The Falcons have also had a less-than-stellar season, but look to finish strong. Both teams are coming off huge wins. The Falcons upset the San Francisco 49ers on the road last week off a last second touchdown. Meanwhile, the Jaguars rallied to defeat the Raiders. The two out of conference teams will face off this Sunday with hopes of finishing the season with three wins.
The player to watch in this week's matchup is wide receiver Chris Conley. You might recognize the name because the wideout hauled in two touchdowns in last week's win. So who is this guy? Well, Conley was a standout at Georgia and selected in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs where he played out his four-year rookie contract. This past offseason the verteran receiver signed with the Jaguars.
A couple fun facts about Conley that will really impress your watch party this weekend is that the Jags wide receiver was born in Turkey and he currently holds the record for best vertical at the NFL combine - 45 inches!
Conley is known for his big play ability! He currently averages 16.2 yards per reception, and against a struggling defensive back unit that bodes well for the receiver. The Falcons give up 253.7 passing yards per game. Be on the lookout for Conley to have a big game!
The matchup to watch this week is Falcons' all-pro receiver Julio Jones against Jaguars' AJ Bouye. In last week's win, Jones had 22 targets and the game-winning touchdown reception. He also ranks fifth in the league in total receiving yards (1,150). After a bit of a down year, Bouye should end the season on a high note - especially by capitalizing on the opportunity of shutting down Jones.
This season hasn't been what was hoped for with the usual standard for Jaguars defense. However, week after week the secondary has prevented dominant players from making big plays. The Jags have faced eight wide receivers who have already passed 1,000 yards for the season with two games remaining and have yet to yield a 100-yard game. And the numbers don't ever lie - Houston Texans star wideout Deandre Hopkins had only eight catches for 38 yards against a combination of Bouye and cornerback Tre Herndon. He's also held down Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas - who is the league leader in receiving yards - to eight receptions for 89 yards. And lastly, when the Bucs brought duo Chris Godwin and Mike Evans to town - they had four catches each and only a combined 103 yards. Those numbers should make Jaguars fans excited to watch these two compete this weekend.
Gather the family and get ready for some Jaguars football this Sunday! Satisfy everyone's taste buds with these recipes created by Fresh from Florida!
First up, Florida Sweet and Salty Wings!
What You'll Need:
24 Florida chicken wings (separated into 2 pieces)
½ cup Florida roasted peanuts, finely chopped
¼ cup Florida wildflower honey
1 cup sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
Fresh herbs for garnish, finely chopped (such as parsley or cilantro)
1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan over low heat combine honey, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until honey is melted. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread out wings in one layer, season with all-purpose seasoning and bake for 45 minutes. Turn oven up to 425 and bake for additional 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven and toss with honey mixture. Sprinkle crushed peanuts over wings and garnish with chopped fresh herbs. Serve with Florida vegetables on the side.
Next up, Florida Citrus Tea.
What You'll Need:
1 cup Florida orange juice
1 Florida orange, cut into rounds
1 Florida grapefruit, cut into rounds (optional)
1 lime, cut into rounds
1 gallon sweet tea, home made or store bought
Combine all of the ingredients and store in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.