In the blink of an eye, a quarter of the season will be completed this weekend. It's Week 4 and the Jags are headed to Bronco Country to face a struggling 0-3 Denver squad. The Broncos have faced Oakland, Chicago and Green Bay this season and fell short each week. Meanwhile, Minshew Magic looks to earn back-to-back wins after a solid performance last week in primetime against the Titans.
These two teams haven't faced each other since the Broncos snagged a dub during the 2016, but this match-up weighs in favor of DUUUVAL this time around. Can you guess what might be the biggest factor in this game? The location. Mile High Stadium is a unique beast to both play and win in, but it's especially challenging during the month of September. What's so special about September? The Broncos are notorious for winning at home in the month of September. In fact, prior to their last-minute loss to the Bears this season in Week 2, they had won 14 home games in a row during the opening month of the season dating back to 2014. Therefore, with a victory, Jacksonville can accomplish something that has only been done once in the past five years.
Keep reading to find out more facts surrounding this match-up, including everything you need to know to rock your watch party this weekend as the ultimate Jaguars guru, and, of course, tune in to CBS on Sunday at 4:25PM ET.
This week's player to know is none other than THE Calais Campbell. The rockstar defensive end is headed back to his hometown after a lights out performance against Tennessee last week which led to AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. He had three sacks, six tackles and one tackle for a loss in the Week 3 victory. Campbell entered the league in 2008 when he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round. He continued to wreak havoc in the NFC West for the next nine seasons as one of the most established 3-4 defensive ends in the league. In fact, one of the more impressive characteristics about the 6-foot-8, 300-pound athlete is that he has never missed more than three games in a season. So, fast forward to 2017 and the monster end is headed to Jacksonville where, since his arrival has not missed a single game, and has become one of the leaders of Sacksonville.
Now, Calais is in his 12th NFL season and on his way to play in his hometown for just the second time during his career. The previous game dates back to 2014 where Campbell registered one of only three interceptions of his career. The DE fell short of picking up a sack back then, but watch for him to change that this week, especially against a struggling Broncos offensive line. This position group for Denver has given up 11 sacks and 18 QB hits in the opening weeks of the season.
It goes without question that the veteran will have quite a few supporters in the stands screaming his name this weekend as family, friends, former teachers and more will come out to welcome Calais Campbell home.
The best match-up to pay attention to in this AFC contest is the Jags' offensive tackles, Cam Robinson and Juwan Taylor, going head-to-head with Broncos defensive duo Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
Both pairs are a bit banged up with Robinson and Chubb listed as limited on their team's practice reports this week. However, both should be good to go for game day. This could sound like concerning news for most Jaguars fans because after starting in 15 games during his rookie season, Robinson suffered a torn ACL in week 2 of the 2018 season that left him on IR for the remainder of the year. On the right side of the line is rookie Juwan Taylor, a second round pick out of Florida for the Jags. The inexperience of the two tackles, plus a rookie QB, is a key factor in this game. The two must protect Gardner Minshew II and all his mustache glory at all costs.
While the two tackles may not have experience on their side, defensive ends Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are still brushing off the rust. The dynamic duo are having an extremely lackluster start to 2019 which can bode well for the Jags. How can it be a slow start when the teams are only three weeks in? Well, last season the entire Broncos defense finished the season with 44 sacks. Miller and Chubb accounted for 26.5 of those sacks, plus six forced fumbles combined. But…the two haven't gotten to the quarterback yet this season; actually their entire defense hasn't. Yes, you read that right, the Broncos defense does not have a recorded sack this season. In fact, Denver is the only team in the league to have a goose egg in the sacks column.
So, as long as both tackles don't get the jitterbug on the line with the presence of Miller and Chubb across from them (aka keep those pesky penalties low), and they are faster off the line than the two ends - Robinson and Taylor will hold their own and be just fine. While many will still contradict and question the two because of their limited NFL play, both of these tackles played at the highest level in college at Alabama and Florida with two booming offenses. Don't worry DUUVAL, these two GOT THIS.
Once again, Jacksonville is out-of-town bound. If you're headed to Denver to cheer on the Jags, make sure you keep in mind these tips before you go!
- Pack for warmth! The forecast shows a beautiful sunny, 81 degrees day with only 49% humidity and south east winds at 14 mph. I'd recommend a tank top or jersey paired with shorts and a hat. Plus, don't forget your sunscreen, this could feel like a scorcher.
- Feeling spontaneous? Well if you catch a last minute trip to Denver and need tickets, they sell remaining tickets at the box office located between Gates 9 and 10. Of course you can always check TicketMaster as well. If you end up with seats in the end zone on the Club Level, it can be a great deal too, aka you don't have to pay Club Level price but get all the perks of the amenities. Also, that means access to concession stands and bathrooms therefore - less time away from the game.
- Safe ride options for the game. If you're parking, there are designated parking lots on a first come-first serve basis. There's also the Regional Transportation District or RTD. This option provides regular rides and light rail service to Broncos games. Day of express rides are also available. To get BroncosRide information, including a Park-N-Ride near you, call (303) 299-6000 and press "1-1-2" or visit the RTD website.
- Don't forget the clear bag policy! Yes, all NFL stadiums have this rule so make sure you have yours ready to go and it is no larger than 12" x 6" x 12".
- Lastly, have some fun! Cheer loud and show these Broncos' fans what Jacksonville is about - but of course, be respectful and a positive representative of #DUUUVAL at all times.
- Written by Haley Graves