JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' task Sunday is difficult for many well-known reasons.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles discussed many of those reasons Wednesday when meeting with the media as the Jaguars prepared to play the Denver Broncos – and he stated the obvious as well.
Yes, the defending Super Bowl champions are a difficult task.
Yes, linebacker Von Miller is dangerous.
And mostly – yes, yes, absolutely and obviously yes: the Jaguars on Sunday need to do something they haven't done in a very long while. They need to win in front of the fans at Everbank Field.
"We'd love to win at home," Bortles said Wednesday as the Jaguars (2-9) prepared to play the Broncos (7-4) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Jaguars are 0-4 at EverBank this season and haven't won a regular-season game there since beating the Colts, 51-16, last December. They beat the Colts 30-27 in a Week 4 home game this season at Wembley Stadium in London.
The Jaguars lost to Green Bay at EverBank 27-23 in the regular-season opener, then lost to Baltimore 19-17 after leading in the fourth quarter.
They also lost to the Oakland Raiders 33-16 and the Houston Texans 24-21.
"It's been painful, obviously," Bortles said. "It has been rough. It's not good not winning at home. I know the fans aren't happy about it. Neither are we. We're excited to get a chance after two away games to come back and play at home.
"It feels as though offensively there are some good things going on. We'd like to continue that."
Bortles this past week threw two touchdown passes with no interceptions in a 28-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He also ran for 81 yards. It was his third game this season without an interception, and he had had interceptions returned for touchdowns in the two games leading to the Bills game.
The Jaguars' offense will need a similar, turnover-free game Sunday against the Broncos. They are a team that thrives on creating turnovers, having won an NFL-best 28 consecutive games in which they have had a positive-turnover margin.
The Jaguars' offense did not commit a turnover on Sunday, but the team as a whole has a league-worst minus-15 turnover margin. The Jaguars are minus-25 turnovers over the last two seasons.
The Broncos rank fourth in the NFL in total defense and have the NFL's best pass rush with 35 sacks. Linebacker Von Miller has a league-high 12.5 sacks and linebacker DeMarcus Ware – long one of the NFL's best pass rushers – is healthy after missing time early this season and has three sacks this season.
"They're obviously one of the best if not the best – and rightfully so," Bortles said. "They're extremely talented and they do a good job. They don't do a whole lot schematically, but they're really good at what they do. …
"We have to find ways to Miller and Ware and [linebacker] Shane Ray when they bring him in. There's going to be a lot on [offensive tackles] Kelvin Beachum and Jermey Parnell to kind of do that, but it's not on them. It's on everybody."
"I'm not going to change. This [defensive] package is tried and tested over time in three different places. It works. If we execute, it works. We're not going to go in there and do any changes and that type of stuff. We're playing solid. We have to eliminate big plays and be consistent for a full 60 minutes, but we're going to do what we do."
--Defensive coordinator Todd Wash