JACKSONVILLE – Jacksonville opens the 2018 season on the road at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. EDT. The game marks the first time the Jaguars will play the Giants in their season opener. Here are five stats surrounding Week 1:
1. Kickoff Weekend: The Jaguars are 12-11 on Kickoff Weekend and 5-5 in season openers on the road. Jacksonville opens the season against an NFC opponent for the fourth time in the last five years. The Jaguars seek their first win in four tries at MetLife Stadium and face off against the Giants there for the first time since Nov. 28, 2010. They have played the New York Jets there three times.
2. Top five backs: Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette (fourth overall, 2017) and Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley (second overall, 2018) are two of three active running backs (DAL RB Ezekiel Elliot, fourth overall, 2016) that were selected in the top 5 of the NFL Draft. Fournette began his career with a 100-yard rushing performance at Houston in 2017, becoming the first player in Jaguars history to rush for at least 100 yards in their first game. The Jaguars defense allowed just two 100-yard rushers last season (NYJ RB Bilal Powell and LAR RB Todd Gurley) and hope to contain Barkley in his first career NFL game.
3. Comeback season: The largest comeback in team history highlighted the last time the Jaguars battled the Giants. Giants RB Rashad Jennings rushed for a 17-yard score to give New York a 21-3 lead in the second quarter. Jacksonville then scored 17 consecutive points prior to a 33-yard field goal by K Josh Brown that put New York back ahead, 24-22. QB Blake Bortles responded with the first game-winning drive of his career as K Josh Scobee connected on a 43-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining to produce the final tally, 25-24.
4. Out of the gates: The Jaguars have allowed a TD on their opponents’ first offensive possession just one time in the last 25 games (Dec. 24, 2017 at S.F.). In 2017, the Jaguars held their opponents to 13 punts, two field goals and one touchdown on opening drives. Jacksonville will look to set the tone on defense by limiting the Giants on their first drive.
5. Bortles approaching 15,000: Jaguars QB Blake Bortles needs 72 passing yards to become the third Jaguar quarterback to throw for 15,000 yards in his career, joining QBs David Garrard and Mark Brunell. Sunday’s game marks Bortles’ 63rd career game – only five active quarterbacks have thrown for 15,000 yards in their first 63 games (QB Kirk Cousins, QB Andrew Luck, QB Matthew Stafford, QB Ryan Tannehill and QB Aaron Rodgers).
Every Friday during the 2018 season, Jaguars Public Relations Assistant David Wolf will write five key stats about the Jaguars’ upcoming game. A Chapel Hill, N.C. native, Wolf joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in May 2018.