April 24, 2014

Preview Of The Enemy: Jacksonville Jaguars Game Two

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Think NFL Network is suffering from buyer’s remorse right about now? Too bad they can’t flex games like NBC. I’m sure they assumed the Jaguars would be out of the playoff conversation, but no way they expected the two teams to have a combined five wins. Not everyone had the Texans as a playoff team, I saw a few previews that predicted them to finish the year 8-8, but if anyone claims they predicted the Texans to have fewer wins than the Jaguars coming into this game, they’re lying.

I still think the Texans have better overall talent on their roster than the Jaguars, but that “talent advantage” didn’t matter two weeks ago when they played at Reliant Stadium. If the Texans play at the same level that they did against New England last week, they should beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Though, as I’ve stated in previous articles, that wouldn’t benefit them in the long term. Like they did in 2010 against Jacksonville, expect them to win a meaningless game down the stretch when a loss would be more beneficial. That’s so Texans.

Strengths:

The Jaguars have won three of their last four games after getting off to an 0-8 start, but despite the recent success there still isn’t much to definitively point to as a strength of their team. However, there has been improvement in at least one stat that has led to their recent turnaround.

Turnovers – In the Jaguars three recent wins, they’re a combined +5 in turnover differential and won the turnover battle in each of those three games. In their nine losses this season, they’re a combined -9 in turnover differential and lost the turnover battle in six of those nine games. Saying a team needs to win the turnover battle to be victorious is often over simplifying the keys to the game, but it’s definitely a huge factor.

Weaknesses:

Everything - Despite winning three of their last four games, they’re still an awful football team. Maurice Jones-Drew averaged just 3.48 yards per carry in their three wins. During those same three wins quarterback Chad Henne averaged 204 yards with a combined total of 2 touchdowns to 3 interceptions; threw zero touchdowns in two of those games. On defense, they allowed their opponent to gain over 350 yards of offense (the league average) in two of those three wins.

There isn’t a lot to point to as a reason for their recent success. Well there is one thing, those three opponents have a combined 11-25 record. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Prediction:

Texans 20
Jaguars 17

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