During week 9, the Green Bay Packers went to San Francisco and dominated to get the 34-17 win. After a miniature bye, they are ready to get back in action at Lambeau Field to welcome in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville coming off a loss to the Texans and find themselves at the bottom of the AFC South. With a 1-7 record, this squad is a shell of the team that was in the AFC Championship game just three years ago. Though the Packers are the better team heading into Sunday, they will still need to respect their opponent and put in the work and effort to seal a win. Let’s take a closer look at the Jaguars Week 10 roster.
Despite the record, Jacksonville’s offense has been, well, average. They are middle of the road in passing, rushing, and scoring. This unit has a few future pieces with some hard choices this offseason. Those decisions will start at quarterback. Gardner Minshew has been a nice story and has played pretty well in his two seasons. The Jaguars will have to decide if he is the future to strap this franchise to or will they take a different route. Last week Minshew was out with a thumb injury and Head Coach Doug Marrone already ruled him out against Green Bay. That leaves rookie Jake Luton to get his second start. Luton threw for 304 yards with a touchdown and an interception last week. He also ran for a score.
Offense Not Far Off
Illinois State rookie James Robinson has taken hold of the running back position and is on pace for a 1,000-yard season. Robinson has seven total touchdowns on the season and is also a threat in the passing game with 225 yards. At wide receiver, the Jags lean on budding star D.J. Chark. Coming off his first 1,00-yard season, the third-year player is on pace to do it again. The six-foot-four Chark showed off his speed and big-play ability last week with a 74-yard touchdown. Chris Conley is the other slated starter on the opposite side but the Jags are hopeful to get rookie weapon Laviska Shenault back in the mix. Through the midpoint of the season, Shenault has lined up all over the field and even has carries at running back. He is a weapon with the ball in his hands and the Jaguars will scheme ways to use him.
Jacksonville’s offensive line is an average group with more experience inside than at tackle. The edge protectors are young in Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor. Both players were drafted early in the second round and have shown flashes of why. However, they have also shown some growing pains. For instance, Taylor has given up five sacks already on the season. Inside the Jaguars have really nice pieces. Center Brandon Linder has been a stud and just inked a big contract extension. At left guard, Andrew Norwell was a big free-agent sign a few years ago while A.J. Cann has been steady on the opposite side.
Defense Not Getting It Done
The Jaguars’ defense has been gutted of talent over the last two seasons. Both the defensive line and secondary have lost key players and the team has not been able to fill the gaps. Jacksonville struggles especially at getting to the quarterback with only eight sacks this season. They have invested high round picks on the defensive line but they haven’t translated to the success of the unit.
After racking up 10.5 sacks in his rookie campaign, Josh Allen hasn’t hit pay dirt at the same rate this season. Tasked with being opponents’ top priority, he still is a force off the edge though it hasn’t been shown on the stat sheet. Adam Gotsis is on the other end with just five career sacks in five seasons. The Jaguars did draft K’Lavon Chaisson in the first round of the draft but he has yet to make an impact. Taven Bryan is really athletic on the inside but has underwhelmed in his pro career thus far. Rookie DaVon Hamilton has been the bright spot, however. The 320-pound youngster had a great game against the Texans with four pressures and a sack.
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On the weak-side, Myles Jack leads the linebacker group. He flies all over the field and is good at making plays at the line of scrimmage. He also is trusted in pass coverage and uses his athletic ability to stay with tight ends and/or running backs. University of Wisconsin alum Joe Schobert came over from Cleveland and starts in the middle of this group.
The Jaguar’ secondary has severely struggled on the year as they lean on young players. Rookie C.J. Henderson has been picked on with 25 receptions allowed on the season. The smaller Tre Herndon is on the other side but is more of a slot cornerback. The veteran D.J. Hayden has been leaking at best while seventh-round rookie Chris Claybrooks has seen action. Finally, former Packer Josh Jones starts at strong safety. His size and strength combination makes him better in the box than in coverage. This group has struggled this season and Aaron Rodgers & Company should exploit them.
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