There is no blood in the water in Dallas. This is not a team drowning in incompetence waiting to be devoured. The Jaguars will face a team that does a lot of things right. In fact, the real risk this Sunday is all the frustrations Dallas and their fans have experienced this season will pour out against the Jaguars.
Here are some things to consider.
In generating offensive yards, Dallas is the equal to Houston. Dallas is putting up 375 yards per game. Against Tennessee they generated 511 yards. The problem has been turnovers. Dallas gives the ball away at least twice per game.
Want to know who is giving up the most yards on defense? It isn’t Jacksonville, but we are close. We give up 382 yards a game. Dallas gives up 317 yards per game.
Jacksonville needs 16.1 yards per point. We have 130 points on 2100 yards of offense. Dallas needs 16.4 yards per point, 137 points on 2250 yards of offense. If we divide the 382 yards we give up by the 16.4 yards per point they need, they get 23 points. If we divide the 16.1 yards per point into the 317 yards Dallas gives up, we get 20 points. This football score predictor model has been reasonably accurate in the past. 23-20 Dallas.
The issue of this game boils down to this. Jacksonville gives the yards on defense by not getting the opponent off the field. We allow a third down conversion 47% of the time. This is second highest in the NFL. If we stop the third downs, we won’t get blown out.
Dallas has a good defense in stopping third downs, they give up a first down only 33% of the time when faced with a third down. They have a problem scoring points because of the turnovers. They generate a lot of yards, but have nothing to show for it. Their yards per point average is high because of turnovers.
So this is the question of the game, do you think Jacksonville will improve on third down defense or Dallas will improve on turnovers? My thinking is it will be easier for Dallas to avoid interceptions against Jacksonville than it will be for Jacksonville to suddenly improve on defense against a good Dallas offense. One is simply easier to do than the other.
What about the Kitna factor? This isn’t Tony Romo we are facing. To be honest, the Jaguars defense is leaving receivers so wide open that Kerry Collins had no trouble hitting the receivers. Kerry Collins has almost no arm left. I think John Kitna will be fine in this game.
Dallas is generating a lot of quarterback pressure. DeMarcus Ware has 8 sacks and 13 pressures. Jay Ratliff and Stephen Bowen on the defensive line are also harassing the quarterback. Jacksonville can get at the quarterback too, but not to the level Dallas does. They will be in our backfield.
So to win this game, Jacksonville must blitz constantly. Kirk Morrison and Daryl Smith have to leave someone open and get to Kitna quick. The only winning prescription for this game is a full out quarterback attack. We can’t win laying back and trying to stop the pass. We haven’t done that successfully all year. We need to go all out with Jeramy Mincey and a linebacker attack.
If I am not right about this game plan, I don’t know what will work. We can’t win a shootout. Dallas has been in shootouts almost every week. They can play that game. If we attack, we have a chance.
How do you see it?
- Terry O’Brien