As much as it pains me to say it, the Jacksonville Jaguars are simply not the most perfect team in the league. Unfortunately, there are deficiencies at many positions and many match-ups that are not beneficial to the team. As good analysis, it’s important to know what is good and what is bad about the Jags.
For some optimism, check out Why The Jags Will Stomp The Vikes.
So, how could the Vikings stomp the Jags at home in week one?
There are a few factors, most of which start with home field advantage. If you have ever been to the Metrodome in Minneapolis, you know what I’m talking about. It’s not exactly the best place to see a game and doesn’t provide the best fan experience to grace the league, but it has a few quirks. For the Twins it was the inability for opponents to see the ball against the white ceiling. For the Vikings, it’s the noise.
When you go in the Metrodome and sit down at first you don’t expect it. Then it all begins to build, the momentum, the talking, the excitement. It all adds to an atmosphere that causes the entire place to tremble. Then, when it all starts to begin, you go deaf. It’s the kind of noise that dampens everything around you. It makes you feel like you lost your sense of hearing because all that you know is this cacophony of noise that is reverberating off the walls, ceiling, and emanating from every person around you.
But pros are used to this kind of thing, right? Well, ask the 7-9 Seahawks of 2010 if they think they could have beat the Saints in the Superdome. And the Jaguars are not the Saints.
The second reason the Vikes could beat the Jags is Jared Allen. I don’t know if you know this, but the guy is a phenom. He terrorizes the opposing quarterback, but also the opposing tackle. In this case, Eugene Monroe. No disrespect to Monroe, but he’ll be going against one of the best in Allen. I fully expect that any mistakes will be exploited by the Pro Bowler and he’ll probably get to Gabbert a couple of times. It’s almost inevitable.
How Monroe and Gabbert manage Allen will influence whether or not the Jags can move the ball on offense. If they are able to curtail his rush, then they’re golden. If they can’t curtail his rush then Sunday could be the longest day of both their careers.
I don’t even want to think of Allen switching sides and beating Cameron Bradfield. Unfortunately, it’s a nightmare that could very easily become reality.
While I personally believe that Gabbert’s development will give him enough of an edge to lead the offense to victory over the Vikings’ defense, I’m not so certain that he won’t get rattled. What it all comes down to is that a mere nine months ago, Gabbert was a major liability for an offense that was already miserable. He needs to be better if the expects to beat the Vikings’ pass rush.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims