The Jaguars take their game on the road to meet Green Bay on Sunday. The high powered offense of the Packers will be waiting to meet them as soon as they arrive. Can the Jaguars keep up now that the Pack has found its stride? A bewildered team much of the year, the Jags have a chance to showcase an improved defense and see if they can move past an injured Maurice Jones-Drew. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers and company look to make short work of a defense that seemingly can’t generate a pass rush to save their lives. Here are five players to watch on Sunday:
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay - Rodgers is on top of the world right now. He’s coming off some tremendous weeks passing after not seeming himself in the first few weeks of the season. Rodgers is hot right now, completing over 70% of his passes in the last two games with nine touchdowns to boot. He looks unstoppable and his weapons probably won’t let him down against suspect defensive play.
- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville - Gabbert looked good without MJD in the backfield last week against the Raiders. Then he tore his labrum. While the tear is in his left, non-throwing shoulder it could still affect his play and will undoubtedly make him a little shy toward hits. If we see a return to the skittish Gabbert from last year it may be easy to chalk it up to his injury and him playing to protect his shoulder. Playing through the pain would go a long way toward creating some credibility in his lackluster career thus far.
- Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay - If you’re just now hearing about Clay Matthews then you haven’t been paying attention to football for the past couple years. The man has nine sacks on the season and is an intimidating presence whenever he steps on the field. Gabbert will most certainly be worried that his suspect line can’t hold up against a rush specialist like Matthews, and for good reason. Matthews’ play will dictate whether this game is even competitive.
- Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay – With Greg Jennings out indefinitely and Jordy Nelson questionable for Sunday’s game, expect Cobb to get a lot of looks from Rodgers in the game. Not only is Cobb a good receiver in his own right, but he has the skills to fill in for any of the injured receivers on the team. His 435 receiving yards is second on the team only to Nelson. Cobb is becoming much more than a role player and will be influential in asserting the Green Bay passing game over the Jaguars pass defense.
- Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville - With MJD injured, it’s on Jennings to carry the load. Jennings was being prepped to be the team’s primary back during the offseason, but with Jones-Drew back he has been relegated to backup once again. Jennings can do a lot of his stock if he performs well and shows that he should be more than just a spell back for Jones-Drew. Unfortunately, Jennings 2.6 yards per attempt on the season don’t instill confidence. He is a powerful back that could give the Jaguars what they need with good blocking in front of him.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims