Who doesn’t love when a team gets some momentum going? For the Jaguars, it is the first time in a long time that they have had any positive forces felt. Now, as things start to ramp up and players try to save their jobs (or get new ones) it will be interesting to see what desperation mode forces out of Jaguar and Bills players.
1. C.J. Spiller, Running Back, Buffalo: Spiller is a force. He can change games by running the ball or catching it. He has the patience to see the small chinks in a defense’s armor and he has the burst to take advantage and punish them. With Fred Jackson’s comparatively small year (3.9 yards per rush isn’t bad at all, but Spiller’s 6.3 is ridiculously good), Spiller has had the opportunity to become a feature back. The Jaguars’ 29th ranked rushing defense is just waiting to be exploited by somebody like Spiller.
2. Chad Henne, Quarterback, Jacksonville: If you haven’t been paying attention to Chad Henne over the past two weeks then you aren’t paying much attention to football. Henne has put up a staggering 615 yards with four touchdowns and only one (tipped) interception. He is coming on strong and has contributed to big days for both Cecil Shorts III and rookie Justin Blackmon. Henne has revitalized the Jaguars’ offense and is looking to cement himself as the starting quarterback for 2013 now that head coach Mike Mularkey has said he is auditioning for the role. Henne has no chance but to come on strong or he may become a journeyman backup for the rest of his career.
3. Jason Babin, Defensive End, Jacksonville: The Eagles’ release of Babin has been a bounty for the Jaguars. Babin has had double digit sacks in the last two seasons and now joins the Jaguars as their best rusher with 5.5 sacks this season. According to reports, Babin could start over rookie Andre Branch or Austen Lane. He is a great improvement over both. As a pass rush specialist playing in a wide nine 4-3 in Philadelphia, Babin has made a name for himself playing against tackles on an island. This will put pressure on the Jaguars’ linebackers to make plays if the ball carrier can take advantage of the bigger gap that Babin will probably leave either out of habit or out of scheme. Babin could very easily make a lot of Jags fans happy with a big day. Like Henne, Babin is essentially auditioning for a longer term spot on this team.
4. Scott Chandler, Tight End, Buffalo: Chandler comes into the game against the Jaguars as the Bills’ fourth most prolific receiver. He has 31 catches this season with 406 yards (third on the team) and five touchdowns. His five touchdowns are tops on the team and show that he can create some serious mismatches with his 6’7″ frame. Like the Jags’ Marcedes Lewis, Chandler can be a force when he is fed the ball. He will take advantage of mediocre linebacker coverage if the Jaguars let him. He is averaging 13.1 yards per catch right now and is primed for a big game against the Jaguars’ defense and because he hasn’t had over two receptions since week 9 against New England. You bet he’ll be telling Ryan Fitzpatrick to get him the ball.
5. Mario Williams, Defensive End, Buffalo: The Jaguars are very familiar with Super Mario. Williams has been with the Houston Texans since he was drafted, until he signed a $100 million contract to come play in small-market Buffalo. Williams has 8.5 sacks on the season and has shown that even though he is getting paid a bit too much for his production he is still a premier player. Williams will probably take advantage of the incredibly weak offensive line of the Jaguars. You can safely expect some big numbers out of him on Sunday.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims