Dec 10, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (left) and New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) take the field before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars vs Patriots: 5 Players to Watch

The New England Patriots come to town and hope to continue their historic dominance over both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the rest of the NFL.  Tom Brady and company look to punish the Jags for even looking at them during this game.  While there is little hope that this game will be close, much less a victory, there will be some good football on the field. Here’s who to watch in the Jags/Pats game.

1.  Cecil Shorts III, WR, Jacksonville:  Shorts may end up with 1,000 yards on the season in this game.  He needs 75 more to get it done and is probably going to be the target of many passes during this game.  If the Jags get down early then there will be moe need to pass and that bodes well for Shorts’ personal statistics.

2.  Danny Woodhead, RB, New England:  After the Patriots suffered some serious fumbling problems against the 49ers this past week, Woodhead ended up with a lot more touches than usual.  The sure-handed little back did what he needed to in order to get Bill Belichick and Brady to trust the running back position again.  The Patriots aren’t afraid to run with the hot hand so Woodhead could get some more touches against the Jags and who why he was trusted over his counterparts last week.

3.  Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England:  Hernandez is having a pretty good time of it without Rob Gronkowski in to complement him.  While the team is undoubtedly better with both of them on the field, Hernandez is still a good enough receiver to torch the Jags.  He isn’t as good at blocking as Gronk, but he manages to make the offense look good and that’s what matters.

4.  Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville:  Blackmon needs 300 yards to reach 1,000 so he probably won’t be Shorts to the mark, but Blackmon has shown that he can dominate defenses that aren’t aggressive enough toward him.  Nobody expected the rookie to explode against the Texans, yet he came away with 236 yards.  Blackmon is becoming a good receiver and could showcase his developing skills against a weak pass defense.

5.  Devin McCourty, S/KR/DB, New England:  If the Jaguars have to worry about a defensive back, it’ll be McCourty.  The guy has five interceptions on the year and plays pretty good defense on whomever he is covering.  Further, he has a kick return for a touchdown and averages almost 25 yards per return.  Look for him to be a difference maker when the Jags become one-dimensional or if the Jags start to mount a comeback.

– Luke N. Sims

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Tags: Aaron Hernandez Cecil Shorts Cecil Shorts III Jacksonville Jaguars Justin Blackmon New England Patriots

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