Sunday’s Jacksonville Jaguars matchup at home against the Buffalo Bills is a definite opportunity to get their fifth win of the season. There are things I feel must happen for that to occur.
1) Jordan Todman must rush for a minimum of 80 yards and score at least one touchdown. The Jags have seemingly always lived or died by the rush. A few catches would also be nice to keep the bull-rushing Bills defensive line from going all out. But a consistently successful rushing attack will prevent third and long situations while keeping an improving Jags defense from being on the field too long.
2) Ace Sanders must touch the ball in some way at least 15 times. Between hopefully five catches minimum, a few ends around, to lining up directly in the backfield, the Jags must make the dynamic rookie a focus. I’d like to see a few less fair catches also. Don’t forget Ace…You have surprised with your receiving skills but you were drafted because of your punt returning abilities.
3) Chad Henne MUST have no interceptions and not let the Bills rush force mistakes. Chad has been playing just well enough to help the Jags win a few games. Part of that has been recent improved play from the offensive line. Henne is still very capable of making the big mistake, especially against a lot of pressure. He must not. This team is playing well, but not enough to recover from multiple turnovers.
4) Fred Jackson must be kept in check. C.J. Spiller is a dynamic player who can bust one out of nowhere. He can also disappear when the defense puts some good licks on him. Fred Jackson is another story. A strong between the tackles bruiser, he’s been the Bills most consistent performer. When it comes to the Jags rush defense, they should employ a variation of the “bend don’t break” philosophy. By that I mean let Spiller shock you with a long touchdown before you allow Jackson to pick up cheap first downs that cause the defense to wear down late in the game.
5) Treat E.J. Manuel like what he is…a freakin’ rookie! The Jags have been manhandled all year by the passing game. Even in their victories. This can’t continue. The Jags defensive secondary, though showing signs of improving, have still been maddeningly inconsistent. This must stop. The pass rush, again which has shown steady improvement, still hasn’t put enough pressure on opposing QBs to help the secondary. THIS CAN’T CONTINUE! My recipe for a successful defensive performance…as Al Davis famously stated…”The quarterback must go down, and go down hard.” Take a damn roughing penalty if necessary. Make Manuel have big eyes in the pocket. Hit him HARD if he runs. Don’t let a rookie beat you.
If the Jaguars follow this blueprint, “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang will be bellowing as jubilant Jags fans exit Everbank Field Sunday afternoon.
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Forecast performed by Michael McDonald
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