Jacksonville Jaguars: Can they keep up with Patriots’ offense?


The Jacksonville Jaguars head up to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots in Week 3 of the NFL season on Sunday. It will be an exciting game and give the Jags the biggest test of the season.

The Patriots, fresh off a Super Bowl victory, sit at 2-0 and are eagerly awaiting a 1-1 Jacksonville squad. For many looking at this matchup it can be easy to simply write off the Jaguars here. They may be 1-1, but after a few years of ineptitude in the front office, they likely aren’t in the right shape to compete with the Pats.

Anything can happen on Sunday and the Patriots aren’t going to overlook a game against a 0-2 team, a 5-10 team, or a team entering a game 1-1. Head coach Bill Belichick takes the time to prepare for every team and I can’t remember the last time his team collapsed in a game.

While anything can happen and there is a chance the Jags can pull off the upset here (no matter how slim that chance is), there are certainly some causes for concern. The one that rises to the forefront of my mind is whether Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars can keep up with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots’ offense.

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Last season, the Patriots were fourth in the NFL, scoring over 29 points per game on average. The Jaguars were last in the league, averaging 15 points per game. The Patriots had a point differential of +155 (best in the league), compared to the Jags’ -163 (30th in the league). The Pats were the 11th ranked offense in yards gained, compared to 31st for the Jaguars.

I mention last year to help frame this season.

So far, just two games into the 2015 season, the New England Patriots are averaging 34 points per game and are second in yards per game with an average above 400. The Jacksonville Jaguars are just 16 points per game and are 21st in yards gained with an average of just above 320.

While we can focus on limiting Tom Brady and company, I think we will see a game in Week 3 that will require the Jags’ offense to come alive if they hope to compete. We aren’t just talking about two big touchdowns to Allen Robinson here. We’re talking about consistently taking strikes downfield and connecting. It’s about moving the ball on long, sustained drives with a mix of strong running and big pass plays.

It’s about playing complete offense.

So far, this isn’t something we’ve seen from Blake Bortles and the offense. The first half in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins was nice, but it was clear that the wheels fell off in the second half. Week 1 was a complete mess.

I don’t want to see this game become a blowout, but the Jaguars will have to look toward scoring 30+ points if they want to keep up on offense. The last time the Patriots scored less than 28 points was in Week 17 of 2014 against the Buffalo Bills. Tom Brady didn’t play that full game as the Pats rested for the playoffs (which they scored 28 points or more throughout against the best teams in the NFL.

The last time the Jaguars scores 30+ points was in Week 13 of 2013 against the Cleveland Browns. Since then it has been rare for the Jaguars to score more than 20.

The Jags offense has to step up this week to keep pace with the New England Patriots. If they can’t then this one could look ugly by the time the final whistle blows.

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