The New England Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions, but in the NFL anything can happen on any week and they have been spending time getting ready for the 1-1 Jacksonville Jaguars to come to town.
"The Jacksonville defense has given opposing running backs issues this season. Opponents average 73.5 rushing yards per game against this terrifying unit. Few teams have been worse than New England at losing yardage through infractions. The Patriots have accumulated 91 penalty yards per game this season."
"The last time the Patriots played the Jaguars was back in 2012, a game New England won 23-16. The Patriots lead the all-time series 9-1.But there were some exciting and memorable matchups along the way. The Patriots beat the Jaguars back in the 2005 playoffs at a frigid Gillette Stadium, with wind chills in the negatives. They also met during New England’s pursuit of perfection during the 2007 playoffs.But that is ancient history now. The Patriots have continued to play at a high level since those playoff games, while the Jaguars have consistently finished toward the bottom of the league. In order for the Jaguars to take that next step, second-year quarterback Blake Bortles needs to improve. It’s a relatively small sample size, but Belichick is impressed with what he’s seen from Bortles, though, including in last week’s win over the Miami Dolphins.“Bortles has played well,” Belichick said. “There is a lot of really good film on Bortles, even in preseason, going into the Detroit game. He is productive in every game."
"After a Week 1 performance that saw him throw two interceptions and struggle compared to his preseason performances, quarterback Blake Bortles rebounded against the Dolphins with his best NFL regular-season showing.He was crucial on all five scoring drives, and he looked comfortable rising to the task. He had his fair share of misses and needs to work on hitting his receivers in the chest, not above the head, but his turnover-free afternoon led the offense to 23 points and a win.After the past six to seven years, it seems impossible that the Jaguars could have a legitimate option at QB in Bortles. He’s certainly not perfect, but the preseason and Week 2 have been encouraging and have shown the type of progress you hope for."
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