Jacksonville Jaguars vs New Orleans Saints: 3 keys

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Dec 20, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson (15) is congratulated by tight end Clay Harbor (86) as he scores a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at EverBank Field. Atlanta Falcons defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Execute in the red zone and on third down

Let’s go back to last weeks contest against the Atlanta Falcons when the Jaguars were unable to convert in the red zone at the end of the first half. Jacksonville had a great chance to narrow the Falcons lead at halftime to only 14-10 but instead a costly interception thrown by Bortles led to the Jaguars losing 17 to 3 at halftime.

Throughout the season the Jaguars have been either hot or cold in the Red zone. For example, in the Jaguars thursday night victory against the Titans, Jacksonville struggled heavily to move the ball in the red zone and if it wasn’t for a big punt return by Rashad Greene then the Jags probably would of lost. On the flip side when the Jaguars lost to the Titans, they were extremely efficient in the end zone posting their second highest scoring total so far this season. I have no doubt in my mind that Jacksonville will get plenty of red zone opportunities in this weeks matchup but if they want to win they need to focus on scoring touchdowns in the red zone rather than field goals.

Moving on to third down conversions, the Jaguars currently rank 25th in the NFL in third down efficiency, converting on only 35.3 percent of their third downs. As I said earlier, the Jaguars didn’t convert on a single third down last week against the Falcons (0-8) and it was a huge reason why the team lost. Obviously every coach would rather that the team doesn’t encounter many third down situations but there is no reason to deny the inevitable. The Saints give up the second most yards per game in the NFL on defense so if the Jaguars can’t figure out how to be efficient on third down against New Orleans, then they may need to go back to the drawing board.

Next: Fact or Fiction?

This weeks road matchup against New Orleans will certainly be a tough one but if the Jaguars rush the quarterback, let Blake Bortles air out and convert in the red zone and on third down then I see no reason why they can’t walk away with a victory.

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