With some tough road games coming, the Jacksonville Jaguars have to take care of business at home this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
Before the regular season, this weekend’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders was billed as one of the most intriguing games of the year for the Jacksonville Jaguars. It serves as a point of direct comparison for two teams that should be on the same upward trajectory.
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The similarities are evident – both teams deploy an offense spearheaded by a young quarterback drafted in 2014; both have promising skill position players capable of putting up big numbers; both have some high-priced defensive free agents.
The differences are also quite obvious – one team is 4-2 and appears to be a legitimate playoff contender, while the other is struggling to regain respect after starting 0-3.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks the Jaguars are better than the Raiders right now, but that could change this Sunday. The Jaguars were inexplicably favored in this game by Vegas (it’s moved to a pick ’em) meaning there is some thought the struggling offense led by Blake Bortles could get right against one of the leakier defenses in the league.
Despite the flashes of brilliance by some defensive players for Jacksonville, this game is likely to be a shootout. That means Bortles needs to shake off whatever mental blocks he has that are keeping him from connecting with his receivers down the field and start generating some big plays. If not, Jaguar fans could be subjected to yet another embarrassing home blowout.
So what’s going to actually happen this Sunday when the Jaguars take the field at home for the first times since an agonizing loss to the Ravens? Can they pull themselves to 3-3 and the thick of the AFC South race? Click ahead to see my “rock solid” predictions: