Jaguars Face the Cowboys: Three bold predictions for Sunday
By David Levin
The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Dallas on Sunday to face the Cowboys in what may amount to a “must win” for the visiting team.
The Jacksonville Jaguars must show more on offense than what the team did in the 30-14 loss at Kansas City this past weekend. In order to do that, Blake Bortles must play better. The offensive line must do a better job of blocking. Most of all, this team cannot make the same mistakes it did or the Jaguars will come back to Jacksonville 3-3 for the season.
When Bortles met with the media on Wednesday, he took ownership of how he played in Kansas City. While he did throw for 430 yards, there were four interceptions, one taken back for a touchdown and a fumble he would love to have back.
"“It was a bad feeling. To put the work in all week and the hours and the time and everything that you do to get ready to go out. You plan and fully expect to execute at a high level, and do not and lose the game we did sucks,” Bortles said.“To sit on the plane and watch the film with Nathaniel – we grade it and go through it as quickly as possible and make sure we make all the corrections and understand what happened and put it in the rearview mirror and move onto Dallas.”"
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways
Moving on is the only way for the Jaguars to get back some of the momentum left at Arrowhead Stadium. Playing in Dallas is no small task (everything is bigger in Texas), and Bortles and the offense must play with more confidence and the ability to turn trips to the red zone into scoring opportunities.
There are plenty of new faces this week on the offensive side of the ball as the team made many changes at running back, tight end and the offensive line this week. Maybe the biggest concern for Bortles, head coach Doug Marrone and the organization is cohesion with so many new faces joining the ranks.
Still, I am looking at this game as one of redemption.
The Jaguars should win. If not, there will continue to be finger pointing from the national media and questions from all sides as to whether this team is truly a playoff contender.
Here are three bold predictions for Sunday’s game.
Jamaal Charles has an immediate impact
He is 31-years-old, hasn’t played in the NFL since last season and has fresh legs to aid the Jaguars in their running game.
Could Jamaal Charles bust out with 100 yards rushing? I doubt it, mainly because Marrone said T.J. Yeldon would get most of the carries this week. But the former All-Pro running back could get 10 touches and five catches out of the backfield and score a touchdown.
Which would be a huge help to Yeldon who has been the bell cow back this season.
"“I’m trying to win. That is what I am trying to get done down here.” Charles said on Wednesday when he met with the media. “I’m trying to come in and contribute to the team and do what I can to win some games.”"
Anything Charles does will be a solid contribution. He could have a big game on a fast carpet on Sunday.
Blake Bortles Keeps His Jersey Clean
After a five-sack day and 11 quarterback hurries, Bortles would love to be able to have time to make throws and survey the field in passing situations.
Jermey Parnell was a spinning top last Sunday, allowing the pass rush to breeze by him on multiple occasions. The veteran who can to Jacksonville from Dallas in 2015 knows he can play better and should against his former team.
For now, Josh Walker is the starting left tackle, replacing Josh Wells this week. There is also talk Brandon Linder or A.J. Cann may move over to Walker’s spot. The Jaguars are fully aware of Demarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys pass rush.
Parnell cannot have another bad game like last week. Walker must prove he can handle the pass rush as well. Injuries have beaten this unit up.
"“It is obviously not ideal. I think we were pretty fortunate last year as far as staying healthy,” Bortles said. “This year we haven’t been quite as lucky. It is part of football. It is part of the NFL. It happens to teams every year. It is how you handle it and how you get through this time.”"
Big Day for Dede Westbrook
The wide receiver from Oklahoma could have his biggest game of this career on a fast carpet on Sunday. It would be welcomed, that’s for sure.
The worst thing the Jaguars and the offense could do now is play conservative football. Let Bortles air it out again, but draw up more target for No. 12. Dede Westbrook has top end speed that is one of his greatest assets.
Jacksonville targeted Donte Moncrief too often last week, which hurt the vertical game. There should be variety in the wide receiver corps. I predicted DJ Chark could have a big game as well last week. The rookie made two big plays to move the chains.
This week, everyone will be talking about Westbrook as a sure-fire No. 1 pass catcher.