The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Dallas Cowboys play on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in a must-win for both franchises. The staff here at Black and Teal makes the call on who wins this important NFL game.
According to the Jaguars public relations staff, through coordinator notes handed out to the media on Thursday, in the nine games played following a loss under Marrone, which also includes the playoffs, Jacksonville has outscored its opponents 231-78. The team is also averaging 25.7 points a contest.
On the flip side, the defense is doing its job, averaging just 8.7 points a game. Jacksonville has not allowed more than 15 points in any of the nine games played following a loss and held their opponents to 10 or fewer points six times.
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Those numbers should tell you this is a winnable game for Jacksonville, with a Dallas Cowboys team in need of more continuity on offense.
The Jaguars are aware of the presence of running back Ezekiel Elliott and the need to stop the Cowboys running game. On defense, Demarcus Lawrence is a pass rusher the entire offensive line must be aware of.
"“He’s outstanding. He has power, he has speed,” Marrone said Sunday when he met with the media.“He’s quick, has excellent counter moves. He can take over a game like a lot of those guys [can]. Their front seven is pretty stout when you look all around, but he’s one player that can obviously change a game.”"
Lawrence is not the only player on defense the team must be aware of. While Dallas appears to be a one-dimensional offense, they also must be aware of quarterback Dak Prescott and his ability to run out of the pocket.
"Per the Jaguars media release from their public relations department, “The Jaguars are 3-3 all-time against the Cowboys, including 2-2 on the road, and have won two of the last three meetings. The Jaguars are 1-0 against the NFC East in 2018 after defeating the New York Giants, 20-15, in Week 1.”"
This should be a close and potentially tough game for both offenses. Our staff writers here at Black and Teal speak out on who they think will win on Sunday.
Kathy Clark – This is a critical game for the Jaguars. To lose would put them at a mediocre 3-3. Jacksonville looks like the obvious winners on paper.
Both defense and offense are rated higher than the Dallas Cowboys. We have added some much needed depth at running back to the roster. However, no games is a gimme with Blake Bortles at quarterback.
I am going with the Jaguars to win. Score 20-3. Duuuval!
Lorenzino Estrada – This game will be far from a battle of offensives. It will be a game about field position, and whoever crosses the 50-yard line most will end up victorious.
If Jacksonville can contain Elliott and not allow the big play, it will force Dallas’ offense — which hasn’t found success throwing the ball — to play into the strength of the Jaguars. Bortles just needs to do the bare minimum, not turn the ball over. The Jaguars’ running game, or at least the threat of it, needs to be established right away to keep Dallas’ defense on their toes. Jacksonville gets back on track in a low scoring, defensive game.
Jaguars win, 16-10
Andrew Scott – Bad Blake. Good Blake. Bad Blake. Good Blake. Bad Blake.
Blake Bortles bounces back. It’s what he does. Good Blake shows up and takes advantage of a questionable cowboys secondary.
The signing of Jamaal Charles brings back the run first mentality. Bortles will score on 2-3 play action plays.
David Levin – To hear all the talk locally this week, you would think the Jaguars were on life support. It may be true to some degree. The offense does need a shot of adrenaline. But in reality, the injuries are what hurt this team’s offense aside from the play of Bortles.
Bortles threw for 430 yards in a losing effort last week but tossed in 388 yards in a win against the New York Jets. He is an enigma so far this season.
I believe if the Jaguars can run the football this week and get Bortles to throw somewhere between 250-280 yards without making the same errors as he did last week, Jacksonville wins. The offensive line must play better and the defense must contain Elliott.
Take the road team in this one. It will be an ugly game, but a win is a win.
Jaguars 20 Dallas 16