Jaguars host the Redskins: Three bold predictions
By David Levin
This is the final home game of the season for the Jaguars. Can the team find a rhythm on offense? Can the defense stop the Redskins running game?
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said the progression of quarterback Cody Kessler gives him hope this offense will find some kind of rhythm, hopefully in the game this weekend against the Washington Redskins. Jacksonville, 4-9 this season, had what could only be described as one of the worst experiences in the history of the franchise in the 30-9 loss to Tennessee last Thursday night.
This week presents new challenges and an opportunity for the players in the locker room to show grit and fight as they try to finish the season on a positive note.
"“Cody made some good strides from week one to week two. I would like to see it continue that way. We have to do a better job up front, really all over to get the run game going,” Marrone explained when he met with the media on Wednesday.More from Jacksonville Jaguars NewsThe Jaguars may look for edge rushers with pick 24NFL free agency felt like a NFL free agency felt like a whirlwind for Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram in 2022 in 2022Jacksonville Jaguars in position to let RT Jawaan Taylor hit free agency in 2023Jaguars GM Trent Baalke hopes HC Doug Pederson has trust in himReport: Jacksonville Jaguars ready to use franchise tag to keep Evan Engram if needed“Practice-wise, you would like to see not a lot of mistakes, a lot of people honed in and them being able to go out there and perform. If you have good practices and you go out there and you have to expect to play well. We have been practicing well, but we haven’t played well.”"
The Jaguars face Josh Johnson this weekend, the fourth quarterback the Redskins have started this season. Preparing for him, as there isn’t much current film makes it a bit tougher. When asked about playing a quarterback who basically has come off the street in-season, cornerback Jalen Ramsey said it is tough but the team must concentrate on other things first.
"“We kind of have to worry about ourselves and make sure that we are right,” he said in his weekly meeting with the local media on Thursday."
Jacksonville doesn’t have a playoff berth to worry about, but does have to still come out and play for something – pride. They currently sit seventh in the NFL Draft. Fans dreaming of this franchise tanking for the first pick, overall might want to hold off on the celebration for a while. There are still three games to be played.
This is a winnable game for the home team this weekend. The Redskins are a mirror-image of these Jaguars, with questions at quarterback, the coaching staff and roster.
Here are three bold predictions for a Jaguars victory on Sunday.
Adrian Peterson held to 50 yards rushing – Much like the Jaguars and their struggling offense, the Washington Redskins will lead with the run game and hope for the best.
Adrian Peterson continues to show at 33 years old, there is still something left in the gas tank. He has shown an ability to shed tackles and break off long runs. The Jaguars front four and interior line must be ready to stop him at the point of attack.
Peterson is another big back the team faces this season who can move a pile. The defense did not show any will in trying to stop Derrick Henry last week. This week, however, they make a point to shut the future Hall of Famer down.
Josh Lambo kicks six field goals – The one player on the team that has remained consistent all season has been kicker Josh Lambo. not since the days of Josh Scobee has a kicker meant so much to this offense.
Lambo could have opportunities to score for the Jaguars, which could honestly be the only points of the game. He is 19 of 21 on the season and has yet to miss a kick in Jacksonville since he was signed last season. The team hopes his consistency continues as points remain scarce in this offense.
If the Jaguars can get into scoring position, it might be their special teams unit that wins this game for them on Sunday.
Yannick Ngakoue gets four sacks – This is one of those games where the defense faces a relatively inexperienced quarterback and can thrive in pass rush.
Yannick Ngakoue has been fairly silent this season. This week, he makes a statement that he is still one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. Four sacks and plenty of pressure on the quarterback.
Ngakoue and Calais Campbell should be able to meet in the backfield or put enough pressure on Johnson to force him out of the picket early, playing right into the hands of Ramsey and the secondary.