Can the Jaguars beat the Saints at home and get back to playing .500 football this season?
Gardner Minshew knows this is not going to be an easy game this week. When the Jaguars take the field on Sunday at TIAA Bank Field, they face a New Orleans Saints team that is one of the better offensive juggernauts in the NFL.
Oh, and the defense is pretty good as well.
"“They’re a very good defense. They’re very, very tough upfront. They have a good D-Line, athletic and smart. They’re all vets at linebacker,” Minshew said while meeting with the media this week ahead of the game.“And then one of the most talented sets of DBs we’ve seen, so it’s a good challenge and I think one we’ll be ready for.”"
The rookie quarterback has seemingly pushed all the right buttons and talks about his opponents like a seasoned veteran. But the Saints are a team that can steamroll through their opponent of the offense clicks on all cylinders. And then there is a defense that doesn’t get the credit it might deserve.
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It’s a game that could define Minshew, who once again took home the NFL Rookie of the Week award this week, and the offense, which is scoring 22.2 points a game which is 17th in the NFL.
Minshew and his teammates will need to get off to a fast start to keep pace with the Saints.
"“It’s huge. And that’s one thing [Head] Coach [Doug Marrone] has been kind of preaching on is starting fast. And that’s one thing, we’re glad to be back home for a game,” Minshew added. “It’s a lot easier to start fast in your own building. You know the energy is going to be there and we just have to jump out early, and that’ll help us a lot and that helps out everybody.”"
The staff here at Black and Teal are preparing for the game as well and offer our own predictions for this afternoon.
Anthony Robertson – The Jaguars defense allowed Christian McCaffrey to run wild. This week we face another back who is just as dynamic. Although the defense will more than likely perform better than it did last week, a very good Saints team is just too much for us right now.
The Jaguars will keep it closer than a lot of people expect, but ultimately I think that the Saints will come out victorious. Saints 31 Jaguars 28
Jennifer Shatzer – Unless our defense can be better and do better I am going to have to say the Saints get this win. I have no faith that Jalen Ramsey will play, I hope I am wrong. #Duuuval. Saints 28 Jaguars 14.
Kathy Clark – The Jaguars face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. It is a critical game because, once again, they can’t afford to fall behind the rest of the AFC South.
The team often bounces back after a poor performance and although last week wasn’t a poor performance on the offensive side it was still a loss.
The Jaguars will win this game and return to playing .500 football. Jaguars 24. Saints 21
David Levin – I think we have been here before. The Jaguars face another offensive juggernaut with a player who is just as dangerous catching the football as he is running it. The key here is the defense, which is something many local pundits have discussed this week.
The matchup I most want to see is DJ Chark against Marshawn Lattimore. This might be the best test for Chark this season, playing against one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. If Chark can score at least once, it will further prove this young pass-catcher can become an elite asset to this team.
By contrast, I am still worried about the defense, especially if Ramsey does not play. Saints 31 Jaguars 27