Can the Jaguars send the Bengals packing on Sunday with their seventh consecutive loss?
Which Jacksonville Jaguars team will show up at Paul Brown Stadium? The one that looked like an offensive juggernaut at times this season, running the football and tossing the ball around the yard?
Or, will it be the one that cannot get out of its own way? The one we watch and wonder if the 2018 version of the game plan was a reincarnation? This is one of those forks in the road type of games my friend Ryan Green likes to talk about – which way will the team turn with 10 games remaining on the schedule.
The Bengals are a desperate team, which makes them dangerous. If I could come up with some deep meaning quotes from “The Replacements” I would. But coach Zac Taylor’s team needs a win in the worst way. The Jaguars look to get back on the winning track, themselves.
With all this in mind, I have put together a few bold predictions for Sunday’s game on the road.
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Pitching a shutout – The final injury report came out on Friday, which didn’t give Bengals fans a lot to get excited about. While we always talk about players here in Jacksonville living on the injured reserve list, who is not playing this week does matter for Cincinnati.
When your top wide receiver, two cornerbacks, two offensive linemen, and two pass rushers will miss the game, it might be time to call your shot. The Jaguars defense could be as dominant as they were in the game against Tennessee. I believe Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue will have a couple of meetings in the backfield and the run defense will have a strong performance.
Yes, the Jaguars will win without giving up a single point on Sunday.
This is my yard – What if Tre Herndon pulls the “part-time starter” label off his chest and shows that he can be a shutdown corner, intercepts a pass for a touchdown and holds his receiver without a catch the entire game?
We heard from everyone else this week about Herndon and what is expected of him, now is his chance to let his play do his own talking for him.
"“We’re still going to be our single safety, just kind of like we’ve been the last couple of weeks, three weeks, without Jalen [Ramsey]. But obviously, there has to be some tweaks and some changes when you let a player like that go to another team,” team defensive coordinator Todd Wash said on Thursday. “We’re going to have to change some things up and make sure that we’re still putting our guys in position to make plays, that’s the most important thing.”"
It’s Herndon’s time to shine.
Half-century mark – What if the comments offensive coordinator John DeFilippo made this week resonate with his players and Gardner Minshew and company put the foot on the accelerator the entire game? Would the Bengals defense, which is hurting as we talked about earlier, be able to stop them?
"“There are some things that I could have done better. There are throws we could have made. There are protections we could have been better on. I think all around as an offense, it just wasn’t our best performance,” DeFilippo explained in his weekly presser.“I am glad that people are … I do not want to say I’m glad, but the standards have been held high here from the start of the season and for the most part, we have gone out there and had success at times and not success at other times on offense. It was kind of one of those games. You move on and that is why you have other games to play.”"
Jacksonville has a chance to put everyone back on notice that the offense is dangerous if the right buttons are pushed. I would not be surprised to see this team score at will.