5 Storylines to Watch: New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars have a chance to make a huge statement with a win over the New York Jets on Sunday from TIAA Bank Field.
At the halfway point in the NFL season, the Jacksonville Jaguars have the opportunity to get back to .500 with quarterback Nick Foles’ return inching closer and closer.
Foles was on the practice field this week for the first time since a broken clavicle sidelined the quarterback after only 10 plays of the 2019 season. All has not been lost on the season as the offense has played better than expected at times and the defense played its best game of the season so far last week.
This week, the team takes on the 1-5 New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field. Fans of the Black and Teal should watch for these storylines to unfold.
Clock winds on Gardner Minshew – With Foles on the verge of return for Week 11, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II should make the most of his remaining time as starting quarterback.
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Minshew is performing admirably as the teams starting quarterback since taking the field in week one, throwing for 1,697 yards, 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
While Minshew isn’t playing as well as he did early on, that should change against Jets’ 24th ranked pass defense, allowing 260 yards per game.
Expect for wide receivers D.J. Chark and Chris Conley to get many looks against the Jets secondary, especially with Dede Westbrook still recovering from his shoulder injury.
Fournette back on the grind – Second in the NFL with 715 rushing yards, running back Leonard Fournette should continue to get many carries.
New York only allows 92.2 rushing yards per game — 11th best in the NFL — but will be without linebacker C.J. Mosley who is still nursing a groin injury.
Fournette is having a resurgent season after a disappointing 2018 campaign, already surpassing his rushing yard total from last year. But with only one touchdown, look for Fournette to receive more carries inside the 20.
For Whom the Bell Tolls – Newly signed running back Le’Veon Bell isn’t having the season he imagined — not rushing for a 100-yard game this season — but that could change against the battered Jaguars defense.
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was just put on injured reserve with a core muscle injury, and the team will be without linebackers Quincy Williams, Najee Goode and Leon Jacobs. Jacksonville already ranked 22nd in stopping the run, giving up 117.1 yards per game. Defensive tackle Taven Bryan gets the start without Dareus, a great opportunity for the former first-round pick.
Linebacker Myles Jack will have a tough task in stopping Bell in both the run and pass game, as Bell is a dual-threat with 175 receiving yards.
Defensive coordinator Todd Wash should make it a top priority to stop Bell, even without many defensive starters. Stopping Bell would limit the Jets defensive and force quarterback Sam Darnold into dangerous passing situations.
Jaguars defensive line looks to spook Darnold – Being the newest meme in the NFL, Darnold with have another touch matchup against the talented Jaguars front line.
Even without Dareus, the defensive line should create havoc against a Jets offensive line that has given up 26 sacks, second worst in the league. Jacksonville ranks fourth in the NFL with 21 total sacks.
Look for big games by defensive ends Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Josh Allen. Pressuring Darnold will make the Jaguars secondary’s job much easier.
More impactful than you think – This week’s matchup is a crucial one for the Jaguars, as the team can get to .500 before heading to London against a division opponent.
The team will also get Foles back after the teams Week 10 bye, so it’s a must win to give the newly-signed quarterback a shot to take the teams to the playoffs.
New York is at rock bottom right now, so the team must take care of business.