Jaguars schedule: 3 observations about Week 2 matchup vs Broncos

Denver Broncos fans, 2020 (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Broncos fans, 2020 (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /

Although the NFL will release its 2021 regular season schedule until 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, the media has already begun to share some of the matchups, including the Jacksonville Jaguars’ second game of the year.

The Jags will travel to NRG Stadium to take on the Houston Texans and will face off against the Denver Broncos in Week 2, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post. Here are three takeaways about Jacksonville’s first game of the year at TIAA Bank Field.

Here are three observations about the Jacksonville Jaguars Week 2 matchup.

1. Who will be the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in Week 2?

The Denver Broncos drafted Drew Lock in 2019 with the expectation of becoming their quarterback of the future. However, the former second-round pick hasn’t shown he’s the long-term answer at the position, forcing the Broncos to acquire Teddy Bridgewater from the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Moreover, Denver is still looking for ways to upgrade and is a realistic landing spot for All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

If the Broncos get the three-time league MVP, this will be one of Jaguars’ most difficult matchups of the 2021 season. On the other hand, if either Lock or Bridgwater starts, the contest will be more manageable.

2. Can the Jaguars start a winning streak versus the Broncos?

The last time these teams faced off against each other, the Jaguars beat the Broncos 26-24 in 2019. Gardner Minshew II was the quarterback in that game and completed 19 of 33 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns but was sacked five times. The Jags will have to do a better job protecting their quarterback this time around, they can’t let Trevor Lawrence take that many sacks if they want to keep him upright.

While the Jags won their last encounter with Denver, they lost the previous two in the series. It will be interesting to see if they can start a streak and beat the Broncos in back-to-back games.

3. If Aaron Rodgers starts, this may be the first big test the Jaguars’ defense will face in 2021.

The Jaguars’ defense ranked near the cellar of most important metrics last season. The team gave former defensive coordinator Todd Wash the pink slip this offseason and brought in former Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach Joe Cullen to oversee the unit.

This Jacksonville team has allocated resources to the defense and has made sure Cullen has enough talent to work with. While the Jags’ defense should be better than it was last year, it’s uncertain how much, and if Rodgers starts for the Broncos, this would be the defense’s first big test of the year.

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