The Jacksonville Jaguars will be playing their second home game of the 2021 regular season when they take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. They are currently an 8-point underdog, and rightfully so. The Cards are 2-0 and their offense is the second-best in the league when it comes to points scored. Moreover, they have a dominant front seven, led by outside linebacker Chandler Jones and defensive end J.J. Watt.
Meanwhile, the Jags are coming off their second straight loss of the year, and rank 26th in points scored. They won’t probably be able to keep up with Arizona if the game turns into a shootout. On the other hand, Jacksonville showed flashes in the last two games and if they play up to their potential, they will have a fighting chance.
Here are three keys to the Jaguars pulling the upset in Week 3.
1. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ O-Line must protect Trevor Lawrence.
The Jaguars decided to bring back all their starting offensive linemen from 2020. So far, the decision has paid off, as the unit has given rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence enough time to throw the ball and have allowed just two sacks. They will now be tasked with stopping the Cardinals’ front seven, which has logged seven sacks and 30 pressures in the last two games.
Center Brandon Linder may not play against the Cardinals. He did not practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday. If he isn’t good to go, veteran Tyler Shatley will be called upon to take his place in the starting lineup. The good news is that right guard A.J. Cann practiced without restrictions after being limited Wednesday.
Whether Linder plays or not, the Jaguars’ offensive line has their work cut out for them.