The Jacksonville Jaguars have been in a slump in recent weeks, losing three straight games after beating the Buffalo Bills in Week 9. It would be one thing if they were all close losses but they’ve struggled on both sides of the ball. To make matters worse, this will be a tough week to put an end to the losing skid, as they wil face off against the Los Angeles Rams, who are favored to win Sunday by 14 points.
On the other hand, the Jaguars showed flashes in their 21-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and could pick up some momentum. One thing is certain: Both Jacksonville and the Rams are riding a three-losing streak but only one will put an end to it. If the Jags want to be the one, they will have to do these three things.
The Jaguars can’t let the Rams run the ball in Week 13.
The Jaguars have given up an average of 149 rushing yards in their three most recent losses. Edge rusher Josh Allen cited overpursuing as a reason for their inability to stop the Falcons from running the ball in Week 12. Joe Cullen told the media Thursday their fundamentals weren’t up to their standards.
"Last week, the fundamentals certainly in that game, not up to our standards, everybody on defense with tackling, with striking blocks, without getting off of blocks, playing the gap. It was much better in the second half."
Cullen then added the defense can’t start slow and let the Rams (or other teams) get momentum early in the game.
From Week 6 to 9, the Jags’ defense allowed an average of 81 rushing yards. They need to hold the Los Angeles’ ground attack to a similar amount of yards. If they do, they could force them to abandon the run, which in turn could lead to more pass-rushing opportunities for Cullen’s unit.
Working in the Jaguars’ favor is the fact that Rams running Darrell Henderson Jr. has been held out of practice this week and may not suit up Sunday.