Kyle Brandt of NFL Media raised eyebrows in the offseason when he said Trevor Lawrence was the seventh-best quarterback in the AFC. While Brandt may not have changed his stance about Lawrence, he recognizes that the Jacksonville Jaguars will send a big message across the league if they beat the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10.
Brandt says the stakes are high for the Jags in Week 10, and adds all eyes should be on them, not the Niners.
"I don't know what's going on here," Brandt told his cohosts on Good Morning Football. "You're telling me that one team hasn't won for over a month. One team hasn't lost for six weeks. Not only the Niners favored like we're bending over backwards to say what does this loss mean for the Niners? But what does win mean for the Jaguars?
"Is it because the Niners are coming off a bye we haven't seen in a while? So the Jags, they're healthy, they haven't lost and since September, this is one of the best teams in the league here. The Niners are one of the best teams in the first month. I'm not really worried about San Francisco," Brandt said.
Brandt then went on to discuss the exhausted narrative that the Jaguars are a small market team and that they're the Jaguars, outdated arguments several analysts still bring up to this day despite the fact that they're 6-2 and one of the best teams in the league.
"And there is a prejudice against Jacksonville, there always has been it has nothing to do with their team and their personnel. It's their market size and it's Jacksonville and they're looked at as not sexy, whereas San Francisco, we already started making our Super Bowl plans on September 15. And talking about how great they are and how many Hall of Famers they have. This is right now not a good team versus a great team."
Brandt is right. San Francisco and the Jaguars are heading in opposite directions. The former is in a three-game losing skid while the latter has won five in a row. That said, Jacksonville cannot afford to take the 49ers lightly, even though the game is at EverBank Stadium.
Brock Purdy hasn't been great the last three games, throwing just three touchdowns and one interception. However, he and the Niners coaching staff have had ample time in their BYE to fix whatever issues they've had. Also, they traded for Chase Young at the deadline, fortifying an already stout defensive front that includes Arik Armstead, Nick Bosa, and Javon Hargrave.
As of this writing, the Jags are a 3-point underdog at home. This is a bit surprising when you take into account that they've fared much better than the 49ers. Either way, they have enough talent on both sides of the ball to pull off the upset and win their sixth straight game. Here's the clip of Kyle Brandt making the case for the Jaguars as one of the best teams in the league.
Kyle Brandt is being objective when he talking about the Jacksonville Jaguars
All things considered, it's refreshing to hear analysts like Brandt acknowledging that the Jacksonville Jaguars are a good team, especially when talking heads such as Danny Kanell keep talking about how small their market is and how they don't have passionate fans. It would be one thing if the Jags weren't doing well and didn't show progress but that's not the case.
Granted, the Jags can be much better. There are areas they must work on, such as their scoring efficiency, if they want to keep winning in the second half of the season. On the other hand, they aren't 6-2 by mistake. They have a top 5 quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, lots of weapons on offense, and a defense that excels at stopping the run and creating turnovers. These two skills will come in handy against San Francisco.
While beating the 49ers won't be a walk in the park, a win would show that the Jaguars' success in the first half of the season was no fluke. Also, it would make other analysts come to the realization that maybe they are a good team.