The Jacksonville Jaguars look to get back to .500 in stage one of their two-legged journey in London. The Jags “host” a strong Atlanta Falcons team that, after a 2-0 start, recorded their first loss against the Detroit Lions while only scoring six points.
The Falcons are a team built to wear out their opponents, controlling the ball and avoiding risk. This style contrasts a Jaguars team designed to create personnel mismatches.
How the Jaguars offense can exploit a Falcons defense
Much has been off the stale offensive performance the last two weeks. While the performance has been disappointing, a major contributor is due to drops and poor third down situations, both of which can be corrected.
Despite the offseason acquisitions of cornerback Jeff Okudah and safety Jessie Bates, the Falcons have been below-average in covering wide receivers and tight ends. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have increased their tight end target share each week, from 15.6 percent in the opener up to 27.5 percent in Week 3. I would expect this number to be closer to Week 3 than Week 1 against the Falcons.
The Falcons have also struggled to contain against the run. Interestingly, the Falcons are giving up 8.0 yards per carry against runs up the middle, but are only facing these runs 3.8 percent of the time. Meanwhile, the Jaguars struggle running up the middle, but continue to do so nearly 50 percent of the time.
Where the Jaguars defense can dominate the Falcons offense
After explosive rushing games in Weeks 1 and 2, the Falcons offense stalled last week against the Lions. Meanwhile, the Jaguars had their first poor defensive game last week, allowing Rookie C.J. Stroud to throw for 280 yards on only 30 attempts.
Interestingly, the Falcons have been unsuccessful targeting tight ends despite a “generational talent” in Kyle Pitts. With Devin Lloyd set to miss the London trip with a hand injury, it will be interesting to see how Mike Caldwell looks to contain Pitts.
Atlanta has been generally effective rushing the ball and, while the Jaguars defense has done well to contain the run, this will be their biggest test to date. Expect Foye Oluokun to play a major factor in his first game against his former team.
Keep an eye out for the statistical recap next week and Go Jags!
Andrew is writing statistical deep dives twice a week. Make sure you follow him at @DuvalAndrew904 on Twitter.