The Jacksonville Jaguars should be feeling good about themselves entering their BYE. Besides being tied for the best record in the league at 6-2, they're riding a five-game winning streak and are the only team that hasn't lost on the road yet this season.
That said, there's a lot of football left in the 2023 season and the Jags cannot afford to take the foot off the gas pedal. They'll have a tough slate of opponents in November, and getting as many wins as possible will solidify their chances of clinching a high playoff seed. With that in mind, here's a look at Jacksonville's next three opponents and a prediction for each game.
Week 10: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Francisco 49ers
Both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the San Francisco 49ers will have their BYE in Week 9. This will give these playoff contenders a chance to rest and get ready for their Week 10 matchup. Playing at EverBank Stadium will give the Jags a slight edge but disposing of the Niners won't be a walk in the park, especially with Deebo Samuel back in the mix.
Moreover, San Francisco got Nick Bosa a bookend pass rusher when they traded for defensive end Chase Young at the deadline. Bosa stayed back with the team to mentor Young and ensure he's up to speed for Week 10. Add the presence of potential Offensive Player of the Year candidate Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers have enough difference-makers on both sides of the ball to defeat Jacksonville.
Then again, the Jaguars have lots of weapons of their own to counter San Francisco. Their offense is getting better by the week and the defense excels at taking away their opponents' ground attack. This will be key, as the Niners might need to lean on sophomore quarterback Bruck Purdy to win, which isn't ideal. Mr. Irrelevant has struggled when his team is trailing and is one of the many reasons they're currently riding a three-game losing skid. Expect the Jags to make it four in a row.
Prediction: Jaguars win