Behind Enemy Lines: Chargers at Jaguars
Aug 17, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) runs by New York Jets linebacker DeMario Davis (56) during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a game against the Denver Broncos that was very close until the 3rd quarter. Since then, the talk has been that the Jaguars could get a win if they caught a team on a bad day. The Chargers are coming off a huge win on Monday against a good Indianapolis Colts team, and if history tells me anything, the week following a huge Chargers victory will be followed by a crushing defeat to a horrible team. But, that’s why they play the game right? Right? This week I asked Daniel Lago, Editor of Jaguars blog Black & Teal, some questions about the state of the Jaguars:
1. How confident are Jaguars fans in Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne (for this year or the future)?
Not confident at all. The fan base is completely out on Blaine Gabbert and everyone knows Chad Henne is really just a placeholder and won’t be here next year. The Jaguars’ 2014 starting QB is currently playing on Saturdays.
2. Do you think the Jaguars will trade Maurice Jones-Drew? If so, to whom?
I don’t think they’re actively trying to trade him, but if a team came along and offered a 2nd day pick I think they would pull the trigger. Odds are Maurice Jones-Drew won’t be resigned so they’ll try to get something for him. A team like the Giants or Rams who need a running back could possibly be interested.
3. Who is one Jaguars player on the verge of breaking out?
He played pretty well towards the end of last year, but Justin Blackmon has been a monster since coming back from his suspension. If he keeps this pace up, he’ll be in the running for a Pro Bowl spot.
4. Name one offensive player the Chargers will have to game-plan for?
He was the answer to the last question and here he is again. With Cecil Shorts likely out, Blackmon is by far the best player on offense. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has smartly been using him a lot more in the slot to take advantage of what he does best – make tough catches and gain extra yards on the intermediate routes.
5. Name one defensive player the Chargers will have to game-plan for?
The Jaguars’ best chance to win this game is to pressure Philip Rivers, and the player who’s been doing that the most consistently is defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks. The Chargers should focus on keeping Marks from penetrating on the inside rather than the edge rushers.
6. What is the biggest weakness of the Jaguars?
Quarterback is the easy and obvious one, but I’ll go with the pass rush. Andre Branch and Jason Babin are the outside rush ends on defense and they’re both awful.
7. What is your prediction for the final score?
The Jaguars have an outside shot of catching the Chargers on a bad day considering they’re making a cross-country trip on a short week. Still, I don’t think the Jaguars have competent enough quarterback play to keep up if they get behind early.
Chargers 23 – Jaguars 17
I think this game will be close. The Chargers are traveling to the East coast on a short week after an exhausting win. This could be a week that the Chargers trip up. Hopefully the Jaguars are actually bad enough that it won’t matter. My score prediction is 27-17 Chargers.
Let me know what you think about the Chargers Jaguars game in the comments or on twitter @kingofcahill