At 1:00 p.m. eastern time, the New England Patriots are set to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in front of just over 67,000 fans at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Many of those fans will actually be Patriots fans, because the Jags have lifted the tarp over the upper-level seats due to the sudden influx of fans. That either means the Jags fans really want to watch the Patriots play, or there are just a ton of Pats fans ready for victory in EverBank. Yeah, the latter clearly looks like the more likely option.
Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will be calling the game to a regional audience on CBS, and 98.5 FM The Sports Hub is your destination for listening to the Patriots and Jaguars on the radio.
New England Patriots Pass Offense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Pass Defense
The Jaguars secondary isn’t as bad as some people think, because they have a cornerback in Derek Cox who has molded into a very good CB in this league. He can help mitigate Brandon Lloyd’s hot streak, but Lloyd has been too good to shut down when looking at what he has done in the past two weeks against better secondaries.
To me, the Jaguars pass defense doesn’t stand much of a chance against the Patriots. I mean, these guys can put up three touchdowns in one quarter without breaking a sweat with Tom Brady at the helm. When looking at this matchup, it’s difficult to envision the Jags keeping track of Lloyd, Wes Welker, and Aaron Hernandez. Two of those three players are going to go off for big games, and I could even see all three of them producing very good numbers if the Pats decide to balance things out a little more.
Patriots Run Offense vs. Jaguars Run Defense
The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the worst teams in the NFL, but don’t fault their run defense for that. It has been this team’s strongest point this season, especially since they have a high-caliber linebacker manning the middle in former Buffalo Bills star Paul Posluszny. Russell Allen is another LB to watch for, and Dawan Landry is a safety who is excellent in run support.
Danny Woodhead should be able to carry the momentum from last week’s big game (for him) against the San Francisco 49ers, and he has been clutch throughout the year. We’ll see how well Stevan Ridley fairs out against the Jags run defense, which isn’t good- they are fairly average but have their moments.
Continue reading for my thoughts on how the Patriots defense stacks up against the Jaguars offense, as well as a final prediction.