The (3-2) Jacksonville Jaguars are on the road again to take on the (2-3) Dallas Cowboys in a nationally televised 4:25 P.M CBS game. Both teams are coming off losses so this game is a huge game for both teams.
KEY TO THE GAME:
Quarterback Blake Bortles is coming off the worst game of the season and a career-high 4 interceptions. He must take control of the offense for the Jags to have a chance to win this game especially with RB Leonard Fournette out and still nursing a hamstring injury. The offense will be depending Bortles to have success on offense. Bortles has been inconsistent so far this season but at times, showed he can take control of the game and looked like an elite QB. The biggest question is which Blake Bortles will show up and that will determine the game.
Blake Bortles vs The Cowboys secondary.
Like mentioned earlier, Bortles is coming off a career-high 4 Interception game and his worst game this season. He will have a tough task this weekend vs an underrated (12th ranked passing defense) Cowboys secondary. While the Cowboys may not have any big names in the secondary, they have very solid players at every spot led by former 2015 1st round draft pick Byron Jones. Receivers will have to create separation to help Bortles out.
Jeremy Parnell vs Demarcus Lawrence
Right tackle Jeremy Parnell probably had his worst game as a Jaguar last week vs Dee Ford of the Kansas City Chiefs. It doesn’t get any easier this weekend against his former team and teammate Demarcus Lawrence. Lawrence is arguably the top pass rusher in the NFL based off production. Lawrence was tied for 2nd in the NFL with 14.5 sacks last season and 4th in the NFL so far this season with 5.5 sacks. It will be a tough match up for Parnell but if the Jags want any type of production from the passing game, Parnell must slow Lawrence down.
Defense vs Ezekiel Elliot
There is no question that the Jaguars have arguably the best defense in the NFL and the #1 passing defense in the NFL. With Cowboys QB Dak Prescott struggling and no legit receiving threat, the biggest key for the defense will be stopping Cowboys superstar running back Ezekiel Elliot. The Jags will likely stack the box and force Dallas to beat them with Prescott through the air. If the Jags can stuff the Cowboys running game, then it could possibly be a blowout win but if not then it may be a long day for the Jaguars.
Tyron Smith vs Yannick Ngakoue
Tyron Smith is the best offensive lineman in the NFL and has been for years. This will be Nagkoue’s toughest match up so far in his young career. So far this season, Yannick Ngakoue’s production hasn’t been what everyone has expected with only 2 sacks. But if you look closely into the games, he’s still just as disruptive causing interceptions, forcing early throws, and a force in the run game. This match up will be two of the best in the NFL, going at it every play. It will be a great test for Ngakoue going against the best in the NFL but if he has success, it could make an already tough task for the Cowboys offense, even tougher.
I expect the Jaguars to bounce back after an embarrassing loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cowboys have many issues offensively with Prescott not playing well and players openly criticizing play calling. Then on top of that, you have the #1 defense coming in motivated and ready to play. I think the Jaguars defense will bounce back and have a stout performance with a few turnovers and a defensive touchdown. The offense cannot have any turnovers or put the defense in bad situations or else that could give the Cowboys a chance. Receivers must create separation and make it easier for Bortles and the offense. Expect DeDe Westbrook to have a big game and continue being the #1 target for Bortles.
Jaguars 24 Cowboys 13