The Denver Broncos travel down to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Can the Jacksonville Jaguars pull an upset in their home opener? Looking at the NFL odds, which team is the right NFL pick?
Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, September 19, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at TIAA Bank Field
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a disappointing debut in Houston. The Jaguars gave up 37 points en route to a 37-21 loss. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence showed flashes of the brilliance that made him the overall number one pick by throwing three touchdowns. He also reminded everybody that he was a rookie with three interceptions.
Oftentimes it seemed that Lawrence had wide-open running lanes but instead chose to force the ball into coverage, showing he still needs to learn to take what the defense gives them on the NFL level. He needs to take advantage of his legs, something he did quite efficiently at Clemson.
Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer had a disappointing debut as well, as his team looked unprepared and was penalized 10 times. The defense seemed to be overthinking their assignments and there was no trust or communication in the defensive unit. Texans QB Tyrod Taylor carved this defense up. The Jaguars failed to get pressure and hold their coverages. Pretty much the only positive event that the Jaguars and their fans can take from this effort is that it probably can't get worse.
Jacksonville abandoned the running game having Trevor Lawrence throw 51 times. This is definitely not ideal for a rookie quarterback making his debut. Look for Jacksonville to make a more concerted effort to get their running game involved, mainly running backs James Robinson and Carlos Hyde. While Trevor Lawrence is the Jaguars' best player and his development is crucial to the success of the franchise, putting him in that situation was a recipe for disaster. Hopefully, Meyer and his offensive coordinators Darrell Bevell and Brian Schottenheimer learn from their mistakes this Sunday and help Lawrence out with a solid running attack.
The Broncos season debut went according to plan as they beat the New York Giants 27-13. The Broncos' defense looks as good as advertised. They flew around the field, got pressure on Giants QB Daniel Jones, and forced turnovers. On the flip side, Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater showed why he won the quarterback battle in training camp as he nimbly evaded the pass rush in order to make big plays.
The Broncos line was able to set up solid running holes for RB Javonte Williams and RB Melvin Gordon. The Broncos had what can be considered an ideal opening game. Defensive end Bradley Chubb missed some time with a sprained ankle but will most likely play. Linebacker Von Miller returned from injury and he is still a huge impact player. The Broncos' corners were tight in coverage and they take a lot of momentum down to Jacksonville.
Jaguars Offensive Line vs Broncos Defensive Line. The Jaguars' weakness going into the season is definitely Offensive Line. While they were able to protect Lawrence for the most part, they failed to open up running holes for the backs. This put Lawrence in a lot of third-and-long situations that were tough to convert.
This breakdown was against the Houston defensive line which is considered to be one of the weaker Defensive Lines. Now they have to go against a top Defensive Line. This could be a recipe for disaster for the Jaguars if the Broncos dominate the way they did against the Giants. While this is a tall task for the Jaguars Offensive Line, they must be better at establishing the running attack if they want a chance to cover or win outright.
This is a tough bet to make because this is an ugly dog that I am playing with. In making this bet, I am assuming that Urban Meyer can at least fix some of the issues on the defense and create a level of trust and chemistry in just one week. I think the home-field advantage should help here as the Jaguars will be more acclimated to the Florida heat and this will be the Broncos’ second game on the road to open the season.
The Broncos are coming in off a strong Week 1 and maybe the Jaguars will get a chance to catch them displaying a bit of overconfidence. While it's hard to take a team coming off as bad a performance as the Jaguars showed in Week 1, remember that an NFL team is never as bad as their worst game or as good as their best game. Sometimes the best bets are the toughest ones to make, and I'm hoping this falls in that category. I'm taking the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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