The New York Jets will for two straight wins — yes, you read that correctly — when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars for a Week 4 clash at MetLife Stadium.
The Jaguars are coming off of an impressive 44-7 across the pond against the Baltimore Ravens in London. But two weeks ago, Jacksonville was thumped 37-16 by the Tennessee Titans in its home opener. It’s uncertain which Jacksonville team will show up to MetLife Stadium this weekend.
The formula for Jacksonville is to get an early lead and defend it with their talented defense. In other words, the Jaguars will do their best to keep the ball out of the hands of mercurial quarterback Blake Bortles. The fourth-year quarterback threw four touchdowns against the helpless Ravens last week and has actually been respectable so far in 2017. He’s thrown for 592 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions on the season.
Rookie Leonard Fournette makes Jacksonville’s offense go. The rookie tailback has rushed for 199 yards for three touchdowns through his first three professional contests. New York’s run defense held the Miami Dolphins and Jay Ajayi to only 30 yards on 15 carries last week after being gauged through the first two weeks. The front seven will face another test against a Jaguars offense that will look to run the ball early and often.
The Jets will catch a break in the secondary with Allen Robinson sidelined for the year with a torn ACL in his left knee. Allen Hurns is the team’s leading receiver with only 12 receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns. After an encouraging performance against Jay Cutler and Miami, the Jets’ secondary shouldn’t be tested too much against Jacksonville.
Jacksonville’s defense is the best unit in this game. The Jaguars rank third in the league, allowing only 259.7 yards per game and only 17 points per game. Jacksonville also ranks second in the league with a plus-five turnover ratio.
This should be a low scoring game predicated on which team can limit its mistakes. New York has turned the ball over six times this season, which could be a problem against Jacksonville’s nasty defense. The Jets receivers will also have trouble against Jacksonville’s talented secondary led by A.J. Bouye.
New York will likely be without Matt Forte in the backfield as he nurses a turf toe injury that has held him out of practice this week. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has also missed practice with a shoulder injury.
The turnover margin will prove pivotal in this matchup and home-field advantage might play a role again. If the Jets can force the same mistakes from Bortles as they did from Cutler, they could advance to 2-2, which is better than most expected.