The Jaguars are STRUGGLING
The Eagles might be having a rough first seven games, but the Jaguars have it worse. After starting the season 2-0 with back to back wins over the Giants and the Patriots, the Jags have lost four of their last five games and are currently riding a three-game losing streak. One of those losses included a 40-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. After narrowly missing the Super Bowl last season, the Jaguars are sitting in third place in their division, with the same record as the reigning Super Bowl champs at 3-4. The Jags are struggling. Can the Eagles take advantage of their issues?
The Eagles have plenty of their own issues to overcome first
It’s no secret that the Eagles have plenty of issues to overcome on their own before they can take advantage of Jacksonville’s struggles. After that embarrassing loss on Sunday, this team needs to take a hard look in the mirror and get it together for Sunday.
After halftime, all of the aggressiveness in the offensive and defensive playcalling went out the window. It was like they showed it against the Giants and said “see?! We know what we’re doing, we can be aggressive and win” and then threw it all out the window. I don’t know what they’re doing honestly. The offense should have continued putting up points, the defense should have protected the lead. Stop calling for the benching of certain players. This was a coaching issue from start to finish.
The Jaguars have been exposed
There are several problems with the Jaguars this season. First, it doesn’t help that Leonard Fournette has basically been hurt all season. As talented as that guy is, he is a walking soft tissue injury. Also on the offensive side of the ball has been the up and down play of Blake Bortles. Last season, Bortles threw for over 3,600 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. So far this season, he’s thrown nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. Last week he was benched against the Texans after only going 6/12 for a total of 61 yards. Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone announced that Bortles would start this week against the Eagles, but he will be on a “short leash”.
Jaguars' QB Cody Kessler will get reps this week with Jacksonville's starting offense, and Blake Bortles will be on "a short leash", but he will retain his starting job Sunday against the Philadephia Eagles.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 22, 2018
Not only is the offense struggling but the lights out defense of last season is not what it used to be either. Going into the season, cornerback Jalen Ramsey shared his opinion of the quarterbacks of the other 31 NFL teams. Since then, he’s also had a lot to say about facing players like Odell Beckham Jr., Tyreek Hill, and others. Ramsey has not been able to back up some of his trash talk. It will be interesting to see how he fairs against Alshon Jeffery.
DeAndre Hopkins burns Jalen Ramsey ? pic.twitter.com/R6SEnZkLzk
— 360°FantasyFootball (@360FFB) October 21, 2018
What the Eagles can do to win
After a rough start to the season for the offensive line, the Eagles have improved in the last two games. Lane Johnson alone allowed 23 quarterback pressures through the first five games. In the last two games, he only allowed two. He also posted the highest grade on the offensive line. However, Jason Peters is quite the opposite, really struggling in the run game.
The biggest problem is the efficiency on defense. The Eagles had eight missed tackles on Sunday against the Panthers. Missing tackles has been a clear weakness for this defense. Continuing on that, according to Pro Football Focus, 43% of the Eagles missed tackles have come in the fourth quarter or overtime this season. Last year, only 29% of the Eagles missed tackles came in the fourth quarter or overtime. Obviously, that is NOT the time to miss tackles. There really is never a time to miss tackles, but the fourth quarter and overtime is definitely not the time.
Can the Eagles take advantage of the struggling Jaguars?
I think this game will be a battle. The Eagles need a win but so do the Jags. The Jaguars are 3-2 in their London games, currently riding a 3-game win streak in Wembley. The Eagles are looking to break that trend. The defense needs to play aggressively, and go after Bortles. Similarly, the offense needs to put their foot on the gas immediately and never look back. This is the time for the Eagles to go on to the field and give it everything they have. That isn’t something I’ve seen from the Birds.
“We’re going to find out what we’re made of now going forward."
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 22, 2018
I want to wake up Sunday morning and have my coffee while I watch the Eagles absolutely dominate the Jaguars. Here’s hoping that will happen.
Stats from NFL.com and ProFootballFocus.com
Featured Image: cabriolet2008 via Flickr