The Jaguars/Patriots game

Posted: January 17, 2018 in Football, New entries, NFL

Let’s talk about the upcoming AFC Championship game.

The Patriots are favored by nine and a half points in Foxboro Stadium. They have the most playoff-experienced roster in Football. They have home-field advantage. They have evil mastermind head coach Bill Belichick and five time SuperBowl winner Tom Brady at quarterback. They even have tight end Rob Gronkowski healthy, who they did not have last year when they triumphed over Atlanta in the SuperBowl. There are many strong reasons to believe that the Patriots will win this game.

There are also some good reasons to believe the Jaguars can upset them. The Jacksonville Jaguars are structured like the type of team that has foiled Belichick’s Patriots in the past. They possess an elite defense, number one against the pass. Rex Ryan’s New York Jets, Tom Coughlin’s New York Giants and more recently the Denver Broncos of 2015 defeated the Patriots in the playoffs in the past in large part due to their pass rush and high-level secondary play. Tom Coughlin more notably won two SuperBowls against Belichick with a scary defense and stable play offensively. Coughlin, now the Jaguars GM will surely be more involved in this game than in any of his Jaguars games so far.

Ultimately I expect New England to win at home. The Jaguars defensively have been softer against the run and Belichick has never hesitated to hand off to Dion Lewis (who is playing like an all pro according to profootballfocus.com), Rex Burkhead, James White, or Mike Gillislee when the defense has looked soft up front. If either team falls behind, the Patriots are built to come back with Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola all playing effective football. The Jaguars arguably have better wide receivers than New England but Bortles hasn’t been consistent enough for Jacksonville to rely on every week.

By the way, I predicted that Jacksonville would beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs in a previous post, and they did.

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