Can the Jacksonville Jaguars Beat the New England Patriots Without Leonard Fournette?

Leonard Fournette
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This weekend the Jacksonville Jaguars will face-off against the New England Patriots in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game. In 2018, the Jaguars are trying to prove that last year was not a fluke and that they deserve respect around the league. Taking down the Patriots would be a great start. The big question for Jacksonville is whether Leonard Fournette will be available. If not, it’s on the defense and Blake Bortles.

Jaguars Vs. Patriots: Can the Jaguars Win Without Leonard Fournette?

Beating The Patriots Without Leonard Fournette

The Jaguars look to take down Tom Brady and the Patriots this weekend at TIAA Bank Field. With Fournette officially listed as questionable for the Week Two matchup, they need a plan to win without him. It seemed that the Jaguars didn’t have that plan last week. Every offensive drive in the second half against the Giants resulted in a punt. There will be more pressure on Bortles and the running back group on the offensive side of the ball. T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant should have the majority of the carries. The Jaguars did add rookie running back Brandon Wilds from their practice squad Saturday afternoon. This move signals the likelihood that Fournette will at least be a limited participant in the game.

Good Passing Game

The running game should be serviceable without Fournette, but Bortles needs to connect with his receivers as well. Receiver Keelan Cole is in his sophomore campaign and seems to be Bortles’ option as a deep threat. Last week he led the team in receiving yards (54) and was second in receptions (3). Cole, along with Dede Westbrook and tight-end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, needs a strong showing against the New England secondary. With veterans Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, and Patrick Chung on the defensive side for New England, the Jaguars will need to limit errors in the passing game. Blake Bortles is the key to limiting errors. It’s obvious that Bortles is willing to make contestable passes, but he needs to keep the head-scratching throws away. The offense doesn’t need to be too pretty, but it needs to be effective.

King Ramsey Vs. Brady and Gronk

The Jaguars defense is a dominant group. They had six players receive Pro Bowl nods last season. However, a big focus this weekend is star player Jalen Ramsey and his quest to shut down Rob Gronkowski. Ramsey doesn’t shy away from trash talk and this week is a good time to back it up. Of course, Ramsey will have help from other defenders. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue loves going for strip sacks and lightning rod Dante Fowler Jr. had two sacks on Brady in the AFC Championship game last year. And of course, the new mike, Myles Jack (who wasn’t down) will be all over the field to stop the Patriots offense. The Patriots have a running back group more banged up than the Jaguars do. Not to mention, a less than stellar receiver corps for the Patriots. None of that matters when you have a quarterback of Brady’s stature at the helm. Sacksonville needs to play strong. Yes, this game will come down to takeaways and who wants it the most. Can the Jaguars win without Leonard Fournette? Yes, and it’s about time for revenge.

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