The next four games can catapult the Jacksonville Jaguars or drown them if they do not take each game week by week. It’s hard to fathom that there is this much excitement for them. The buzz about the offense is everywhere! You can hear it on the radio. You hear it when you are out to lunch. There are countless minutes at work filled with discussing the hype.
The fans are entrenched in the season and Minshew Mania. However, let’s not forget the Jaguars are 2-3 and sitting one game behind the Indianapolis Colts and Texans in the AFC South. However, Sunday’s home matchup against the New Orleans Saints can be a pivotal point, if the Jaguars hope to see the postseason.
Jacksonville Jaguars Next Four Games Critical
Focus on Sunday First
This Sunday the Jaguars return home for the first time in over two weeks. The only problem is the NFC South-leading Saints will be the Jaguars opponent. But fear not. A date that once looked ominous on the schedule, looks winnable now. The line has hovered around even all week and it has to do with the Jaguars offense. The Saints offense is sure to challenge the Jaguars defense, which struggled in a loss to the Carolina Panthers last week. Perhaps a return home is what the defense needs as a spark. Regardless, the Jaguars offense is poised to keep pace with the high-powered Saints if needed. Sunday’s game will be the Jaguars most challenging during the next four games.
Must-Wins on the Horizon
In order for good teams to get to the next level, good teams need to beat teams they are supposed to beat. This holds true in the two weeks that follow for the Jaguars, as they are must-wins. The Jaguars cannot afford to leave points on the field and commit mistakes. On paper, a visit to face the struggling Cincinnati Bengals does not seem like a daunting task.
However, the Bengals have some talent on the offensive side of the ball that could cause trouble for the Jaguars defense. As always, the key will be to jump on the Bengals early and make them one-dimensional. Thus not allowing talented running back Joe Mixon to do damage on the ground. This game can be a little tricky on the road, but the Jaguars are the better team (feels good to say that) but need to prove it.
The next game epitomizes the football term known as a trap game against the New York Jets. With their next two games against Super Bowl contenders, most likely the Jets will limp into Jacksonville winless through six games. However, second-year quarterback Sam Darnold will have a couple of games under his belt since his return from mononucleosis earlier this year. And running back Le’Veon Bell is a seasoned star due for a breakout game. However, the Jaguars should be able to take advantage of a porous Jets pass defense that has been riddled with injuries. But they must be careful.
Jolly Ol’ London
The Jaguars complete the last of the next series of games with their annual trip to London to take on division leader Houston Texans. This game has the potential to be a turning point in the season. In order to stay alive for the AFC South crown, the Jaguars need to defeat the Texans in week nine.
This will be the Texans first trip across the Atlantic since the NFL began playing games over there. While the Texans have an advantage in talent, the Jaguars have the logistical advantage, having played in England on numerous occasions.
However, this game is more than a trip across the pond. This game impacts the AFC South midway through the season. The Jaguars came up a couple of inches short week two in Houston, falling 13-12. In the game, the defense had their second-best outing of the year and did not allow huge chunks of yardage. However, there was a noticeable concern. Texans running back Carlos Hyde had a handful of gashing runs to keep drives alive. If the Texans have some success with the running game, the play-action pass opens up for their offense. Once again, this game will be a must-win for the hopes of the division crown.
Last Word on Jaguars Upcoming Games
The next four games can be a springboard for the Jaguars 2019 season if they allow it to be. All of the games are certainly winnable, but a 3-1 record over the span is acceptable. That would leave the Jaguars at 5-4 heading at the bye week prior to back to back divisional road games. Being over .500 at the bye is a must for the Jaguars to achieve their goal of recapturing the AFC Crown. It all starts this Sunday at the Bank as the Saints march into town.
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