This Sunday’s Jaguars-Cardinals game is a crucial one for Jacksonville. After a tough 0-2 start, the Jaguars have to earn a win against a very good team. While the game is at home, there are key matchups to watch when the game kicks off.
Jaguars-Cardinals Key Matchups to Watch Sunday
The Jaguars have a tough task on their hands this week. Facing the Arizona Cardinals will be no easy feat. The team’s 0-2 start has been nothing short of unsatisfying for the fan base. With a new face of the franchise and a revamped coaching staff, Jacksonville should have at least one win. But, heading into Week 3, the team is winless and the offense has struggled.
Trevor Lawrence Against the Cardinals Secondary
Trevor Lawrence has to find a way to take advantage of the Cardinals secondary. The first overall pick tossed two interceptions and threw for just 118 passing yards last week. While the offense has struggled, Lawrence needs to improve his passing attack for the team to succeed. He hasn’t looked bad, but clearly has room for improvement.
The offensive line needs to protect Lawrence and give him time in the pocket to get the ball out. The unit must also open up holes in the running game to make the offense thrive against the Cardinals.
Jaguars Rushing Attack Against the Cardinals Defense
Staying with the offense, the Jaguars running game has to get established early. James Robinson rushed for just 47 yards on 11 carries in Week 2. As a team, Jacksonville totaled just 75 yards on the ground.
To have success against a tough Arizona defense, the Jaguars have to find open holes in the running game. Earning three to four yards per carry likely won’t do it. The team also needs to get a few chunk plays on Sunday.
Jaguars Pass Rush Facing Kyler Murray
The third and final key matchup to watch will be the Jaguars pass rush against Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. This season, Jacksonville has four total quarterback hits in two games. The defensive line, in particular Malcolm Brown, Davon Hamilton, and Jihad Ward must get pressure on Murray in the pocket. Additionally, the defensive secondary has to be on top of their game. Murray can air it out on deep routes and change the game on one play. Andrew Wingard and Rayshawn Jenkins are the two key factors in the secondary potentially forcing a turnover or two on Sunday.
For the Jaguars-Cardinals game to end in a Jacksonville victory, it’s going to take a full team effort. The offense has to click early and often. Jacksonville’s defense has to step up and contain the passing attack while also stopping the run on early downs.
Sure, the Jaguars enter this week 0-2. But the team has 14 more games to figure out the mistakes and right the ship. A big test awaits at TIAA Bank Field as the Cardinals come to town. If the Jaguars could get a win, it could change the trajectory of not only the 2021 season but also create momentum within the franchise.
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