JaguarsGab: Week 6 Predictions

Cole Pepper:

Without Mike Walker and Reggie Nelson, the Jaguars are undermanned going to Denver. Despite the Jaguars winning pre-bye week games each of their last three years, I’ll take Denver 27-20.


Maxwell Lee:

The game in Denver is as much a must win as Week 3 was in Indy. If the Jaguars can just get to the bye week at .500, they’ll be sitting pretty with a chance to get healthy and get on a roll. Jacksonville’s three opponents following the bye are a combined 1-12. Of course, this is all predicated on going into Invesco and getting an upset over the AFC West leading Broncos, who have scored more points than any other team in the league this season. This game is crucial, and bringing home a W won’t be easy.

The good news is that WR Mike Walker stepped up with his first 100-yd receiving game against the Steelers. Bad news is he won’t be available due to a knee injury. Denver’s high-powered offense will be without the services of TE Tony Scheffler and RB Selvin Young, which can only help the struggling Jags D that will again miss starting S Reggie Nelson. DT Rob Meier is also doubtful for Sunday.

What does this all mean? Will anyone be able to slow down the Broncos’ offense? Will the Denver defense be able to stop anyone? Which Jacksonville defense will show up? The one that got torched in the first half against Pittsburgh, the one that punished Ben Roethlisberger for most of the second half, or the one that couldn’t hold onto a late fourth-quarter lead for the fourth game in a row? Will the Jaguars finally get their ground game going or will they finally find a way to air it out and stretch the field? Who would they even throw it to? So many questions and I don’t know the answer to any of them, but we’ll all find out soon enough.

What I do know is the Jaguars have headed into their bye week with a victory each of the last three years. Somehow, they’ll make it four in a row with a miraculous win at Denver. Just one more question: Do you believe?

Jaguars – 29, Broncos – 27


Alan Wilson:

The Jaguars went into rockin’ Invesco Field (yes, the stadium actually shakes) in 2007 and pulled off a huge road win. Denver is one tough place to beat the Broncos. Can the Jaguars do it two years in a row? Let’s analyze.

The Broncos are currently 30th against the pass and 25th against the run. Granted, the Broncos gave up 377 yards passing to Philip Rivers in Week 2 and 421 yards passing to Drew Brees in Week 3, but the Denver cornerbacks are actually really good. Still, the Broncos defense only has 8 sacks (just like the Jaguars) and only 2 interceptions on the season. The Denver run defense would be better had Larry Johnson not torched them for 198 yards in Week 4. The Jaguars’ field has shortened due to a lack of downfield threat and terrible running game woes. At least on paper, if there is one team the Jaguars could get their offense jumpstarted against, it’s Denver.

The Jaguars will have their hands full as the Broncos boast the 2nd best running game and the 14th best passing game in the NFL. The Jaguars have struggled against the run (15th) and the pass (26th). As of this article posting, the Broncos will be using Michael Pittman heavily in the running game. And what more can be said of the budding Jay Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall connection. It’s one of the more formidable ones in the league. Last week, Tampa Bay showed that the Cover 2 defense will slow Denver down. I expect the Jaguars to come out and run the same type of defense. In the game vs. Pittsburgh last week, Jacksonville did just that after they were torched for 20 points in the first half. The result? The Jaguars only gave up 6 points.

Both teams have solid kickers in Matt Prater and Josh Scobee. This game could ultimately come down to the leg of one of these fine gents. Jaguars return man Brian Witherspoon is listed as probable on the injury report, so look for him to make an impact on the game.

This game will be close, but I expect the Jaguars to pull off the road victory and head into the bye week at 3-3.

Jaguars 23, Broncos 20

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