There isn’t any word to top classify the AFC Championship Game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots, though “fascinating” is maybe one of the first that springs to mind to some.
It’s not hard to see why. All these Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles just took down the 13-win Pittsburgh Steelers, spoiling the AFC title game most thought they would view, all while discussing boat loads of trash from the approach.
The Patriots remain the Patriots, though an accident tom brady suffered in practice has made the prognosis rather mysterious.
The Jaguars are not blinking in the surface of Brady, also at Foxborough, Massachusetts.
So it goes for a club that moved into Pittsburgh and made a 45-42 win after jumping out to a 21-0 advantage and holding on tight. Bortles just threw one touchdown, but running Leonard Fournette bruised his solution into 109 yards and 3 touchdowns on 25 carries.
It wasn’t a fantastic day at the office to get the Jaguars defense following a couple splash plays helped Ben Roethlisberger work his way to five touchdown passes. Don’t let this to Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, though, that seems the task of lining up against Rob Gronkowski, as captured by Round The NFL.
Brady and the Patriots, though, have taken more of a respect-thy-opponent approach, especially when it comes to Ramsey.
“He is a excellent player. I’ve observed a ton of picture,” Brady said, according to Stats LLC (via ESPN.com). “He’s a lot of advantages. He is obviously very confident. That’s reflected in the way he plays. I am more worried about how he plays with [as] in relation to exactly what he says”
Still, covering Gronkowski isn’t an easy undertaking. He directed the Patriots in receiving this season, catching 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns, then touched the Tennessee Titans in the first playoff game via six catches for 81 yards and a score.
This was bound to be a close match either way prior to the injury. Brady would still need to counteract a 55-sack Jaguars defense through rapid workouts and capitalizing on mismatches.
One of those essential areas comes out of the New England backfield, something Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack was not shy about addressing when asked.
“They have, I really would like to mention, just like a three-headed monster,” Jack said, according to Phillip Heilman of Jacksonville.com. They can all catch the ball out of the backfield.”
Indeed, the trio of both Dion Lewis, James White and Rex Burkhead accounted for 11 racing scores during the regular season, as well as 118 catches. This short-passing attack will not only neutralize the pass rush of a team like Jacksonville, it essentially works whilst the game and aids the offense control the time of possession and field position.
Call it that the xfactor between these two power houses. Brady might not be 100 per cent, but his capacity to learn coverages and create the perfect decisions is unmatched, and zipping the ball between your line of scrimmage and intermediate range really should not be too much of the issue.
If it boils down to it, Brady securing an outcome means driving Bortles into the atmosphere, which makes a predictable result.
In what could best be explained as a bizarre spectacle, tombrady approached the podium on Friday wearing two red gloves. His answers were uncharacteristically short and vague, for him, and he walked after roughly four and a half an hour of “I am not planning to talk about this” and “We will see”
There isn’t any question about that.
The puzzle is what exactly happened to Brady, and how it’ll affect him on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars’ elite shield.
Jacksonville wants to run the chunk. When the Jags top 100 metres on the ground, they truly are 11 1. Once they don’t hit 100 yards, then they are 15.
On paper, the Jags need to have the ability to run using the New England defense, which surrendered 4.7 yards per carry during the regular season (second-worst in the NFL and the hardest marker of almost any Patriots team at the Bill Belichick age).
But the Pats will undoubtedly stock the box up and then force Blake Bortles to overcome them. This is an identical gameplan to the Patriots’ approach compared to Titans; Derrick Henry failed to crack off a streak of more than just four yards.
Additionally: Leonard Fournette is coping with an ankle injury.
If the racing game stalls, then the Jags will rely on Blake Bortles to lead the offense.
Paramount to the Jaguars’ passing match: deep shots down the field.
“They do a great job of devoting their play-action and their conduct game,” said Patriots safety Duron Harmon. “When you’re as effective because they truly are in the game, it makes it a whole lot simpler for your play-action. They get a lot of big plays play-action. They get in big people personnel — conduct the ball, run the ball, run the ball, then here you , play action shot, and everybody is pumped up on the jog.”
Bill Belichick added that the profound chunk off play-action has been “a large part” of Jacksonville’s offensive individuality.
Toward the end of this regular season, Bortles was extremely efficient throwing the ball.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Jaguars 24