After winning their first game 16-14, the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) head north to MetLife Stadium to take on Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets (1-0) at 1:00 p.m. ET this Sunday.
The Jaguars narrowly escaped a crushing loss in Week 1, edging out Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans despite a late Titans' surge. This week, the Jaguars will need a better showing from all phases if they hope to beat the Jets, who feature one of the league's best defenses and passing attacks.
Against the Titans, Luke McCown displayed neither amazing nor terrible physical ability and decision-making skills. He passed for only 175 yards and fumbled twice, but he was efficient enough to avoid disaster plays and -- most importantly -- keep the offense moving for Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jags running backs.
The Jets boast one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Darrelle Revis, who already has an interception on the year. Given the Jaguars lackluster passing attack, McCown would probably do the Jaguars a favor by checking down to Marcedes Lewis on pass plays.
Moreover, the Jets accrued 4 sacks last week against the Dallas Cowboys -- a foreboding sign to a Jaguars offensive line that has struggled in pass protections for years and allowed 2 sacks just last week.
Essentially, the Jaguars will only win if they can dominate the running game and keep the Jets from snatching an early and big lead. If the Jags offense has to rely on Luke McCown and the Jags wideouts, the game could go bad, fast.
Prediction: Jets 28 -- Jags 14
The Jags have a ripe opportunity for a playoff run this year with Peyton Manning injured and the perennial AFC South kings, the Indianapolis Colts, likely dethroned for at least one season.
However, the Jets may be just too much, too early. Luke McCown is making only his second start in four years; he might play better as the season progresses, but the Jets have the personnel to whip him hard in Week 2.
Expect Maurice Jones-Drew to either get 100 yards rushing and win the game -- or get 50 to 75 yards rushing as the Jags lose the game. Also expect to see plenty of LaDainian Tomlinson and Plaxico Burress as the Jets try to use the passing game to build an early lead.
|Tennessee||Sun 09/11||W 16 - 14|
|@ New York Jets||Sun 09/18||1:00 PM EDT|
|@ Carolina||Sun 09/25||1:00 PM EDT|
|New Orleans||Sun 10/02||1:00 PM EDT|
|Cincinnati||Sun 10/09||1:00 PM EDT|
|@ Pittsburgh||Sun 10/16||1:00 PM EDT|
|Baltimore||Mon 10/24||8:30 PM EDT|
|@ Houston||Sun 10/30||1:00 PM EDT|
|@ Indianapolis||Sun 11/13||1:00 PM EST|
|@ Cleveland||Sun 11/20||1:00 PM EST|
|Houston||Sun 11/27||1:00 PM EST|
|San Diego||Mon 12/05||8:30 PM EST|
|Tampa Bay||Sun 12/11||1:00 PM EST|
|@ Atlanta||Thu 12/15||8:20 PM EST|
|@ Tennessee||Sat 12/24||1:00 PM EST|
|Indianapolis||Sun 01/01||1:00 PM EST|