Coming off of what may have been the best performance Todd Bowles has gotten out of his team since taking over in a 20-6 win over the Miami Dolphins, the Jets host the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets may have a hard time dominating on defense the way they did against Jay Cutler and the Dolphins. Last week saw the Jaguars throttle the Baltimore Ravens 44-7 as quarterback Blake Bortles threw 4 touchdown passes in a game that he was forced to exit early.
Who: NY Jets (1-2) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1)
When: Sunday at 1 pm
Where: Metlife Stadium
Point Spread: Jets +3
Here’s a look at which players and position groups will be key for the Jets this Sunday at home.
ILB Darron Lee vs. TE Mercedes Lewis:
Lewis is coming off of a 3 touchdown performance against the Baltimore Ravens and the Ravens have to know that Darron Lee has been vulnerable in coverage. Blake Bortles could view the match-up as an opportunity to stay with the hat hand in Lewis and look his way when the Ravens are in the red zone.
Jets D-line vs. RB Leonard Fournette:
Fournette is only averaging around 3.5 yards per carry, but the battering ram running back will test the Jets defensive line (and linebackers) early on. If they don’t find a way to keep him in check, the Jaguars will likely give the Jets a big dose of the heavy hitter. If the Jets defense gets gassed early, the Jags could also turn to former Jets RB Chris Ivory whose fresh legs and physical style could set him up for a big day as well.
DL Leonard Williams vs. LT Cam Robinson:
The Jets like to move their defensive linemen around in multiple looks, and Williams, while nursing a sore wrist, is still looking for his first sack of the season. Robinson, a rookie out of Alabama, should give Williams, now in his third year, an opportunity to make some impact plays on defense.
WR Robby Anderson vs. CB AJ Bouye:
Bouye has been a big reason for Jacksonville’s improved defense and Robby Anderson was a key factor in the Jets offense getting going last week against the Dolphins. Anderson’s 69-yard touchdown pass was the team’s offensive highlight of the day. Look for quarterback Josh McCown to take a couple of deep shots down the field to Anderson, who has had success in beating some of the leagues best cornerbacks since last season.
RB’s Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire vs MLB Paul Posluszny:
Matt Forte is on the shelf for this one with a bout of turf toe, so Jets fans will get their wish and see a heavy dose of Bilal Powell and rookie running back Elijah McGuire. Both Powell and McGuire do an excellent job of finding a hole if it’s there and finding their way through it. When they do, it will be Posluszny’s job to limit the damage at the second level.
RT Ben Ijalana/Brent Qvale vs. OLB Dante Fowler
Brandon Shell has been listed as doubtful in this one and that will likely mean Ijalana or Qvale will take his place. If so, Fowler will likely be moved around a fair bit and get his chance to make some plays against a pair of tackles who are adequate at best. Josh McCown has been solid for Gang Green in the early going, and Jacksonville would like nothing more than to disrupt his timing with some heavy blitz packages.
The Jets will be hoping for a better turnout than they saw last week, but in all reality it’s going to take more than a win or two to convince the fan base that this team is worth making the trek for and Sunday’s game probably won’t help.
Jaguars 27 Jets 17