With a week four matchup against the winless Bengals looming, the Jaguars are in desperation mode. They need to get back on track with a win in Cincinnati. Through three weeks, both teams feature potent offenses and defenses that have struggled to stop, or even slow down, opponents.
Here are my offensive, defensive, and overall BOLD predictions for the Jaguars in week four.
Offense: James Robinson goes for a buck fifty.
James Robinson's stock has been soaring since early September. The rookie undrafted free agent impressed the Jaguars' coaching staff to the point where they felt comfortable naming him the starter, despite not seeing him in a live preseason game. Robinson's been carrying the load for the Jags' offense ever since, averaging 113 scrimmage yards per game, and he's found the endzone three times already. The Bengals have one of the worst run defenses in football, thanks in large part to the absence of Geno Atkins in the middle, who will be out again this week. James Robinson should be featured early and often in this contest, as Jacksonville's Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden looks to establish more balance on the road. Robinson will rush for 150 yards in a game for the first time in his young career, and he'll continue to show why he was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month in September.
Defense: Josh Allen has a multi-sack day.
The Jaguars' defense has been struggling to get pressure on opposing passers. In week three, Josh Allen registered his first sack, and Big Cats' pass rush came to life, registering a pressure on nearly half of Ryan Fitzpatrick's dropbacks, but it didn't have much of an impact on the game, as Fitzpatrick looked more like Fitzmagic for most of the contest. Today, however, with a leaky Bengals' offensive line that has allowed a league-high 14 sacks, Josh Allen will find his groove, tallying at least two sacks. For those of you that listen to our podcast, you know I've been on this one for several weeks. But if there was ever a get-right game for Josh Allen and the Jaguars' pass rush, this is it.
Final Score: Jaguars 34, Bengals 28
To me, this one is a coin toss. Both teams have talented offenses with defenses that are struggling. But the Jaguars have just a bit more experience at the quarterback spot and more talent in some other key areas. They'll be able to protect their signal-caller just a bit better, and Minshew and the offense will move the ball with ease, scoring plenty of points. The Duval defense will come up with a few stops, good enough to win in this close contest.
BONUS: Gardner Minshew will bounce back in a big way, throwing for three touchdown passes and completing over 75% of his passes.
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