Jaguars vs Bears: 3 Matchups to Watch
Brian Hoyer vs the Jaguars secondary
Brian Hoyer is playing some of the best football in the league right now - he's put up at least 300 yards in 3 consecutive games, and his QB rating is a blistering 108. He performed very well against the Jaguars in 2016 with the Texans, guiding his team to 30+ points in both contests, but he's a guy that's known to be hot and cold and with his recent string of success he's due for a stinker. On the other side of the ball the Jaguars young secondary featuring Jalen Ramsey, Prince Amukamara, Aaron Colvin, and Tashaun Gipson is looking to become elite. Right now they're a top 10 unit without question. They rank 7th in passing yards given up per game (less than 200 per game), and 2nd in yards per completion allowed. Coming into 2016 no-one would have guessed that a matchup between Brian Hoyer and the Jaguars traditionally unimpressive secondary would highlight this contest, but the recent play of the two sides makes this a can't miss matchup.
T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory vs the Bears front seven
The Bears run defense has been downright unimpressive in 2016. They've given up nearly 120 yards a game on the ground due in part to injuries in the front seven. They'll be without Eddie Goldman, Lamarr Houston, and Leonard Floyd, but the recent return of Danny Trevathan at linebacker will clearly help them against the run. While they've been disappointing against the run so far in 2016, the Jaguars rushing attack has also been miserable. In the first three weeks of the season the Jaguars were averaging less than 60 yards per game on the ground. In their last matchup against the Colts they turned in their first 100 yard rushing performance of 2016 and will look to build off that this week in Chicago. The Jaguars have a talented group of running backs, and even with their injuries the Bears are not without talent in the front seven. Which ever side wins this battle will have a good shot at helping their team to victory in week 6.
Blake Bortles vs himself
Bortles isn't off to the type of start that he was hoping for heading into 2016 and he admits that he was pressing the first three weeks of the season. In week 4 against the Colts he seemingly took a deep breath and just went out there and played freely. He threw 2 TDs and found the end zone once with his legs. As Blake Bortles goes, so too go the Jaguars. In games where Bortles limits his turnovers the Jaguars chances of winning rise exponentially. If Bortles can play under control, not take unnecessary sacks, and get himself going with his legs, then the Jaguars will have a shot at winning every time they take the field. If Bortles hesitates, thinks too much, and forces the ball, then the Jaguars will struggle to stay in games including this one. For the Jaguars hopefully good Bortles shows up this week as they desperately need a victory to stay in the race for the AFC South division title.
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