During every week of the 2018 season we will compile a group of predictions from GenJag contributors for the Jaguars upcoming matchup.
Here's our first installment.
Jaguars @ Giants
Jordan de Lugo
The Jaguars have a much more talented roster, on the whole, than the Giants. Still, the Giants have an elite group of skill position players with Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard. The Giants will put some points on the board, and will be aided by a few untimely (for the Jaguars) penalties by the Jacksonville defense. But it won't be enough against a Jaguars team that will dominate the trenches in this one. The Giants offensive line has no continuity and is overmatched against the Jaguars star studded D-Line. On the flip side the Giants will likely be without their best pass rusher, Olivier Vernon, who is battling a high ankle sprain and hasn't practiced at all this week. Vernon represents that Giants only real threat on the edge. Damon Harrison is an excellent run stuffer, but his impact won't be enough for the Giants to slow down the Jaguars rushing attack. The Jaguars will set themselves up well by being effective on early downs that will lead to an impressive offensive output.
Jaguars 30, Giants 17
The exciting thing to watch this game is the Jaguars defense vs the Giants offense. We know the Jaguars can rush Eli Manning. We know they can cover receiver options such as Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. The X factor in my eyes is the Saquon Barkley vs Myles Jack. The weakness of the Jaguars defense in certain parts of 2017 was stopping the run. Myles Jack is playing a new MLB role in base downs. He will need to be discipline in his run gap fits and be able to cover chase down Barkley from sideline to sideline. I think the Jags take care of business.
Jaguars 24, Giants 10
The Jaguars OL will be the deciding factor for this game (and the season). If the Jaguars can manhandle a mismatched defensive front this game will be over quickly. Look for Leonard Fournette and company can hit 200+ all purpose yards and roll the Giants.
Jaguars 28, Giants 6
I’m interested in watching the overall progression of each position. Will the defense take the next step in being absolutely dominant against an inferior team? Will they be able to sustain a 4 man rush on base downs and continually get pressure? Will Myles Jack take the next step in being a true MIKE backer? On the offensive side, I want to see the offensive line take the next step with an upgrade at guard. Can they be the type of team that can control the game by running the ball consistently with efficiency? Jags win.
Jaguars 24, Giants 6
What do you think about our predictions? How do you think the Jaguars first regular season contest of 2018 will play out? Let us know in the comments below or on twitter @GenerationJag.