It feels like Leonard will likely get a light load this game (if he plays) but I expect good Blake to show up against the Patriots and he'll be able to control the offense. I think the jags will struggle to keep Gronk in check but the limitations of the other skill players on the Patriots offense will show and Brady will struggle to find a connection with anyone else. Field position will be huge in this game so pinning the Patriots deep in their own territory is a must. Don't give Tom Brady a short field to work with.
Patriots 21, Jaguars 24
I think possibly the biggest thing I’m interested in is seeing if the Jags defense has less mental breakdowns and can keep up with Brady on the mental side. They got out played mentally in that 4th quarter and allowed Brady to dictate how their pattern match was played. Can Myles Jack lead the defense? Can the offense control the tempo and stick to what they want to do?
Hunter is hedging his bets on this one.
With Fournette healthy the whole game:
Patriots 21, Jaguars 23
Patriots 28, Jaguars 13
Jordan de Lugo
The Jaguars are going to be able to move the ball in this one with or without Leonard Fournette. The Patriots defense has some real talent and a great scheme, but the Jaguars offensive line will come together in week two and do a bang up job keeping Blake Bortles clean. The BOAT showed in the 2017 playoffs that he could carve up the Patriots defense and he's been on fire at home as of late. In his last 5 home regular season games the Jaguars haven't lost and Bortles averaged 287 passing yards and nearly two touchdowns per game during that stretch. He didn't throw an interception in four out of five of those games. My point? Blake Bortles and the Jaguars are good at home. Stopping TB12 is always a tough task, but the Giants were a good warm up game. The Jaguars will be firing on all cylinders defensively - they'll get at least one pick and a defensive score - and through the air - Bortles will throw for close to 300 yards and will toss 2 TDs. This could get ugly.
Patriots 20, Jaguars 31
The key for this game is to disrupt Tom Brady in any way possible. The Jags defensive line was gassed last time they played the Patriots in their 19th game of the season. They should be well rested this time around with more ammunition along the defensive line. The Jags are the hungrier team and will win with or without Fournette.
Patriots 16, Jaguars 19