Week 1: Jaguars vs. Giants Preview

Hunter Horstman


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Following a 10-6 season last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to carry out last season’s swagger and momentum into 2018. The team is hoping to defend their AFC South division title and make a Super Bowl run this year.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has a huge target on his back after trash talking other teams and quarterbacks. Ramsey finished with four interceptions last season and is arguably one of the league’s top cornerbacks. Some have already said that he is our version of Deion Sanders–both went to Florida State and have a tendency to show off.  Ramsey was interviewed by GQ’s Clay Skipper and when asked about Eli Manning, Ramsey said, “the only reason he has had success is because of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.” Manning was asked in a separate interview what he thought of Ramsey’s comments and the only thing Manning said was, “who?”

Now at the age of 37, Manning finished 15 in the league in passing yards and finished with 13 interceptions last year tying for seventh most interceptions in the league. Manning has some tools in his arsenal like perennial pro bowler, Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie standout, Saquon Barkley. Beckham Jr. was bitten by the injury bug last year, but in 2016, the former LSU Tiger had 101 receptions. Beckham is known for having the best hands in the NFL and his match-up with Ramsey will be similar to when Beckham matched up with Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers a few years back.

The Giants first round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Saquon Barkley, has been receiving major hype this preseason about his bruiser-type style of play. With the Jaguars finishing last season with the second best defense and the New York Giants finishing with the 21st best offense, we expect the Jaguars to hold off the Giants.

The real question is: can the Jaguars offense put up enough points? Blake Bortles is not the quarterback who bombs the ball down the field or rushes 20 yard gains on the ground constantly. Bortles is a game manager, a player who moves the ball down the field on slants and a few scrambles out of the pocket. When the Jaguars selected Leonard Fournette in the 2017 NFL Draft, Fournette proved that he can be the next Fred Taylor. Fournette finished the 2017 season ranked eighth in the NFL in rushing with 1,040 rushing yard and eight touchdowns. The receiving core has a new look this year since Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns both left to sign with different teams. Now, the receivers for week one will be veteran Donte Moncrief, Keelan Cole, and Dede Westbrook. Marqise Lee is out for the season after suffering a knee injury against the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason.

Week one should be a very decisive win for “Sacksonville” and will be interesting to see how Offensive Coordinator Nate Hackett uses this new core of receivers with Blake Bortles. It all starts on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. where they will play the New York Giants at Metlife Stadium. Now that the preseason is over, do they have what it takes to prevail in the regular season?

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