Preview: Jaguars look to rebound against Broncos in home opener

Riley Platt, Sports Reporter

The Jacksonville Jaguars had quite the rough outing in week one, but they’ll have a chance to change the narrative when they face the Denver Broncos at home on Sunday.

To say that things could’ve gone better for Jacksonville in the opener would be the understatement of the year. Despite facing the Houston Texans, who are slated to be one of the worst teams in the league, the Jaguars looked nothing short of a mess.

Whether it be a plethora of penalties, dropped passes, or having too many players in the huddle, the Jags were a manifestation of disorientation. While this was the first regular-season game under new head coach Urban Meyer, fans and media alike were rightly concerned. 

AP Photo/Sam Craft.

Across the aisle, hopes in Denver are a mile high. Following a convincing win over the Giants, Broncos fans are surging with excitement. It seems that career journeyman Teddy Bridgewater might just be the answer for Denver, and they are poised to continue their winning ways in week two.

Other than the collective dysfunction displayed by the Jags, rookie QB Trevor Lawrence was the main focus last Sunday. Starting right out the gate can put a good bit of pressure on a rookie’s shoulders, but having to throw the ball 51 times surely doesn’t help either. 

In what could only be described as a pass-heavy attack, burgeoning star second-year RB James Robinson only ran five times. To make things worse, veteran newcomer Carlos Hyde led the team with only nine rushes. This has to change.

Continuing to force Lawrence to constantly throw is a recipe for disaster, as was seen with his three interceptions on Sunday. These mistakes were largely a result of the rookie trying to do too much, something that was only exacerbated by the almost pass-exclusive offense.

While there were plenty of negatives to highlight, there were some positive aspects that can be brought into week two. Lawrence matched his interception count with 3 passing touchdowns. In addition, he also made some very nice throws, showing he has the potential to become all he’s billed up to be. 

Courtesy of NFL Network.

Will the Jags do the unthinkable and take down the Broncos on Sunday? NFL Network’s experts certainly don’t think so, as seen above. However, stranger things have happened. 

If the Jags want to have a shot at winning, the mistakes have to be limited. If the same issues from last week persist, the Broncos will have a field day and move on to 2-0. 

With a more balanced approach offensively, Trevor Lawrence should be able to better showcase his skills. The Denver defense will not make it easy, though, as linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are among the best in making things tough for quarterbacks. 

Being the home opener of this exciting new era, TIAA Bank Field will likely have a sizable crowd. Forecasts show a high chance of rain on Sunday, so those attending should expect showers. The game starts at 1 p.m. and will be aired on CBS. 

If the multitude of week one issues have been ironed out, the Jaguars might just have a chance of winning. Only time will tell, though, and this team is only bound to improve as the season progresses.