GAME OVERVIEW ::
BY MJohnson86 >>
- Both teams will likely have a “spread the wealth” attack
- Denver should have a fairly significant advantage at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball
- One team was hampered by self-inflicted mistakes in Week 1 and the other played a very clean game
- Denver is a conservative, win with defense type of team by nature and Jacksonville is likely to try to slow the game down to stay competitive and protect Trevor Lawrence
- Likeliest game flow is a slow game with a chance of Denver pulling away sooner than expected if Jacksonville makes the same mistakes they did in their season opener
HOW Denver WILL TRY TO WIN ::
Denver should be efficient as they move the ball against the talent-deficient defense of Jacksonville. Teddy Bridgewater is not a high-end QB but what he does extremely well is make good decisions and take care of the ball. Denver has playmakers all over the field — while none of them would qualify as “elite” playmakers, they have two RBs, three WRs, and two TEs who would all qualify as “above average” at their positions. I would expect Denver to use a lot of motion, misdirection, and play action to take advantage of the undisciplined Jaguars defense. Denver has a big advantage on the offensive line and should be able to create big holes for their RBs and provide time when needed for Bridgewater. The passing attack will likely focus on short-area concepts that are high percentage completions and force the Jaguars to “prove it” by making tackles and not having breakdowns, rather than taking a lot of shots downfield and “wasting” downs.
It is unlikely Denver will feel the need to be overly aggressive early in the game and will focus on moving the ball efficiently and getting points early to put the Jaguars in a hole. That will allow Denver’s defense to pin their ears back and cause chaos for Jacksonville’s offense.
HOW Jacksonville WILL TRY TO WIN ::
Jacksonville’s season opener was difficult to watch. Trevor Lawrence is “as-advertised” and has every tool you would want from a franchise QB — he controls the line of scrimmage and makes audibles as needed, goes through his progressions, has tremendous arm strength and accuracy, keeps his eyes downfield while scrambling, and has the ability to make off-platform throws. Unfortunately, he was put in nearly the most difficult situation you can imagine in his first game as a professional. The disheartening thing about it was this happened against what is expected to be one of the worst teams in the league in the Houston Texans.
Watching that game, it was appalling how many self-inflicted mistakes (drops, penalties, and missed blocks) the players around Lawrence were making. Repeatedly on first down the Jaguars would commit a penalty, drop an on-target pass, or run for a short gain or loss. The first two possessions for the Jaguars were short-circuited by first down penalties that put them behind the chains and allowed the Texans to bring pressure and put Lawrence’s back against the wall. Their third possession almost had the same thing happen, except after an incompletion on a 3rd and 19 play the Texans committed a Roughing the Passer penalty that kept the drive alive and led to Jacksonville’s only first-half points. Lawrence also had two second quarter interceptions — both of which were ALSO preceded by offensive penalties that put them in long down and distance situations. After falling behind 27-7 at halftime, the Jaguars came out very conservatively to start the second half and had consecutive 3-and-out possessions to fall behind 34-7. The Jaguars did score two more touchdowns — one which was aided by another Roughing the Passer penalty on Houston and the other in garbage time with 0:09 left against Houston’s backups.
I normally wouldn’t go so in-depth about the previous week’s game in this situation, but I’m hoping for your sake you didn’t watch that game and I think that is all important context to consider when thinking about how Jacksonville will approach Week 2. The priority for Jacksonville should be putting Lawrence in better positions and there should be an emphasis on discipline and execution this week in practice. As a former college coach with an inflated ego, by all reports, Meyer has approached this season the same way he did with his college teams so it is somewhat comical to see the results play out in such a disorganized, undisciplined way. (Shocking that Meyer’s dictatorship tactics that he used as a means to get teenagers to fall in line have not worked with paid professionals at the highest level of their craft.)
Warren Sharp has spoken for years about the importance of early-down success as it creates favorable conditions for second and third down plays with shorter distances to gain. Assuming the Jaguars have any sense of themselves, I would expect a heavy dose of runs and short passes to start the game — hoping to sustain drives and get to halftime with the game within one score in either direction. The matchup on the outside is very difficult as Denver has an elite secondary and multiple pass rushers who can create havoc if Lawrence is forced to stand back in the pocket and wait for things to develop.
LIKELIEST GAME FLOW ::
Denver should be able to move the ball fairly well in this game. Teddy Bridgewater makes good decisions with the ball and doesn’t lock onto one player — taking whatever the defense gives him as the path of least resistance. They have advantages at the line of scrimmage and there isn’t a spot they will need to avoid. The likeliest game flow is long possessions ending in points for Denver, with Jacksonville taking a conservative approach that will result in short possessions and punts or longer possessions and field goals — which direction that goes for Jacksonville will depend on if their offensive line can improve from their putrid Week 1 performance (which I expect they will).
This game will likely stay reasonably close through halftime, though the Broncos should be able to create some separation in the second half. If the Jaguars make the same sloppy mistakes they made last week, this timeline could get accelerated and speed things up on one side of the ball but the Broncos are unlikely to have a reason to match that speed.
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By Dwprix >>
- DEN is currently the 3rd largest favorite on the slate (-6)
- On a 13 game slate, the 45 pt total is 10th highest
- 5 other games have a total over 50 this wk
- JAX has lost 16 straight games & 7 straight at home
- They’ve lost 12 straight to the AFC West
- JAX D gave up 37 pts to Tyrod Taylor and the HOU offense last week
- They’ve currently gave up 24+ pts in 16 straight games
- Bridgewater led the league last week in QBR (95.6)
- Wk 1: 28:36:255:2 TDs
- Jax to Taylor last week: 21:33:289:2 TDs
- 2nd rd rookie Javonte Williams led Melvin Gordon in carries 14 to 11.
- Williams also out snapped him, 34-32
- Gordon: 11:101:1 TD // Williams: 14:45:0 TDs // Bridgewater: 3:19 // Total: 165:2 TDs
- Jax allowed 160:2 TDs to HOU last week.
- DEN lost Jerry Jeudy for up to 6 weeks from a high ankle sprain suffered in Wk 1
- Jeudy played all 16 games last season
- DEN beat writers speculate that Courtland Sutton still isn’t 100% after suffering an ACL injury last season
- WK 1 Snap Share %: Courtland Sutton-80% // Tim Patrick-70% // Jeudy-56% // KJ Hamler-36%
- WK1 WR Targets: Jeudy-7 // Tim Patrick-4 // KJ Hamler-4 // Sutton-3
- Noah Fant led the team in tgs last week with 8
- Only Darren Waller (19) & T.J. Hockenson (11) saw more at TE
- Noah Fant targets last 6 games: 8 // 6 // 9 // 11 // 7
- DEN forced one Daniel Jones fumble last wk but no INTs
- Lawrence threw 3 INTs (& 3 TDs)
- He finished 31/32 in passer rating (70.1), only Aaron Rodgers was lower
- Lawrence’s WRs dropped six passes
- JAX let Lawrence throw 51 times last wk, only Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, and Derek Carr threw more
- WK 1 Snap%: James Robinson-63% // Carlos Hyde 34%
- Carries: Robinson-5 // Hyde-9
- Targets: Robinson-3 // Hyde 2
- DEN allowed just 14:33 yds against NYG RBs (Saquon-10:26)
- WR snap %: Marvin Jones-92% // DJ Chark-85% // Laviska Shenault-71% // Jamal Agnew-14%
- WR Targets: Chark 12 (only 3 rec) // Shenault 10 // Jones 9 //
- DEN placed starting CB Ronald Darby on IR
- Darby lined up on the right side of the field on 54/62 snaps last wk
- JAX WRs % of snaps on right side: Jones-45% // Chark-34%
- DEN will start likely start rookie Patrick Surtain (9th overall) in place of Darby
- JAX lined up in 11 personnel (3WRs) 75% of the time last wk
- Chark, Shenault, and Jones combined to catch just 48% of their targets
- James O’Shaughnessy saw 8 tgs last week.
- Like DENs Fant, O’Shaughnessy’s 8 T-3rd most at TE wk1