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Key Battles for Packers vs. Jaguars

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Key Battles for Packers vs. Jaguars

The Green Bay Packers kick things off with what some might think is a “gimme” game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Don’t be fooled.

While the Packers should win this game—and handily—the Jags are an improved team and are dangerous to underestimate.

Here are three key battles which will decide how the game ends.

The Corners vs the Allens

If you don’t play fantasy football you might not know that the Jaguars feature one of the best young receiver tandems in the NFL. Allen Robinson caught 80 balls for 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns while Hurns caught 64 for 1031 and 10 scores. Both are fast, and dangerous with the ball in their hands.

Sam Shields and Damarious Randall will have their hands full, and will require a little help from the safeties as well to keep a lid on these two. How much help will be available is up for debate as either Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Sam Shields could be tasked with reigning in tight end Julius Thomas instead, or assisting linebackers who get stuck covering him.

Interior DL vs Jags backfield

T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory aren’t exactly Adrian Peterson and LeVeon Bell, but they are tough, effective runners who can gash a defense which didn’t always perform well against the run last year.

So the middle of the field—especially Mike Daniels and Letroy Guion—have to step up and clog up the interior gaps. Rookie Kenny Clark will probably get some burn too, and the first rounder is going to have to wrap up and make tackles.

Ivory is especially tough on tackles and inside linebackers (looking at you Jake Ryan) and rotating fresh players in to give the starters a rest could be critical to containing both backs late in the game.

Packers OT vs Edge Rushers

The Jaguars defense wasn’t bad last year, and they have improved. Getting Dante Fowler Jr. back from his lost rookie season and adding in rookie Myles Jack give this defense a pair of powerful edge rushers. Jared Odrick isn’t too shabby either.

Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari will have their hands full and we expect some blocking help from the tight ends and backfield, as well as the usual Aaron Rodgers escapes from the pocket.

Still, if the Jaguars defensive ends contain and the linebackers can bring pressure, it could stymie the offensive rhythm and stall some drives.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (39) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

oldfart's picture

I WATCHED SOME OF THE PANTHERS-BRONCOS GAME THURSDAY NIGHT. I AM IMPRESSED WITH THE BRONCOS DEFENSE WHICH APPEARS TO BE AS STRONG AS THEIR SUPER BOWL TEAM LAST YEAR. THEY HAVE A LOT OF SPEED AGAINST THE RUN AND PASS. I BELIEVE THAT TT IS ON TARGET BY BRINGING IN MORE SPEED ON THE PACKER TEAM. IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW MUCH SPEED WE HAVE NOW WHEN WE PLAY THE JAGUARS.

al bundy's picture

I was MORE impressed with the fact that Elway again, went out and picked up some top free agents to fill some gaps and those guys played great. No draft and develop going on there. Other than QB that is and apparently he has two very talented new guys.
Just wondering where the money comes from. If Ted is not getting these guys he has to be saving it for????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Spud Rapids's picture

Signing our own... how many times have the Packers let big time players leave?

Norm's picture

Umm, at least once, last week?

croatpackfan's picture

I did not hear Elway jump and sign Josh Sitton, did he?
And how much Elway pays for his No 1 QB? Would you suggest to cut the Aaron's salary to the level of Broncos QB?

Norm's picture

What does Elway and the Denver QB situation have to do with Josh Sitton? My point was that sometimes Ted does let big time players leave, with an example as recently as last week (I could also cite Favre, Jenkins, etc.). He has his reasons, almost always this involves resigning younger key guys he targets, with a very rare exception of a notable free agent signing (e.g. Woodson, Peppers, Cook). Sorry Croat but I'm not following your logic here.

croatpackfan's picture

OK, maybe it is my English. I'm not native English speaker...
Elway was named clever with signing so many FA and TT stupid for cutting Josh Sitton - there is no connection - Spud Rapids mentioned that TT is signing Packers own FA instead somebody's else FA. Than you mentioned Josh Sitton. Hm, what does that have with Elway signing? That was my logic.

Salary cup is reason why Denver can and had signed some others FA. They do not have elite salary for their QB! That is connection of my other sentence - and my logic on the al bundy's post!

RobinsonDavis's picture

Although I have enjoyed your posts, I tend to agree with Norm on this one Croat. I think Norm left room for judgement within his message. He was just stating that Ted has let players go, and replaced with others. I would remind everyone though, about your point of Rodger's salary, that Favre modified his contract at least twice so that the team could sign key free agents, not that anyone asked Aaron his opinion.

croatpackfan's picture

I know but did not find any connection with Elway and Broncos and signing FA. Sitton was not FA!

staffordsneckfat's picture

.....the studs that he drafts/signs every year.....

I really don't understand the Thompson hate. This team is perennially making the playoffs yet people constantly question his tactics.

I think maybe the Reggie White and Woodson signings have spoiled us into thinking that all high profile free agents work out. Those are maybe the greatest FA signings of all time skewing our perception.

RobinsonDavis's picture

I agree about the plethora of Thompson haters. However, nobody is perfect, and Ted has his faults.

Nick Perry's picture

Ummmm....It came from...

1) Peyton Mannings Retirement
2) Malik Jackson FA Departure
3) Danny Trevation's FA Departure
4) Ryan Harris FA Departure
5) Evan Mathis FA Departure
6) Brock Oswilder FA Deaprture

Those were just the starters OR future starter at QB.

Sorry Al but I would possibly rank that as one of the silliest questions ever. I'm sure you're a very bright, smart person, BUT that question is DUMB as hell.

I mean do you actually do ANY research before you insert foot in mouth??

L's picture

Have to admit Malik Jackson vs. Lane Taylor kind of scares me.

RCPackerFan's picture

Will be interesting to see how Malik Jackson plays without Wolfe, Miller and Ware next to him though...
But that will be a closely watched matchup.

PaulRosik's picture

Jackson was a terror for Denver at times. It will be interesting to see if the packers interior o line can hold up.

Bedrock's picture

Will Taylor's play really be a "key to the game"? I'm thinking not. Interior line can get away with being helped far more easily, and AR can see and escape when it's in his face. Doesn't concern me a bit. I will be watching for issues, however.

Nick Perry's picture

I hope Ripper is ready to help chip because I think Taylor will have issues with Jackson.

dobber's picture

You missed a big one: Packers pass rush vs. Jax OL.

Peppers and CMIII played very few preseason snaps and will have to get up to speed quickly in this one. Bortles and the Jax offense showed a tendency to turn the ball over and give up sacks a year ago. The defense needs to help that trend continue.

Acme Shellacking Co.'s picture

I think this is a pretty good match up for the Packers. Jacksonville's gonna score some points, but their run blocking is awful and should put them into a lot of third and longs. Bortles is a good quarterback but also throws a lot of picks. I'm gonna guess Rollins gets an int at some point.

Packers offense should be too much for the Jags young defense to handle. Packers win by ten.

Duke Divine's picture

Jags cover the spread if not win outright. The offense still has a lot to prove. I know the Packer defense will keep the Pack in it but can the offense find rhythm? 20-17 PAck

al bundy's picture

I think our corners and safeties will have there hands full all season long.
I question their speed and coverage abilities. Lets see if they can get the team off the field? Or will teams earn their third down stripes passing on us?
Lets see if we even have a pass rush?
MM still has the mindset if our offense scores more points doesnt matter that our d sucks....... Ya until the playoffs

ray nichkee's picture

Do you even watch football? Go ahead and question sam shields speed. You keep on providing us with more and more evidence that you are a complete moron.

Did you notice last year that the defense kept them in the games?

LeagueObsrvr's picture

'al bundy' is a troll account from some unemployed Viking fan living in his mom's basement. Just disregard him.

Steve Cheez's picture

"unemployed"...
"living in his mom's basement"...
"Viking fan"...
Now you're just being redundant.

Tundraboy's picture

With his hands in his pants.

RCPackerFan's picture

'Interior DL vs Jags backfield'

I would also include the ILB's vs Jags RB's into this.

How does Martinez, Ryan and Thomas play against the Jaguars RB's, will go a long ways into determining who wins this game.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Martinez the most. He could be the ILB we have been missing since Bishop left.

Tarynfor12's picture

Looking forward to the ' Elite ' play of Perry since he got 5 million which may have been used elsewhere.
As always, hope he can get me to forget 4 wasted years. : )

Bearmeat's picture

In all fairness, 5 million a year for a veteran OLB is not exactly "elite" pay. That said, I agree with you. IF Perry can ascend to a consistent "red chip" player, that will be HUGE for the defense. And it will also be a big surprise.

Tarynfor12's picture

Yes 5 million isn't elite pay but I was only quoting an article where it was stated he was or looked it based on two games while ignoring 4 years....too easily dismissed. : )

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tarynfor12, Hope I haven't over thought this game. I'm not going to bet it, but I am going to Sunset to watch it. I'm not taking any money. I am going to take a Par-lay.

Here's how I see it. The news is all Bad for GB. The temperature is going to be 93 degrees & Humid. GB doesn't fair all that well in Florida. The Sitton ordeal. Jacksonville is at home & has a failrly good offence. It's a bigger game for them than it is for us. It looks like a Jacksonville win with the 5 1/2. The 5 1/2 tells me GB doesn't cover. I'm wrong a lot on the GB game, so I'm going aginst it. I'm going to take GB & the Over. I'm also going to take Oakland & the Over for the same reasons. I need $2500 for a Jukebox Repair soon, so Wish Me Luck!!
LVT

Spock's picture

Off topic:
I guess if Goodell investigated Al Jaroosa (or whatever it's called) now the NFL will have to investigate this:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/former-nfl-head-of-officiating-alleg...

:)

ray nichkee's picture

I wish pereira would have had the gonads to make this public when it happened.

DrealynWilliams's picture

With 3 real receiving threats on the Jags I'm interested in seeing how comfortable Dom will be playing single-high coverage.

Have we ever put Shields on a TE? I don't think that would be a good move.

EdsLaces's picture

To consider this game a gimme is absolutely ridiculous. Fowler Jack and Ramsey now on defense that's pretty scary to me. Then throw in a potent offense with two solid WRS a good TE and solid running backs ....oh and did I mention a stud QB. Yeah ...a total gimme...

PaulRosik's picture

As per usual with the Packers they have played next to no one in the pre-season. So the unknown is how the heck the first string team will play since they have barely seen the field so far. Expectations are high and a road win in week 1 would be nice.

dobber's picture

That's the problem with preseason: nobody plays and you don't play any flavor but vanilla. How do you come out playing at a high level? Frankly, I give this one almost toss-up odds...on the road, in the heat/humidity, against a productive offense. I can see how this one could easily go in the "L" column.

RobinsonDavis's picture

That is my point too. What match-ups will I be watching? All of them! Lots of questions remain. My top that have not been mentioned:

* Can the D-line continue to tie-up the opposing O-line and allow the LBs to tackle for no gain? Specifically is Clark going to play and how well? How is the Lowery match-up going to play-out? Can Datone dominate....early! Can we pass rush?

* How well do our LBs cover downfield?

* Do we have the same game plan as most of last year or do we have some novelty added?...Is Cook utilized in this capacity?

* How "on" is Aaron with his receivers and are the receivers getting separation?

* Can we dominate in the run game against a good d-line

* Has Julius lost the concrete shoes from the preseason?

Rossonero's picture

If I'm Jacksonville, then I'm going back to tape last year where teams had figured out a formula to beat Green Bay:

1) Collapse the pocket on Aaron Rodgers.

Don't let him get outside where he can make plays on the run -- contain him.

2) Jam the Packers WRs at the line of scrimmage.

Davon House is going to be physical and we know him all too well. Cobb and Adams struggled to get separation last year. The X factors are Nelson, Montgomery, Cook and Abbrederis since they were injured or not on the teamlast year.

3) Run the ball on the Packers. As much as I like Kenny Clark, Guion and Daniels, the Packers have consistently ranked in the lower half of the league in run defense. Without Pennel and if Clark's back flares up again, it could get ugly. The depth is razor thin on the Packers defensive line.

Overall:
Despite the Jacksonville's improvements through the draft, they're still a year away from making this a close game. Nevertheless, winning on the road in the NFL is never easy.

Packers 31, Jaguars 21.

marpag1's picture

"The Jaguars defense wasn’t bad last year..."

Huh?!? The only way these words make sense is if you say, "It wasn't bad last year... it was dreadful."

The Jags were 31st in points allowed at 28 per game. 28 points per game would have been a bottom five scoring defense in each of the past 15 years... maybe more, I stopped checking.

They were 24th in total yards allowed per game. They were 29th in passing yards allowed per game, and 21st in passing yards allowed per attempt. Against the run, they were 15th in rushing yards allowed. Only yards per rushing attempt - 5th - looked respectable.

Only three defenses forced fewer INTs than Jax, and they were bottom half in fumbles forced and recovered. Their 36 sacks were tied for 20th in the NFL. Jax allowed opponents to convert 3rd downs 46% of the time, the second worst percentage in the league.

Their defense was AWFUL last year. For the life of me, I can't understand why so many people think they will have a killer unit this year. Improved? Absolutely... they can hardly NOT improve. But that doesn't mean they will be great or even good. They badly overpaid for Jackson, Myles Jack hasn't shown much and might not even see the field, Ramsey... well, we'll see...

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