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Jaguars To Make Statement With Patriots Win

September 14, 2018

Week two of the 2018 NFL season provides a rematch of the 2017 AFC Championship Game as the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the New England Patriots at EverBank Field.

The Patriots produced a brilliant comeback in the fourth quarter to defeat Doug Marrone’s men at Gillette Stadium to win the AFC Conference for the second season on the bounce.

New England failed to win the Super Bowl last term, missing out on the opportunity to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy in back-to-back years.

Bill Belichick’s men had an off-season of drama surrounding Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, but the duo picked up where they left off in the Super Bowl against the Houston Texans in their opener.

Brady threw three touchdowns, while Gronkowski recorded 123 receiving yard and a touchdown to guide their side to a seven-point win on home soil.

Both players will have to remain at the peak of their powers to take on Jalen Ramsey and the outstanding Jaguars’ defense. Jacksonville enjoyed a solid win on the opening day to see off the New York Giants on the road.

However, Marrone’s men now have to rise to the challenge of facing their conquerors from last season, with some players already suggesting that this is the biggest game of their career.

Ramsey will have to back up his words

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have a huge opportunity to make a statement in the AFC Conference by knocking off the Patriots on home soil. They came close to defeating them in the AFC Championship Game in New England, only to suffer at the hands of Brady and Danny Amendola in the clutch.

Marrone became conservative with his play-calling, failing to take the game beyond the reach of the Patriots. Brady punished Jacksonville for their lack of clinical edge before Stephon Gilmore made a late pass breakup to ice the game. Revenge will be firmly on the minds of the Jaguars line-up after falling agonisingly short of reaching the Super Bowl for the first time in the history of the franchise.

Ramsey hit the headlines during pre-season in an interview where he called out almost half of the players in the NFL. He claimed that Gronkowski is not as good as people believe and feels that he could be covered by a cornerback. The All-Pro has put a target on his back against Brady and Gronkowski and it will be interesting to see whether the Patriots attempt to expose him.

Ramsey has the talent to back up his talk and it may see Brady look elsewhere with the ball to expose matchups. However, due to the quality of the Jacksonville defense, it will be difficult. Yannick Ngakous and Calais Campbell picked up where they left off last term with a fine performance against the Giants. Myles Jack is developing into one of the NFL’s best linebackers in the middle of the field. The Jaguars should be able to limit Brady and company, especially without Julian Edelman.

Bortles was good enough for a half against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. He played above expectations, but failed to deliver in the clutch. Bortles has to play an entire 60 minutes as Nick Foles did for the Philadelphia Eagles to see off New England. The quarterback will have to do it without Leonard Fournette, putting pressure on him to get the job done.

New England Patriots

The Patriots were on song in their opening game of the season without finding their best form. Brady threw three touchdowns, but was also intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu. New England turned the ball over three times over the course of the contest, which made the result closer than it should have been as Houston still had a brief hope of victory late on. Belichick’s men lost running back Jeremy Hill for the campaign in the process to a torn ACL, further depleted their offensive weapons. Corey Coleman, Bennie Fowler and Kenjon Barner have been added to the ranks, but the Jaguars will test whether the Patriots have enough talent on offense outside of Gronkowski and James White to see off a quality defense on the road.

Brady is once again without his most trusted target Edelman for another three matches. Gronkowski was outstanding in the opener, but will draw the majority of the coverage. Phillip Dorsett suggested that he could ease the burden on the tight end with a 66-yard game, including one touchdown. Chris Hogan was quiet in the opener and the Patriots will need him to make more of an impact as the other options are not experienced in the offense. Jacob Hollister’s return from injury could be a surprise bonus for the team, offering another threat at the tight end position.

New England’s defense was impressive against the Texans. The unit that failed to generate pressure on Foles in the Super Bowl looked rejuvenated, with Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise leading the pass-rush. Ja’Whaun Bentley made a solid start to his NFL career in the linebacking corps, while Gilmore continued to make plays in the secondary. There’s hope that the defense can continue to grow and ease the burden on Brady to score over 20 points per game. They will have opportunities for further plays against the Jaguars, especially should Fournette miss out.

Betting Options

The Jaguars have to seize the moment to defeat the Patriots. They will not get many better opportunities to clinch what could be an important win in terms of playoff seeding at the end of the campaign. New England are not firing on all cylinders yet given the new players that they are bedding into their offense.

Bortles has to put enough points on the board to give his team a chance. Given the importance of the contest, the Jacksonville will be throwing everything at the Patriots. Back them to claim the win at odds of 19/20 with 888Sport just edging out their rivals, while take them on the pickem spread at +100  with BetOnline. For once a game involving New England will not involve a lot of points, take the under on 45 points at -110  with Bovada.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was denied a touchdown against the Patriots last season playing for the New York Jets on the goalline. He will be eager to get one back on New England, back him to score anytime during the contest at odds of 21/10  with 888Sport, while take Hogan to get off the mark for the term at 6/4 .

Tips Summary

Jacksonville Jaguars To Beat New England Patriots
Sunday 16th September 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 19/20

Take Jacksonville Jaguars On Pickem (0) Spread
Sunday 16th September 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: +100

Under 45 Points To Be Scored
Sunday 16th September 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: -110

Austin Seferian-Jenkins To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 16th September 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 21/10

Chris Hogan To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 16th September 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 6/4

  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Jalen Ramsey
  • New England Patriots
  • NFL
  • Tom Brady

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.