The Denver Broncos (7-4) are clearly the better team over the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9). However, the NFL is always about matchups. A team like the Jaguars could matchup well against the Broncos, but their intensity level must be high all game long to come away with a victory.
The Mile High Report staff and Brandon Perna from That’s Good Broncos has a consensus score prediction of the Broncos winning 26-12 over the Jaguars. Seems a bit optimistic, although one of us did predict a Broncos loss.
Let’s review how we broke it out individually.
Broncos 27, Jaguars 9
Here are the facts: The Broncos suck against the Jaguars, especially in Florida. Hell, the Broncos suck in Florida as a whole, especially in the morning games. So there's that strike against them. Then you get to Kubiak saying "TY will still play"... Ugh, Why? WHY DO YOU HATE YOUR TEAM KUBIAK? And then the killer, our quarterback is injured so we'll start Paxton Lynch. What does this all add up to? Well, Vegas thinks it's still 3 points to the Broncos, but I wouldn't bet that line with my worst enemies money.
There's 1 silver lining, and it isn't our defense, its that nobody still really knows how to gameplan Lynch. That could work out into the Broncos advantage as long as Kubiak/Dennison aren't so stubborn that they try forcing Lynch to play purely the Kubiak offense. We saw against Tampa Bay and Atlanta that when Lynch is in the shotgun (you know, like Tom Brady works out of, what Manning and Rodgers work out of, what Ben and Wilson work out of), he has a 73+% completion rate with multiple touchdowns to 1 pick. To me, that's where his bread and butter is. Sure, you can hybrid the Kubiak and Shotgun offense to keep defenses off guard, but you MUST allow Lynch to do what he is comfortable doing.
If Kubiak does that, the Broncos not only win, but they win big and there is a legit "QB controversy." But if he's stubborn to a fault, then I see this game going the way of the Falcon's game, just maybe a touch less scoring. My Prediction? I predict Kubiak knows this and has picked John Elway's brain a bit and decides to let the kid operate at least 50% of the snaps if not more in shotgun and Lynch ends the game with around 225+ yards, 2 TD and no picks. Consistency on offense will keep our defense fresh to man handle Jacksonville all day. - Pete Baron
Broncos 24, Jaguars 13
The Denver Broncos are flat out a better team than the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have better coaches, players, and game day execution. Yes, it looks like we have a rookie starting at QB. Yes, their secondary is very good. Yes, I'm worried about those things. But at the end of the day, Denver just needs to execute well, protect the ball, and they will come home winners. - Sadaraine
Broncos 28, Jaguars 10
Paxton throws five TDs and no INT and our defense intercepts Bortles three times for pick sixes and then the starters go play golf at Sawgrass for the fourth quarter.
What a nice fantasy. The reality is our defense may get a couple pick sixes, but the Jags have only lost three games by more than seven points, in eleven games. Six games they lost by 7 or less. If not for a bad reffing call, they could've beaten Aaron Rodgers. Only four points difference. In 34 attempts, Rodgers got 199 yards, 2 TDs.
In one of their only three losses of more than seven, 38-14, Rivers threw 4 TDs, 220 yards. Melvin Gordon was a pain in their side. We know what that's like. We don't have a Gordon, we don't even have a Mel. The Jags also gave SD several good places to start drives.
Carr was held to 1 TD and 200 yards in that 33-16 win. Even with the Jags turning over the ball 3 times.
In the loss to the Titans, 36-22, they scored 2 running and 2 passing. I believe they were missing a starting DB that game.
Rivers was the only one to throw more than two TDs in their large losses. Against QBs who are known to be big passing guys. Those teams also had big rushing days. So, I don't foresee our offense, unless 2013 Manning magically appears, to have a good offensive day, or unless Kubiak changes his game plan and let's Lynch air it out (and our run game kicks it up).
It's our defense that will be the story. The Jags offense behind an imploding Bortles is easy pickings for our defense. Besides the Bears, don't think I've seen such a bad luck team. They've lost games from some crazy plays. Our defense will cause those crazy plays to happen. - Julie Dixon
Broncos 24, Jaguars 13
I've gotten to the point where it's impossible to predict this team. Throw a rookie QB into the mix and literally anything could happen. Our coaches could design a brilliant gameplan for the youngster to maximize his strengths, or we could see the exact same middling offense with vanilla gameplans we've seen all year. Who knows, we might see all 8 of our WRs on the field at the same time.
I *can* make one prediction that is a 100% guarantee. If Ty Sambrailo plays any snaps, it's going to turn out badly for the offense and young QB. The fact that Kubiak is even entertaining the idea of him seeing the field after everything we've seen terrifies me. This is why this team is so hard to nail down.
I'll arbitrarily throw some numbers out and predict a Broncos win; but at this point, who the hell knows. - Jeff Essary
Broncos 23, Jaguars 9
For some reason, the Denver Broncos struggle with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Remember 1996? Have you ever gone into a game against the Jaguars feeling comfortable after Denver lost to them in the divisional round of the playoffs way back when? You can't put your finger on it, but the Jaguars are just that team that the Broncos struggle against, no matter the circumstances. However, after what happened against Kansas City, and the way the defense failed to put the game away at the end of regulation, I can't see them coming up small again. Blake Bortles has been a disappointment this season, and the No Fly Zone will take advantage. Don't be surprised to see a defensive touchdown, and more than a couple turnovers. As for the offense? Who knows. Paxton Lynch will get the start, but who will be calling the plays? Will Rick Dennison be in charge of the first half? Will Gary Kubiak take over in the second half? What can we expect from the offense? Who knows, and who cares. The defense is going to carry this day. The Broncos win. - Adam Malnati
Broncos 31, Jaguars 13
If we're being honest here, after the playoff loss to the Jaguars in 1995, I never want Jacksonville to win ever again.
Imagine thinking that this was going to be an actual ball game four or five weeks ago, Denver flying to Jacksonville with a quarterback who has an 89.2 QB Rating on the season, about to hopefully manage going 2-0 in the state of Florida... Worrying about the Jaguars defense, because it's been so brutal against the pass... The good news is you don't need to worry about that, Trevor Siemian isn't starting.
Paxton Lynch has yet to throw more than 10 incompletions in an NFL game. Siemian has thrown for more than 10 incompletions 8 times this season, one of the games that he didn't was when he went 5 for 7 the last time he got a 'win' in Florida (at Tampa Bay in week 4).
The Jaguars have started slow at times this season, they have allowed massive plays, they have committed so many penalties that they have probably lost due to it. They've been turnover prone, they've had trouble running the ball, they've played slow, they've been slow getting their defense off of the field, they've narrowly avoided getting their head coach fired and they've had a hell of a time with punt coverage.
What are you afraid of?
Lynch having a good game?
The horror. - Ian Henson
Broncos 37, Jaguars 13
The Broncos defense was humbled on the last three drives against Kansas City … Kansas freaking City. That unit will come out fired up, to the say least, against a bad Jaguars offense. Meanwhile, Denver’s offense, the coaches included, gets a needed spark of emotion and fire, a kick in the butt so to speak, with Lynch now at quarterback. Will the Broncos offense resemble the one we saw in the two-minute drill and second half against Tampa Bay, or the one against Atlanta? Something tells me we’ll see the former … in a big way. - Ian St. Clair
Broncos 23, Jaguars 12
This game is about redemption - the Broncos’ defense is embarrassed it could not protect the lead last week against the Chiefs; Brandon Marshall despises that the Jags never believed in him; Paxton Lynch doesn’t want another loss on his NFL rookie starts. So regardless of potential problems (aka Malik Jackson and the Jags’ secondary), there is NO WAY Broncos lose this game. Plus, I’m going to the game, and Broncos are undefeated when I’m in attendance at an away game. So there. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
Jaguars 17, Broncos 13
Someone needs to temper some expectations here. Lynch is making his second NFL start against the third-ranked pass defense and the Broncos have zero running game. Yet somehow Lynch is going to blow the Jaguars out? Get real.
This game is going to come down to the defense and turnovers. If Lynch can get the short field, he will get some field goals and maybe a big play or two.
However, I am not optimistic it will be enough. Siemian’s injury will cause the Broncos season to slowly slip away from them. - Tim Lynch