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How do the Broncos match up with the Jaguars?

How bad will the loss of Jerry Jeudy, Ronald Darby, and Graham Glasgow hurt the Broncos on Sunday?

After starting the season off with a 27-13 win over the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos head to Jacksonville to take on the winless Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend. The road forward seems simple enough: do what they did in week one and they’ll remain undefeated. Only things aren’t that simple, as the Jags are surely desperate to claw their way to a win of their own and quell the talk about Urban Meyer’s dysfunctional coaching staff.

To dig deep into the matchups that will decide the game, I spoke with USA Today’s Laurie Fitzpatrick on this week’s Cover2Broncos. Fitzpatrick is a former football player and aspiring scout who spends an inordinate amount of time poring over the tape. It was a privilege to learn from her.

A quick look at the topics we discussed:

  • What do you expect from the Jags’ run defense?
  • How will Jacksonville take advantage of Trevor Lawrence’s arm talent against the Fangio D?
  • What will Laviska Shenault’s role look like?
  • The Broncos offensive line had issues with the Giants pass rush, what can they expect from Josh Allen and the Jags’ front?
  • Outside of Melvin Gordon’s long touchdown, the run game was stuck in the mud in New York. Can Denver get their ground game going this weekend?
  • Could special teams be a sneaky factor?
  • Fangio’s defense is built around changing up pre-snap/post-snap looks. Dating back to his time at Clemson that’s been something Trevor Lawrence has had issues with. Will that continue?
  • How will the Jaguars try to stop Von Miller and the Broncos’ pass rush?
  • Can the Broncos secondary match up with Jacksonville minus Ronald Darby?
  • What do the Jags do to generate a rushing attack?
  • How do you expect Shurmur to call the game without Jerry Jeudy?
  • Broncos WRs vs. Jags DBs.
  • What happens if Bradley Chubb doesn’t play?
  • Broncos win if…?
  • Jaguars win if…?

I know I’ve said this a few times now, but I don’t think I can stress enough how important it looks for the Broncos to start the season at least 2-1 in their first three games. Things get much tougher in October and the AFC West looks like a murderer’s row. Teddy Bridgewater led a very good passing attack against the Giants and Fangio’s defense looked like it’s on its way to being one of the very best in the league, but Denver can’t afford to fall asleep against the Jaguars.