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Scouting the enemy: Jacksonville Jaguars

Here we are, the London game. Many things for the Broncos matter in this game. Can they pull out a win, or will they lose their fifth straight game?

DENVER BRONCOS VS JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

In 2021 the Denver Broncos matched up against the Jacksonville Jaguars and pulled out a 23-13 win. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had himself a game against the Jaguars, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton got busy that game with nine catches for 159 yards. Safety Kareem Jackson was able to intercept Trevor Lawrence and then-rookie Pat Surtain was also able to get the first INT of his career.

On the other side of the ball, the Jags could not get anything done offensively. Trevor Lawrence threw for only 118 yards and one touchdown and the ground game was also subpar, as leading rusher James Robinson ran for 47 yards of the team total at 75.

List of the Jaguars’ offseason moves

Key gains: WR Christian Kirk, LB Travon Walker, LB Devin Llyod, OG Brandon Scherff, LB Foyesade Olupkun, DT Folorunso Fatukasi, TE Evan Engram, WR Zay Jones, CB Darious Williams

Key losses: WR Tavon Austin, WR D.J. Chark, OG A.J. Cann, DT Taven Bryan, LB Dakota Allen, WR Laviska Shenault

2022 NFL draft round one: (1) LB Travon Walker, (27) LB Devin Lloyd, round three: (65) OL Luke Fortner, (70) Chad Muma, round five: (154) RB Snoop Conner, round six: (197) CB Gregory Junior, round seven: (222) CB Montaric Brown

The 2022 Jaguars so far

The Jaguars sit at the same record as the Broncos, but don’t let that record fool you. Jacksonville has looked better than their record shows, from back-to-back dominant wins over the Chargers and Colts, to losing by just eight to the only undefeated team in the NFL, the Eagles.

Like the Broncos, the Jaguars are a team defined by inconsistency. The Jags began the year 2-1 with a couple nice wins but have dropped every game since. The teams that they’ve lost to in this streak are the Texans, Colts, Giants, and Eagles.

Offensively, the Jaguars are led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne, and wide receiver Christian Kirk. Lawrence has really taken a giant leap forward. Through seven games, he has 1,707 passing yards, with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Lawrence also has a completion percentage of 63% on the year. Etienne, after redshirting his rookie year, came in and took the job of the now former Jaguar James Robinson. Currently, he sits at 415 yards on the ground and one touchdown, with five big rushes for more than 20 yards in the air, Etienne has 14 catches on 23 targets for 151 yards and three catches for more than 20 yards. Kirk has been by far the No. 1 guy for Lawrence with 32 catches on 54 targets for 458 yards and four touchdowns, and his receiving yards are 177 more than Zay Jones.

On the other side of the ball, the Jaguars are led by rookie linebacker Devin Lloyd, linebacker Josh Allen, linebacker Travon Walker, and safety Rayshawn Jenkins. The rookie duo of Lloyd and Walker has been really good. Lloyd leads the team in interceptions and is third on the team for pass breakups. Walker is currently second on the team in sacks and also has an interception on the year. Star linebacker Josh Allen currently leads the team in sacks with three on the year and also has two forced fumbles to his name. Jenkins currently leads his team with nine pass breakups, good enough for third in the NFL. He also has an interception too.

Tanner’s three keys

1. The offense needs to finish drives

More than half of the scoring right now has come from kicker Brandon McManus. And so far this year he has scored 50 points, the next highest is Jerry Jeudy with 12 points. London is home to some of the best soccer in the world. They have more than their fair share of seeing guys kick a ball, so instead of relying on McManus to do all the scoring, the Broncos need to capitalize on drives and score touchdowns.

2. Establish the run

To say the Broncos' running back room has been banged up is an understatement. Denver just signed Marlon Mack this week, and it’s likely he’s called upon on Sunday. Mack will be the Broncos’ fifth running back this year. In the game against the Jets, Rypien dropped back to throw the ball 46 times while the team rushed the ball only 28 times. I want to see the Broncos establish the run game against the Jaguars to then open up the passing game and involve more play-action passes.

3. Force the Jags to turn the ball over

The Broncos' defense has been one of the best in the entire NFL, but I would like to see it convert more turnovers. The Broncos currently have four interceptions and three fumble recoveries this year. The last time these two teams met, the Broncos won the turnover battle and that helped us secure the 10-point win. This time around the Broncos need to force more turnovers to give the offense a chance to win the game.

Tanner’s prediction

Assuming the reports coming out that if the Broncos lose this game head coach Nathaniel Hackett will be fired are true, I am hoping the Broncos lose this game.

This is the first time in my life I have wanted my team to lose. This offense is horrible to watch, and the play calling is even worse. Last year the Broncos got to play Urban Meyer, a year later the Jaguars get to play Hackett who is as bad as Meyer. Russell Wilson is looking forward to playing in the game so we could have him back. Injuries have not helped this team at all as the Broncos are by far the most injured team in the NFL.

I hope this game is a blowout, to seal Hackett’s fate. The offense is horrible and needs help but Hackett refuses to change anything. If the reports about this being Bradley Chubb’s last game are in fact true it will hurt to see him go but if it means that Hackett is gone too that is a price I am willing to pay.

I think that Lawrence and Etienne are both going to torch this defense. Devin Lloyd will have an amazing game and the pass rush duo of Allen and Walker will cause so many issues for the Broncos' offensive line and whoever will be the quarterback in London will struggle and have multiple turnovers.

Jacksonville 49, Denver 12.