This weekend, the Jacksonville Jaguars are facing off against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. The Jaguars offense seems to have the injury bug so far this season. But the Cowboys organization is in turmoil from within.
Jerry Jones does not believe the Cowboys have had a game-changing receiver in several years. pic.twitter.com/yWDGioHxfa
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 9, 2018
Besides Jerry Jones‘ outspoken nature, the Cowboys’ offense isn’t in sync and the Jaguars should capitalize on that. Also worth mentioning is that it’s Week Six, so Blake Bortles should show his good side this week. The Jacksonville offense will look to have a bounce-back week and move to 4-2 on the season.
Beating Dak Prescott and the Cowboys
Smother Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott
So far this season, the Cowboys offense has been lackluster. They only average 16.6 points per game, and there is controversy with regards to receivers.
For a full context of how Cowboys WR Allen Hurns views this offense and Dak listen here. Hurns is shouldering the blame as much as he’s pointing out some of it. https://t.co/FainmNZaOX
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) October 10, 2018
Former Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns is publicly showing frustration with playcalling. In fact, Ezekiel Elliott is one of the best receivers on the team this year and he’s a running back. The Jaguars can get a win by stopping Prescott and Elliott. While Elliott is obviously doing well, Prescott has only thrown five touchdowns through the first five weeks of the season. It’s time for the Jaguars defense to pounce. Look for pressure from defenders such as Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue only has two sacks so far this season, but he has six quarterback hits and could have a big game. At the end of the day, the key will be stopping Prescott and limiting Elliot.
Limit Mistakes on Offense
Last week, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was responsible for five turnovers. It felt like 2016 all over again. Of course, the offense didn’t help as Bortles was sacked five times. It is an even week though, and those seem to be better for Bortles this year. His best games this year were against the Patriots and Jets (weeks two and four). Perhaps he will be helped by the addition of running back Jamaal Charles.
Though Charles just joined the team Tuesday, he could see a nice workload if he plays this week. T.J. Yeldon should still see a lot of work, but Charles is fresh so it will be interesting to see how many touches each back gets. A nice way to limit mistakes would be to run the ball more than last week. In week five, Bortles threw the ball 61 times. The running backs only had 15 carries. Those numbers need to move closer together. Success will mean no turnovers, better time of possession, and scoring in the red zone.
Control the Game
Last week the Jaguars got man-handled. They lost the turnover battle, barely had the ball for over 20 minutes, and were on their heels the whole game. That needs to change this week. Though it is an away game, the team is a three-point road favorite.
The Cowboys internal struggles were mentioned earlier. It would be fun to see if Jalen Ramsey uses the receivers struggles against them in his trash talk. The defense is definitely a proud group. And linebacker Telvin Smith doesn’t plan to be sheepish after an embarrassing loss.
Telvin says because they’ve lost a couple of games people think they’re going to get quite. But when you play them you better be your A game. They’re still one of the best teams in the NFL. #Jaguars #Teamsideline pic.twitter.com/OXfkimkvTG
— Chris Porter (@ChrisPorterFCN) October 10, 2018
Smith and Ramsey represent a defense that is shouldering more than their weight this year. But they’re not backing down and controlling the game starts with the Jaguars defense. If they can force enough pressure on Prescott and limit Elliott, the pendulum should swing in Jacksonville’s favor. The offense only needs to control the ball effectively. Don’t turn it over. If the offense can score in the red zone and not throw a pick off a lineman’s helmet, the outcome will be good.
This week the Jaguars are in a very winnable game. It’s time to take control and not look back.