Scared of the Jaguars? These stats may ease some of your concerns
|James Lang/USA Today Sports|
I've said for months that if the Patriots and Steelers didn't meet in the AFC Championship Game, something went seriously wrong.
Turns out something went seriously wrong. The Steelers overlooked the Jags and had 45 points hung on them in a 45-42 divisional round loss that was more embarrassing than the score indicates. So instead of Patriots-Steelers, we're getting Patriots-Jaguars in the conference title game.
A lot of people are laughing at the Jaguars because of Blake Bortles, who still isn't good, but has played better in recent weeks. The Jaguars defense, however, is very good. They have a tenacious front that can easily get to the quarterback and a secondary lead by Jalen Ramsey, who is one of the best young cornerbacks in the league.
They are second in the NFL in points allowed per game at 16.8 and second in yards allowed with 286.1.
As great as those stats look, they may be a little skewed. The Jags haven't really gone up against a team with a good offense aside from the Steelers.
#Jaguars faced 11 offenses whose point totals ranked:— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) January 16, 2018
17th (both w/o Watson)
20th (44 to SF/Garoppolo)
...and only one ranking higher than 8th.
The Patriots are the No. 1 offense in the league, so this would be far and away the toughest offensive challenge for Jacksonville.
A strength of the Patriots offense is when it goes no-huddle. It wore the Titans down significantly on Saturday night in the divisional round and it's the something the Jaguars struggle with.
Jaguars vs no-huddle throws: 87.5 passer rating allowed.— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) January 16, 2018
Jaguars vs huddled throws: 67.4 passer rating allowed.
So in short, don't be surprised if you see the Patriots go no-huddle a little more often against Jacksonville, especially to open the game, and then try and slow the game down with Dion Lewis if and when they build a sizable lead.
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