Game of the Weekend for NFL week 2 is without a doubt New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars. A re-match of January’s AFC Championship game, it offers the Jaguars an early chance of revenge for the 24 – 20 defeat they suffered.
The manner of the Patriots win cuts through the soul of Jacksonville, turning a ten-point deficit into a conference title and a place in Super Bowl LII. Both teams are among the front-runners to repeat their AFC Championship game in 2019.
New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars Week 1 Stats
Both teams are 1 – 0 after Week 1. The Patriots beat Houston 27 – 20 at the Gillette Stadium while Jacksonville went into the Giants backyard and turned them over 20 – 15. Not the high-scoring games that fans in New Orleans witnessed but wins nonetheless that offer a platform to build upon.
New England covered 389 yards in offence last weekend, 8th best over the schedule, while Jacksonville managed a paltry 305 yards by comparison. However, the Jaguars rushing game was on the money, 137 yards to the Patriots 122.
There was little to choose between yards allowed (325 for the Patriots vs 324 for the Jags) and surprisingly for a team including Tom Brady, the turnover differential for New England was -1; +1 for the Jags.
New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars Teams News
Julian Edelman is out through suspension while Rex Burkhead is a doubt for the Patriots following his concussion suffered earlier this week, while Trent Brown, Jacob Hollister, and Sony Michel are also racing against time to be fit. Marcus Cannon and Nate Ebner ought to make it.
Leonard Fournette is expected to recover from his hamstring injury described as “minor” by Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone after last weekend’s win. Linebacker Leon Jacobs is likely to be fit despite concerns raised when he was seen with a boot on his left leg earlier in the week.
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, receiver Jaydon Mickens and offensive tackle Jermey Parnell, are all doubts for the weekend.
New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars Head-to-Head
The Patriots are unsurprisingly dominant in this series with an 11 – 1 lead over Jacksonville.
Tom Brady is 8 – 0 against the Floridians and the Jags are the only AFC team which has never beaten the New England Quarterback. What a time this would be to put that right.
New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars Key Men
Tom Brady continues to break records and is one career win short of Adam Vinatieri’s NFL record of 225. He’s also one shy of Vinnie Testaverde’s record of throwing touchdown passes to 69 different players.
You can reel off the records Brady holds or that he has 19 TD passes against Jacksonville, two interceptions and a 70% pass completion rate on 1,800 yards. The only stats which matter are last weekend’s, particular the four-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola with under three minutes remaining on the clock.
Brady threw 277 yards for three touchdowns and an interception against the Texans. His total was 26 of 39 at 66.67%. The age-defying QB found Phillip Dorsett like clockwork with the wide receiver claiming a touchdown and seven receptions for 66 yards.
Brady’s opposite number, Blake Bortles, had an afternoon to forget in New York. The Jaguars may have won but the QB completed six from 16 for 53 yards in Giants Stadium; it’s hardly the figures to inspire confidence against one the NFL’s great sides.
However, underestimating the 26-year-old almost cost the Patriots the AFC game; his career record is only 59.1% pass completion and last weekend saw the Jaguars slump to 24th-ranked in their passing game.
Fortunately, they have Leonard Fournette, who ran an impressive 59 yards our Jacksonville’s total 137 in New York, taking his career total to 1,081 at 3.9. The only question over Fournette’s appearance this weekend is next weekend’s road trip to the Titans, their divisional rivals. That said, a win here would bolster their confidence immeasurably.
In defence, Jalen Ramsey was a key figure in the AFC Championship game focused on Rob Gronkowski; it left the Patriots tight end with just one catch from three, for a total of 21 yards. Both Brady and Gronkowski are no strangers to finding ways through tough defences, but this is likely to test their skills more than many in recent seasons.
New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction
Jacksonville hasn’t won an opening game at TIAA Bank Field since 2011 and if they are to break that record, it’s going to be the hard way. They are however on a franchise third-longest run of six consecutive home wins, tied with Carolina for the current best in the NFL.
It won’t be enough. Brady will unlock the impressive Jaguars defence and the emergence of Phillip Dorsett as an alternative outlet to Gronkowski, last week’s top receiver with a touchdown and 123 yards from seven receptions.