I wanted to give the article a title that would imply the Jacksonville Jaguars have a chance of defeating the Denver Broncos on Sunday, despite being 28-point underdogs. Unfortunately, I just could not bring myself to do it. I want to believe the Jaguars could execute one of the greatest upsets in NFL history because it would be good for football. The reality is I should stick with my initial prediction prior to the start of the season, which is the Jaguars will go 0-16. With that being said, I do believe Jacksonville has a chance of being competitive against Denver.
How could the Jaguars possibly keep the best offense in football tamed for four quarters, you ask? The answer is simple: they can’t.
What Jacksonville can do is keep the game close. I understand that the Jaguars rank last in the league with an average of 10.2 points per game while the Broncos’ 46.0 points per contest is good for first. Simply put, the game will be over before it began if Jacksonville’s defense does not come to play.
What quarterback Chad Henne and the offense can do is put up plenty of yards through the air. The backup signal caller has completed 55.8 percent of his passes for 601 yards and two touchdowns this season. Considering the Broncos have given up a whopping 347 passing yards per game, which ranks dead last in the league, the Jaguars might just have a chance if they air it out frequently. Obviously, the Broncos will be looking for this, which means getting Maurice Jones-Drew involved in any way will be key.
Jacksonville has actually done a decent job against the pass this season, limiting opponents to 219.2 yards per game. This is not to say that Peyton Manning will have a difficult time moving the chains with Denver’s incredible air attack. What it does mean is that any sort of momentum the Jaguars can muster on the defensive side of the ball will go a long ways to helping out the offense.
At this point, Jacksonville has nothing to lose. Any sort of trick or unconventional play must be used. The team has an opportunity to play the best game of their lives, leave everything on the field and hope that it is enough so that the organization can finally get a little respect.
The Jaguars also have a chance to write themselves into the record books, which is not something that can be said about every game. Beating the Broncos would be an earth-shattering accomplishment. If the team is not shooting for a win then I do not see the point in stepping onto the field in the first place.