Oct 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) attempts to rally the crowd in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Texans 27-9. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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With the Jacksonville Jaguars spiraling into oblivion, we reached out to our friends at Predominantly Orange to ask a few questions about how easily the Denver Broncos will defeat the home team this week.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are apparently incapable of beating a team with a winning record under Gus Bradley (that is not hyperbole – he has literally never beating a winning team), so there isn’t much hope heading into this Sunday’s matchup with the Denver Broncos.
That being said, the game still has to be played and crazier things have happened. The Broncos may have to start a rookie at quarterback and the Jaguars have been playing good defense.
We wanted to get some intel on our opponent so we reached out to Sayre Bedinger over at Predominantly Orange. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Trevor Siemian might not play this week, but he’s been solid so far in his first year as a starter. Is he the answer moving forward or is the plan still to bring Paxton Lynch in at some point?
The answer might be a little more complicated or gray than some people make it, but I still believe that Paxton Lynch is the long-term solution. Trevor Siemian has certainly out-played his draft status, and has really shown me something this season. There have been some frustrating times as with any young QB, and many Broncos fans have grown restless with Siemian because of the fact that Lynch is sitting on the bench. I have nothing against Siemian, but you can’t help but be excited about the potential of a guy like Lynch.
Sayre’s analysis is about on par with most people, and I tend to agree. The Broncos drafted Lynch to take over eventually because he has tools, particularly arm strength, that you want in a franchise quarterback. Siemian has been better than anyone could have expected though, and I’d be shocked if he was replaced at any point this season.
Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson (97) throws the ball into the stands after recovering a fumble for a touchdown in Super Bowl 50 at Levi
2. The Jaguars poached a pretty good defender from the Broncos in the form of Malik Jackson. How has Denver gone about replacing him and has his absence been felt?
The absence of Jackson has been evident all year, especially since his replacement — Vance Walker — went down before the season with a knee injury. The Broncos signed Jared Crick, who was originally meant to be in rotation with Walker, and drafted Adam Gotsis, who was meant to rotate with the likes of Derek Wolfe. It’s been something of a struggle and the Broncos haven’t gotten the same kind of push against the run they had last year, but the front seven has still been very tough for opposing teams to deal with.
Malik Jackson was arguably the best player on the field in the Super Bowl last year, so it would be shocking if Sayre answered otherwise. Jackson has received some criticism of his play this season but it’s entirely unwarranted. Malik Jackson has been one of the best players on good Jacksonville defense. He’s had a few bad moments but he’s done enough to warrant his signing thus far. As far as the Broncos are concerned, they still have a multitude of edge rushers that somewhat alleviate the loss of Jackson. The Jaguars don’t have anyone the caliber of Von Miller rushing the passer.
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) calls for an audible as center Matt Paradis (61) and offensive guard Max Garcia (76) line up across from Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
3. What’s one weakness on the Broncos and do you think the Jaguars could exploit it?
The biggest weakness on the Broncos is the offensive line, and I’d imagine the Jaguars have spent considerable time thinking of ways to exploit that. The Jags have some really athletic players up front defensively, so I’d imagine they are going to try and overpower the Broncos’ offensive line, especially whoever is playing right tackle (Donald Stephenson/Ty Sambrailo) and left guard Max Garcia.
The Jaguars haven’t had a consistent pass rush this year, but they are coming off a game against the Bills where they were borderline dominant along the line of scrimmage. Dante Fowler has been a spinning top (Inception reference) when it comes to rushing the passer, but Yannick Ngakoue has flashed and been a surprisingly effective edge rusher. Jackson and Sen’Derrick Marks along the interior have also played well, and new defensive coordinator Todd Wash has actually done a terrific job of dialing up blitzes and bringing extra rushers at opportune times. The Jaguars may actually force a turnover this week if they can exploit the Denver blockers.
Aug 14, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas (80) flips after catching a pass in the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Thomas left the game with a hand injury after the play. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
4. If you could take one player from the Jaguars to put on the Broncos, who would you choose?
Other than Malik Jackson? LOL. If I could take one player off of the Jaguars and put him on the Broncos, I would have to pick your first rounder from this past year, Jalen Ramsey. It would have to be either him or Allen Robinson. You can keep Julius Thomas.
A hearty chuckle from me on Sayre’s Julius Thomas dig. I can’t disagree – Julius has been a massive disappointment in every single way and has no business being on this team at his cap number in 2017.
I assumed Sayre would go for Ramsey, considering he’s been a lockdown corner since walking on to the field. He still has things to work on – he should have broken up the beautifully thrown deep pass to Sammy Watkins last week but he misplayed the ball in the air – and is still learning, but he’s already so good.
Allen Robinson is also an interesting answer just because he’s had his fair share of struggles in 2016. Blake Bortles is clearly having his own issues that have affected his receivers, but Robinson isn’t winning as many 50/50 balls and he’s dropped some easily catchable balls as well. Either way, he’d add another weapon to a fairly stocked Denver receiving corp.
Nov 13, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) walks off the field after their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Broncos won, 25-23. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
5. What’s your prediction for the game?
I think the Broncos’ defense comes out swinging in this one, forcing some early turnovers and getting the offense the help it needs to push the Broncos to a gritty win.
Sayre opted not to go with a score here but he says the Broncos are going to win and history is on his side. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Gus Bradley is incapable (among many things) of fielding a team that can beat a winning team. The Broncos are over 0.500 so the precedent is already set for Sunday’s game.
That said, it might actually be a gritty game if Siemian can’t go and the Broncos have to start Paxton Lynch. The rookie quarterback was thrown into action once this season and he didn’t fare so well against the Atlanta Falcons. If the Jaguars can get pressure, they should actually keep this game close for a little while.
Are the Jaguars going to show up and put up a decent fight on Sunday? Check out my Friday Fact or Fiction column tomorrow to find out.