Jaguars vs. Giants preview
By CHARLIE BERNSTEIN
Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4) vs. New York Giants (6-4)
Sunday, November 28th, 1:00 p.m.
Kickoff Temperature: 47 degrees, sunny
Line: Giants by seven; Over/under: 44.5
Series history: Tied at two. Jaguars won the last meeting in 2006, 26-10.
The Jaguars will try and achieve their first four-game winning streak in three years as they take on a Giants team which has dropped two games in a row.
Keys to a Jaguars victory:
1. Run the football. The Jaguars will be without starting left tackle Eugene Monroe against one of the best pass rushing teams in the NFL. Instead of the Jaguars testing their weakness against the Giants strength, their best bet is to keep the ball on the ground.
2. Win the turnover battle. The Jaguars gave the ball away six times in their victory over Cleveland Sunday, and the Giants have coughed it up eight times over the past two weeks. The Jaguars must win the turnover battle to have a chance in the game.
3. Pressure Eli. Eli, like most Manning's, is a very different quarterback when pressured. He will be without Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith, and it's likely that the New York wide receivers will need an extra second or so to get open, thus leaving an opportunity for the Jags to get to Manning.
4. Make a play on special teams. The Jaguars will likely have trouble moving the football against the Giants defense on a long field. If Jacksonville can get some big returns or block a kick, they will have a leg up on a pretty mediocre Giants special teams unit.
5. Stuff the middle. The Giants will be starting Brandon Jacobs at running back due to Ahmed Bradshaw's fumbling problem. Jacobs is a big, lumbering back who will try and expose the middle of the Jaguars defense. The Jacksonville defense is ranked 31st in the NFL in runs up the middle as they've allowed 4.9 yards per carry.
1. Mario Manningham has a big day. The Jaguars secondary has had major problems in coverage this season and Manningham will be the Giants pseudo-number-one wide receiver this Sunday. Look for him to play well.
2. MJD left, MJD right, MJD up the middle. With Eugene Monroe out, the Jaguars will likely go with a very conservative game plan which involves a healthy dose of Maurice Jones-Drew.
3. Five or more combined sacks. Both of these teams can get to the quarterback, and with the Jaguars offensive line without a pair of starting tackles they are likely to struggle blocking a very good Giants defensive line.
4. David Garrard struggles. Garrard has played well against the bad teams this season and not so well against the good ones. The Jaguars quarterback will have a tough time against a pretty good Jags defense.
5. The Jaguars winning streak comes to an end. New York has played poorly two weeks in a row and it's likely that trend will not continue. A completely healthy Jaguars team could compete with New York, but without Monroe the Jaguars chances of winning are very slim.
For more information on the Jacksonville Jaguars, check out JagNation.com!