Jaguars vs Jets: Top 5 players to watch


Oct 25, 2015; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns (88) catches a 31-yard touchdown pass with 2:16 to play for the winning points in a 34-31 victory against the Buffalo Bills during NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 9 of the NFL, the Jaguars vs Jets game will pit two teams trying to rebound their season in the right direction.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a bye following their London victory over the Buffalo Bills, while the NY Jets are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Oakland Raiders. For the Jaguars at 2-5, shockingly enough, division title hopes aren’t out of the question.

For the Jets, they’re fighting for a wildcard spot right now with the New England Patriots on cruise control during their revenge tour. This is an important game for both franchises and there are a few key players who will decide this match-up.

Here are the top 5 players to watch in this Week 9 match-up between two hungry teams looking for a much-needed victory.

Next: 5. This Jaguar is ready to pounce

Oct 18, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson (15) catches a touchdown over Houston Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye (34) in the second quarter at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

5. Allen Robinson

I probably could have picked one out of the hat in terms of the Jaguars’ receiving corps since they’re all playing so well and it’s a huge reason Blake Bortles has seemingly taken the next step in his development.

Allen Robinson has all the tools in the box to be a great receiver in the NFL and so far this season he has snatched 34 receptions for nearly 600 yards and 6 scores which is tied for 2nd best in the entire NFL.

Week 9 #fantasyfootball busts: Revis Island should suppress this breakout WR

— FantasyScore (@Fantasy_Score) November 3, 2015

Unfortunately, being the #1 receiver on an offense gives you certain priorities when you travel, most players get first class and arrive early but some special players get to stop at a vacation resort, but this week it just happens to be Revis Island. Darrelle Revis held Amari Cooper to his worst stats of the season this past Sunday and he’s going to do the same to Robinson. With that being said, if Revis follows around Robinson that should open the door for whoever is playing the second fiddle this week between Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas. Because last week Michael Crabtree torched Antonio Cromartie, definitely pay close attention to the Jaguars receiving corps against the Jets’ defensive secondary this Sunday.

Next: 4. This Jet needs to return to form

November 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) tackles New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) during the first quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

4. Chris Ivory

I was at the grocery store yesterday and noticed a familiar face on the milk carton, I couldn’t put my finger on it for awhile till I realized that was Chris Ivory! I thought I heard somewhere that he played for the Jets, but he’s been missing for 2 weeks so I figured he had to have gone missing or something. 

Through the first 4 games that Ivory had played in (he didn’t get a snap in the Philadelphia game) he totaled over 460 yards with a league leading 5+ yards a clip and 4 touchdowns. Then he tweaked his hamstring on the first play of the Patriots game and he was nonexistent in the Oakland game.  

Over the last 2 weeks, Ivory has 58 yards rushing…58! This was a major reason why the Jets are on a 2 game losing streak and how their balanced offense from the first few games of the season has looked one dimensional and overall ineffective especially last week after the injuries.  

For the Jets to get back to their winning ways, they have to pound the rock with Ivory and get their new toy Stevan Ridley involved. The Jaguars are pretty middle of the pack in terms of stopping the run game this year allowing opponents to average over 100 yards a game.   So this isn’t the Raiders who have the 2nd best rush defense in the league. So there will be openings to be had, we’ll just have to see if the Jets can exploit them on Sunday.

Next: 3. This Jaguar continues to improve

Oct 25, 2015; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during the second half of the game Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

3. Blake Bortles

Blake ‘freaking’ Bortles everybody! He has completely flipped the script this season, at this time last year this was Bortles stats: barely over 2,000 yards passing with a 8 touchdown to 15 interception ratio. This season? Bortles has 15 touchdowns to 8 interceptions, pretty eerie, huh? The only problem this season is that the win total isn’t what it should be with amazing stats like these, the reason? Bortles interceptions have been the at the most ill-advised times that have really cost his team. Besides getting destroyed by the Patriots, nearly every game has come down to the nitty-gritty for this team, they’re right on the cusp of something here.

I stand by my statement that Blake Bortles is the best QB in the AFC South this year. #Jaguars — Charlie Bernstein (@nflcharlie) November 3, 2015

If I would have asked this question before the season how many people would have laughed at me? Not so funny now is it? Andrew Luck has just looked plain awful and you can’t make excuses for this guy anymore. Marcus Mariota has been out of the lineup with injuries and what quarterback is in Houston? Yeah…no thanks.

Can Bortles do what Carr did last Sunday? Probably not, Carr sliced up the Jets with the quick passing game and never really took that many shots. I think the Jaguars are going to try and hit some deep passes which will expose Bortles to the Jets pass rush.

Next: 2. This Jaguar continues to make a name for himself

Oct 11, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA;Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) runs in the third quarter against Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

2. T.J. Yeldon

Though the Jaguars are 28th in rushing according to ESPN Stats & Information that doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Yeldon has exploded onto the scene for the Jaguars. He’s galloped for over 400 yards and has shown impressive burst being the bell-cow for this Jaguars’ squad.

The key last week for the Raiders was getting Latavius Murray going on the ground against the Jets’ stout league leading rush defense and he was able to find enough gaps and break enough tackles to get over the 100 yard barrier.

#NFL – T.J. Yeldon emerges as three-down back for Jags – Entering this season, the expectation was it would tak… — Fantasy Sports Daily (@fsportsdailycom) November 5, 2015

Yeldon has emerged as a 3-down back in this offense and the Jaguars have a nice young core of offensive talent with Bortles, Hurns, Robinson, Yeldon, Marquise Lee (when healthy) and newly brought in Julius Thomas. I mean, this offense is going to be one to watch over the next several years. I said it last week, I’ll say it again, the Jets have to stop Yeldon and force the Jaguars to be one-dimensional or they could be looking at a .500 record and another upset on their hands.

Next: 1. The beard continues to throw

November 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74, right) talks to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) on the sideline during the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick

There was a lot of talk this week that the Jets might have to turn to their rookie Bryce Petty this week against the Jaguars, fortunately that wasn’t the case as news broke that despite the thumb injury, Fitzpatrick would start this week for the Jets.

Injured quarterback RyanFitzpatrick will start for Jets despite torn thumb ligament. — Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 5, 2015

From hearing head coach Todd Bowles conference call Monday, I didn’t feel very confident about the potentiality of Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith suiting up for the game, but apparently after an impressive week of practice, the Jets felt more confident about it. But still it begs the question, will Fitzpatrick be able to do the small things? With the special glove the Jets referred to that he’ll be sporting, will it affect his ability to hand the ball off? Will it affect his passes?

Next: Defensive line of Jets is no New York Sack Exchange

A lot of big time questions that’ll be answered on Sunday, but he’s the key to the season for the Jets. Smith didn’t play bad last week getting thrown in there, but Fitzpatrick is the stabilizing force on this offense. Having him out there for the Jets is huge as he has shown nice mobility this season and has shown zip on his passes.

For the Jets the key is simple, get the running game going and that’ll open up the airways for everything else. This game will be overshadowed by the other big games around the league, but this will be the match-up I’ll be watching as it should be a great game.