The Denver Broncos badly need a win Sunday to remain in the hunt for an AFC playoff spot. After their loss to the Chiefs last weekend, Denver dropped to seventh in the conference.
The bad news for the Broncos is they’re probably going to have to rely on a quarterback who’s played all of six regular-season quarters in the NFL to do it; rookie first-rounder Paxton Lynch will be the starter if Trevor Siemian, who’s dealing with a sprained foot, can’t play.
The good news for the Broncos is that they get to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars, who are 2-9 this season, aren’t very good. They haven’t been good in a long, long time. For any team that really needs a win, they are football catnip.
They’ve gone 14-45 in the last four seasons under coach Gus Bradley. The brave football bloggers at Big Cat Country helped folks visualize that record after Jacksonville’s loss to the Bills on Sunday.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has been abysmal this season. He’s 31st in yards per attempt (6.23) and 28th in completion percentage (59.6) among qualifying QBs. He’s also tied for the most interceptions (13) in the NFL. The Broncos’ defense could have a field day against him.
The Broncos are fortunate to run into Jacksonville at this juncture of the season. Their starting QB, who’s coming off the best game of his career, probably won’t be able to go. Their schedule after the Jacksonville game — at Tennessee, vs. New England, at Kansas City, vs. Oakland — is brutal.
Denver needs to take care of business against a bad team if it wants to keep that string of playoff appearances alive.
The Von Miller oversized glasses matchup to keep an eye on
Jaguars defensive end Malik Jackson vs. his old team.
In March, Jackson followed the time-honored tradition of professional athletes who’ve just won a championship leaving their old team to get P-A-I-D by a new one. Jackson signed with the Jaguars for $42 million in guaranteed money.
He was a key cog on Denver’s Super Bowl team as a pass rusher and run stopper. So far, Jackson’s enjoying a nice season with the Jaguars. He’s recorded 4 1/2 sacks, 11 QB hurries and 7 tackles for loss.
He had two sacks against the Bills last weekend, which his friend and former teammate Von Miller apparently took notice of.
“Von [Miller] hit me up after I had the two sacks in the game and said my dance was ugly,” Jackson said, according to ESPN.
Good to hear they’re still keeping in touch!
Jackson could be dangerous against a Broncos’ offensive line that’s struggled to keep its quarterbacks upright this season.
How to watch the game
When: 11 a.m. Sunday
Where: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
Denver -3 1/2
Broncos 20, Jaguars 10
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