The Jacksonville Jaguars were once upon a time a playoff caliber of a team every season when they had Mark Brunell and David Garrard as their quarterbacks but that was all because of the skill players around them (and one hell of a defense).
While Maurice Jones-Drew is still a top 5 back, Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith are no longer around to bail this team out.
Instead, first rounder Justin Blackmon and Mercedes Lewis need to perform like All-Pro’s if they expect to avoid a disastrous 2012 campaign.
I mention those two youngsters because this defense is horrendous. They rank 21st in points allowed (24.2), 20th in passing yards allowed (254.5) and 30th against the run (150.2).
We talk about how the NFL is a quarterback driven league and that sadly is why the Jags offense (and defense) is so putrid. Every month if not more often you will run into a All-Pro, future Hall of Famer under center that can light your team up for Christmas dinner.
Blaine Gabbert has ways to go before he becomes a relevant signal-caller in the pros, but he has received zero help in all facets of the game.
The special teams and kicking game has been mediocre, but the inability to come away with turnovers has been terrible.
The Chicago Bears have come away with 11 turnovers via the interception (leads NFL) whereas team such as Oakland and Detroit has both eaten a bagel through four games!
Jacksonville are 21st while intercepting two passes, which still is not great to brag home about.
Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman (Julius Peppers, Henry Melton have been world beaters so far) have been magnificent at defending the pass and they will have less pressure with Laurent Robinson (concussion) remaining out. Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts will be heavily relied upon (Lewis at tight end obviously too).
Jones-Drew is the biggest threat out of the backfield, and he needs to bust off a few long runs to help out a struggling Gabbert. Without MJD, who knows where these Jags would be (winless for sure).
Jacksonville may be one of the five worst teams in football, but they do have Chicago coming to their own backyard off a Monday night game where they beat America’s team.
Chicago is ranked in the top 8 in everybody’s power rankings and they could come into this one as a little bit rusty.
Are the Bears the best team in the NFC North and can they solidify themselves as a to-three team in the NFC if they keep on winning?
However, Jay Cutler can beat this team by his strong arm and Brandon Marshall alone (30% of storms, so doubt we see mainly MJD, Forte and Bush in this one).
Network: FOX (711)
Time: 4:05 p.m. Eastern
Experts Pick: Bears by 4.5
Danny V’s Pick: Bears 24, Jaguars 20