By Curt Macysyn
At least we know that one losing streak will be broken as the New York Football Giants (3-8) take on the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) in Florida. Both teams are mired in prolonged losing streaks with the G-man having lost six games in a row, while the Jaguars have dropped four in a row.
New York dropped another heartbreaker as their defense could not hold a lead and allowed Tony Romo to hit Dez Bryant with a13-yard touchdown pass with a minute left to propel the Dallas Cowboys over the Giants 31-28 in the New Jersey Meadowlands on Sunday night.
The Giants’ opponent this week, the Jacksonville Jaguars, dropped an AFC South contest to the division-leading Indianapolis Colts by a 23-3 count at Lucas Oli Stadium. The only thing that kept the contest close was three lost fumbles by the Colts, including two by quarterback Andrew Luck. In their four game losing streak, the Jags have been outscored 114 to 56, as their offense, in particular, has sputtered.
Alright, we made you look because you thought there might be a discussion of quarterback Blake Bortles’ model girlfriend. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, that factoid may be the only exciting thing about the team’s offense. Against the Colts, Jacksonville could only accumulate 11 first downs, and they averaged 3.6 yards per play.
Quarterback Blake Bortles took over as starter on Sept. 21st against the same Indianapolis Colts, and he has had an inconsistent rookie campaign. In nine games, Bortles has completed 191 passes in 305 attempts for a 62.9 completion percentage. He has only eight touchdown passes and 15 interceptions on the season, which represents severe growing pains for the rookie signal caller.
Bortles does not have many weapons at his disposal either, but they do have youth on their side. Running back Denard Robinson, the former Michigan Wolverines’ quarterback, leads the team in rushing with 114 carries for 508 yards and four touchdowns. Two rookie receivers lead the team in receiving, second round draft pick Allen Robinson has 48 catches for 548 yards and two touchdowns, while undrafted rookie Allen Hurns has 31 catches for 488 yards and five touchdown grabs. Robinson did miss the last game against the Colts with a foot injury.
Bortles can also move the pocket, a quality that gives the Giants difficulty, and he has 228 yards on the ground. Bortles has thrown an interception in nine straight games.
For team that has difficulty with its offensive line, the Jaguars do present a challenge for the struugling Giants’ pass protection. Former Seattle Seahawk, Chris Clemons has seven sacks on the season, which is more than he had all of last season with the world champions. Unknown edge rusher Ryan Davis has 5.5 sacks, and Sen’Derrick Marks has five sacks on the year.
The 33.0 sacks that Jacksonville have accumulated this season is good for 3rd in the NFL.
While the team can get pressure on the quarterback, the other defensive team stats are not very good, as the unit ranks 28th in the NFL giving up 257.7 yards through the air, and they surrender 130.7 on the ground per game. Inside linebacker Paul Posluszny ranks second on the team with 69 total tackles in nine games, but the former Penn State star grades out to a (-4.7) according to Pro Football Focus.
Further evidence that the defense has no teeth is the fact that they have only four interceptions on the year. Linebacker J.T. Thomas, III leads the squad with a mere two interceptions.
The Giants lead the all-time series with the Jacksonville Jaguars 3-2-0. The last time these two teams met was Nov. 28, 2010, a game that New York won by 24-20 score at Giants Stadium. New York Giants’ head coach has a 2-3 record in this series, as he has been head coach for both teams.
Coughlin coached the Jaguars for eight years to a 68-60 record before being let go after the 2002 season. He became Giants’ head coach in 2004 and has a 93-78 record for Big Blue.
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Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.