The New England Patriots will face a formidable opponent Sunday when they travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars, but Tedy Bruschi is confident Bill Belichick and Co. will take care of business.
In fact, Bruschi believes the Patriots will “have their way” with the Jaguars, even though Jacksonville boasts one of the NFL’s most daunting defenses.
“I know the (Rob) Gronkowski thing is huge offensively,” Bruschi said Wednesday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” as transcribed by WEEI.com. “But I mean I just still think, like you said, they put those corners on those wide receivers outside and then they put everybody else on Gronkowski and then (Tom) Brady’s going to hit those backs like you said.
“So, the Jacksonville Jaguars have a solid team — don’t get me wrong — but I think the Patriots are going to have their way with them.”
Bruschi also pointed to the potential absence of running back Leonard Fournette, who suffered a hamstring injury in Jacksonville’s Week 1 win over the New York Giants, and the need to prevent Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles from rushing for first downs.
The Patriots’ offense vs. the Jaguars’ defense remains the most intriguing matchup, though, and Bruschi can envision a scenario in which Jacksonville’s defenders become frustrated if things don’t go their way.
“It’s easy to get caught up in that when you’re on a defense like this that has volatile personalities,” Bruschi said, per WEEI.com. “I see that a little bit in them, so watch the lack of self-control if this thing really gets out of hand in terms of penalties for the Jacksonville Jaguars, too, because what they really have to do is, I mean even when the Patriots have their success, that offense really for that Jaguars team, it’s going to have to pull its own weight.
“I mean the Jacksonville Jaguars are very aggressive just like last year in the championship game,” the former Patriots linebacker added. “I believe a couple of pass interference penalties, and all of a sudden they get on themselves with the ‘everyone’s out to get us — the officials, the Patriots.’ ”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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