The Jacksonville Jaguars will travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Jets in a battle of downtrodden franchises. New franchise quarterbacks and new head coaches were not enough to turn these teams competitive. In fact, the loser of this week’s contest all but guarantees themselves a premier pass rusher in the 2022 NFL Draft. Jacksonville has just one player on the reserve/COVID list, and he is already out for the season. As for the injury report, several key names are listed to start the week. James Robinson and Josh Allen were both listed as limited on Wednesday. Laviska Shenault, Myles Jack, and Andrew Norwell were listed as DNP.
New York has 17 players currently on the reserve/COVID list, including Ashtyn Davis, Alijah Vera-Tucker, John Franklin-Myers, and Elijah Moore. Head coach Robert Saleh is also in health and safety protocols. They also have many key names on the injury report, with Jamison Crowder, Bryce Hall, C.J. Mosley, and Sheldon Rankins all listed as DNP on Wednesday. Players listed as limited include Quinnen Williams, George Fant, and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
Jacksonville has lost six games in a row and are spinning their wheels in Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season. The Urban Meyer hiring and firing makes all the headlines, but Lawrence’s failure to adjust to the NFL through 15 weeks of play should be the bigger storyline. He is too talented not to put it all together eventually, but one has to wonder if playing for a franchise like Jacksonville will prevent him from ever realizing his true potential. The Jaguars need to surround their franchise quarterback with the right pieces in terms of supporting cast on and off the field.
The New York Jets are another organization whose problems start at the top. The hiring of Robert Saleh was well received, but only time will tell if Zach Wilson was the right pick for a team that needed stability at the quarterback position instead of a potential laden true franchise-type who elevates those around him. Wilson, much like Lawrence, is going to need a much improved supporting cast and better decision-making to come close to realizing his potential.
This is one of those matchups that not even the oddsmakers know what to do with. New York is playing at home and would usually get the spread associated deference that comes with that. These two teams are seen so similarly, but having their reserve/COVID list number in the double digits changes things. New York has been more competitive this season, but Jacksonville is the healthier team and should emerge from this contest with the victory. However, if the Jets can get some key names back by Sunday, they will be the smarter play.
The total for this contest has held steady at 41.5. This season, the under is 11-3 in the Jaguars contests, while the over is 8-6 for the Jets. New York has hit the over in eight of their past 11 overall, and the under is 8-1 in the Jaguars’ past nine games overall. These two offenses have combined for just 31.9 points per game this season, pushing the lean slightly to the under. It is very close, however, so keep it to one unit for Week 16 at FanDuel.
All NFL game predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.
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