There are four games on tap for the late Sunday afternoon portion of the NFL Week 4 schedule. While all four are intriguing in their own way, our interest has been piqued by a meeting in the Mile High city of a pair of AFC squads.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will be in Denver to take on the Broncos. The Jaguars enter this game off of their best performance of the season in a win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. The Broncos are still searching for their first victory of the season.
Questions are dramatically mounting up in Denver as a result, so we’ll see if they can provide any answers on Sunday. Let’s take a closer look at this intriguing matchup.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Denver Broncos, 4:25 PM EST, Sun. Sept.29, CBS
Betting odds provided by: Sportsbetting.ag
Jacksonville vs. Denver Pick:
The Jaguars were home playing host to the Titans last Thursday night. They walked on the field as 2-point underdogs, but exited with a 20-7 victory. Gardner Minshew led the way on offense while throwing for two scores. The Jacksonville defense put forth a dominant effort, racking up nine sacks. Calais Campbell was responsible for three of them and one of the team’s biggest factors.
The Broncos traveled to Green Bay on Sunday as big 7-point underdogs to the Packers. They managed to keep it close until late in the second quarter, but the hosts took control from there and went on to a 27-16 win. The team couldn’t get much going in the passing game, but Philip Lindsay found some success on the ground with two scores. The defense failed to record a sack for the third game in a row.
Jacksonville was home to open the season versus the Kansas City Chiefs. They fell behind 17-7 in the first quarter and looked out of sorts all day, losing 40-26. Nick Foles went down to injury in an overall poor day for the team. The club went to Houston the following week and looked much better, dropping a 13-12 decision. The defense was not good versus the Chiefs, but the unit stepped it up in Week 2.
Denver opened up the year with a Monday Night Football road date with the Oakland Raiders. They fell behind 14-0 at the half and looked outmatched all night, ultimately falling by a score of 24-16. The team was home in Week 2 to play host to the Chicago Bears. They looked a bit better in a defensive-minded affair, but they still couldn’t get the job done in a 16-14 defeat.
Minshew was thrust into the starting role after Foles went down to injury. The rookie has responded by looking poised and confident while doing a solid job. He has completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 692 yards, five scores, and a pick. Leonard Fournette is off to a pretty quiet start with 43 carries for 179 yards. He has also hauled in 14 passes for 94 yards, but he has yet to find the end zone.
DJ Chark Jr. leads the way for the wideouts, hauling in 15 of 18 targets for 277 yards and three scores. The defense was porous against the Chiefs, but they have played up to their capabilities since then. This Jaguars team is loaded on that side of the ball and showed what it’s capable of in the win over the Titans. There’s lingering drama with Jalen Ramsey to tend to, but the unit should continue to excel.
The Broncos have yet to achieve liftoff in 2019, and the defense isn’t quite performing to the level its capable of. New head coach Vic Fangio did a stellar job as defensive coordinator for the Bears last season, but Denver has yet to register a single sack this season. The unit was expected to be a strength of the team, so we’ll see if it gets further as time moves along.
Joe Flacco is off to a slow start in his new environment. He has thrown for 773 yards with two scores and two picks. There are leaks to fix on the line, as he has been sacked 11 times already. Lindsay had a solid day versus the Packers, but the backfield as a whole is only averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders lead the pass catchers, accounting for 44 of the team’s 76 receptions.
These two teams have met 12 times overall and split with each side winning six of them. The last time they hooked up was back in 2016 when the Broncos picked up a 20-10 road win. So far this season, Denver is 1-2 both against the spread and on totals. Jacksonville is 2-1 ATS and 1-2 on the Over/Under.
Last season, the Broncos were 6-10 overall, 6-9-1 ATS, and 3-12-1 on totals. The Jaguars were 5-11 straight-up, 5-9-2 ATS, and 6-10 on totals. Since 2016, Jacksonville is 5-14 as a road underdog and 11-7-1 ATS. Denver is 8-7 as a home favorite over that span and 5-8-2 ATS.
Jacksonville was out of sorts in a Week 1 home thrashing to the Chiefs, but the team got it together the following week and played better in a close road loss to the Texans. The Jaguars built off of that and looked great in a home win over the Titans last Thursday.
Denver opened up the year with a flat performance in Oakland. They performed better in a close home loss to the Bears the following week, but they were clearly outmatched in last week’s road loss to the Packers.
The team seems to still be searching for an identity. It looks like the Jaguars are starting to find theirs. They’re road dogs for this one, but we like them to get the outright win to push the record to 2-2 on the year.