A big surprise this NFL season has been the play of the Jacksonville Jaguars. That hot start has turned into a solid campaign, and they now sit as the favourites in the AFC South, looking down a playoff spot come the new year. They’ve been led by a stellar defense, but Blake Bortles has been average enough to keep them winning football games. This week, the Jags will take their stellar 7-3 record on the road to do battle with the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Many people pegged these teams to likely be in different positions come Week 12 of the regular season, but the Cards are just a mess – especially at the quarterback position. It will be interesting to see if the Jags can avoid a letdown and keep things rolling against this less-than-inspiring opponent. Read on below for a full preview and game analysis for the Jags/Cards Week 12 showdown.
Jaguars vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
Jacksonville Jaguars -4.5 (-110)
@ Arizona Cardinals +4.5 (-110)
Over 38 (-115)
Under 38 (-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Jaguars vs. Cardinals Pick:
Jacksonville’s ferocious defense is going to eat Blaine Gabbert alive in this contest. Truthfully, even if it was still Carson Palmer at the helm – the Jags would have crushed him too. Their defense is in fine form, and I actually think their defense has a better shot of scoring than their offense this week. I expect the Jags’ pass rush to be relentless and get after their old friend Gabbert with regularity. This of course should force the QB into hurried situations and likely turnovers.
Making matters worse for Arizona is the fact that they do possess one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL right now and just won’t be able to block at all. They’re badly banged up, and all of the Jaguars’ defensive linemen have big advantages over their counterparts. They’ll get after Gabbert and also stifle the run game in the process. I think first downs will be a rarity for Arizona on Sunday.
On the other side of the football, Blake Bortles is still very mediocre – but he’s been not costing his team football games. This week, look for him to settle again for a lot of short checkdowns since Arizona will likely be able to apply some pressure. For Jacksonville to be successful, it will come down to the health and ability of running back Leonard Fournette. Arizona has allowed a couple of 100-yard rushers of late, and though they sit in the middle-of-the-pack for run defense – with Leo getting healthier by the day, it seems like it’s time for a breakout outing.
Jacksonville is winning games because of their high-powered defense and this week will be no different. I honestly can’t see Arizona getting into the double-digits. The Jags won’t do much either, but a defensive touchdown or some turnovers will give Jacksonville all they need to cover this spread. Arizona also knows they are pretty much done, while the Jags will be highly motivated to hold off the Titans in the AFC South. Believe in the Jags!
PICK = Jaguars -4.5 (-110)