Jet Up: 2 Keys to Victory In Week 4 For Jets-Jaguars Matchup 2
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 24: Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second half of an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on September 24, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins 20-6. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The New York Jets can build off of their unexpected victory last week with these simple steps. Time to keep the winning streak going!

Well, we now know that the New York Jets are not going to be 0-16…which was a ridiculous claim in the first place. The Jets dominated the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, winning 20-6 to go 1-2 on the season.

It easily could have been a shutout but the Jets gave up a touchdown on the final play of the game. But hey! You can’t complain! The Jets showed they are a lot better than people give them credit for.

Some Jets fans might be upset that they won. They want the Jets to tank so they can get the number one pick and take a quarterback in next year’s draft. I say enjoy the victory, be real fans all the time, not only when the Jets have developed a quarterback.

The Jets are looking to continue to disappoint…except this time they are doing so by refusing to tank and picking up another victory this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars are coming off an impressive victory in London, providing a royal beatdown to the Baltimore Ravens by a dominant score of 44-7.

Jacksonville is off to a solid start with a 2-1 record, so let’s take a look at the various keys to victory for the New York Jets.


Jets Defense Must Create Turnovers

Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles has been a gunslinger since joining the league in 2014. Gunslingers can throw for a lot of yards and touchdowns but interceptions also ultimately tally up. That’s the case with Bortles, who has thrown 53 interceptions in just 49 career games.

According to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has changed Bortles’ role this season from gunslinger to game manager. From 2014-16, Bortles averaged 37.1 passes a game.

With the Jaguars having the one-two punch of rookie running back Leonard Fournette and former Jet Chris Ivory, they are looking to take the ball out of Bortles’ hands as much as possible.

In their Week 1 victory against the Houston Texans, Jacksonville had success on the ground with Fournette rushing for 100 yards and Ivory for another 42 yards. Having this success allowed the Jaguars to limit Bortles’ shots downfield. He threw only 21 times for a touchdown and zero interceptions.

The next week, due to falling behind, Bortles had to throw the ball 34 times. He threw two interceptions and, ultimately, the Jaguars lost. Last week against the Ravens, he did throw 31 times but didn’t surrender any interceptions and tossed four touchdown passes.

So what is the point that I’m making? Well, when Bortles is forced to throw a lot, he makes mistakes. When he’s throwing interceptions, the Jaguars are very beatable, which is why the Jets defense must create turnovers.

The Jets defense has to stop the run and make Bortles throw the ball. The more he throws, the better the opportunity there will be to come away with an interception.

The Jets’ secondary thus far has come away with three interceptions this season. If they can come up with a few more on Sunday, their chances of leaving their own stadium with a victory will increase tenfold.

Offensively, Take Care Of The Ball And Build Off Of Last Week’s Performance

Taking care of the ball is critical as the Jaguars’ defense has forced eight turnovers this season. They proved last week that when their defense creates turnovers, their offense capitalizes on the opportunity.

The Jaguars’ defense forced three turnovers last week alone. All three of those turnovers were converted into touchdowns by the high-powered Jags’ offense.

Last week the Jets did have some ball-security issues. They fumbled three times but were fortunate enough to only lose one. So “do not lose the football” is what head coach Bowles needs to tell his players.

The Jets offense also has to build off their performance that they had last week. They were able to total 100 yards on the ground. Josh McCown was very efficient with the football, completing 18-of-23 passes for a total of 249 yards.

Gang Green also showed more aggressive playcalling as well, taking more deep-ball opportunities as the situation permitted. McCown connected with Robby Anderson on a 69-yard touchdown pass.

McCown has a challenge this week against the Jaguars defense. According to ESPN’s Power Rankings, McCown’s total QBR over the last two weeks is 68. That is the fourth-best in the league. However, the Jaguars defense possesses the second-best opposing QBR this season.

The Jaguars kept Joe Flacco in check last week, so it will be interesting to see how McCown can do against that same defense. The Jets running game will have to continue to produce to open up the passing game.

With Matt Forte expected to be out this Sunday, the Jets will need Bilal Powell to step up. Powell made a few plays last week but has yet to explode. When he gets going, the offense will really start to take off so let’s just hope that happens this week.

Putting up points and perhaps expanding a lead is an absolute must in this one.

Prediction: The Jets win a close game, 24-23. 

Originally from Long Island, Matt grew up as a die heart Yankees, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers fan. Matt moved to South Carolina when he was 13, but this did not stop him from watching his favorite teams. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina Upstate. Other than a contributor for Elite Sports NY, Matt was a former writer for Skyscrapersports and currently is a writer and co-host for The Assist Podcast. He is also a sports reporter for Greer Today.