NFL 2017 Week 4: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets preview and prediction

The 2-1 Jaguars travel to face the Jets, who are coming off their first win of the season.


The Jaguars used a dominant defensive effort to crush the Ravens 44-7, moving to 2-1 in the process. Jacksonville was most effective in limiting the Ravens passing attack, as they battered Joe Flacco from the game and allowed just 52 yards through the air. Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye each had interceptions from their cornerback spots. On the offensive end, Blake Bortles shook free from his early season slump with four touchdown passes, three of which went to tight end Marcedes Lewis.

The Jets were expected to be cannon fodder for the Dolphins. Instead, they rose to the occasion in a 20-6 victory, their first win of the season against two losses. Josh McCown played his best game of the season to date at quarterback, completing 18 of 23 passes in an efficient effort. He threw for a 69-yard touchdown bomb to Robby Anderson, while Bilal Powell added a touchdown run. The defense was outstanding all game, holding the Jay Ajayi-led rushing attack to just 30 yards. Terrence Brooks added two interceptions.

Defensive roar

In two of the three games they’ve played so far this season, the Jaguars have pummeled opponents with a relentless defensive effort. They destroyed the passing attack of Cincinnati in Week 1 and then did the same to Baltimore in Week 3. Ideally the Jets will strike offensive balance with Josh McCown’s short passing and Bilal Powell adding enough of a ground game to keep the Jags pass rush from teeing off, creating turnovers and short fields galore.

Keeping after it with Fournette

One thing that the Jaguars have proven throughout the first three weeks is that they are going to stick with rookie running back Leonard Fournette until the wheels come off. He has carried the ball 57 times through three games. Even though he hasn’t been that efficient at just 3.5 yards per carry, he has softened up defenses and kept the pressure from Blake Bortles from having to do it all. And it allows the jacked-up defense to do their thing.

Powell on the spot

Many people thought that this was the year that Powell would break out for a big season. But the presence of Matt Forte and Powell’s own inefficiency with the ball (less than three yards a touch through three games) have combined to cast a lot of doubt on those predictions. Forte is dealing with a toe injury and is likely going to sit this one out, so Powell has no excuses, especially against a defense allowing nearly five yards per carry to opposing runners.

Matchup to Watch: Jaguars WR Marqise Lee vs. Jets DB Morris Claiborne

Two former college stars meet up in the pro game that has bedeviled them at times throughout their careers. Lee finally found a niche last season as a big-play third receiver, and now the injury to Allen Robinson has put him in the spotlight as Bortles top threat. Claiborne is getting a new lease on life away from the Dallas pressure-cooker with the rebuilding Jets, and he’s coming off a fine performance against Miami.

Fantasy Football Tip: Jets TE Austin Safarian-Jenkins

Despite being rusty and likely a bit out of shape, the former Tampa Bay prospect put together a nice effort last week after being suspended the first two weeks. He was immediately involved in the short passing game with five receptions. This is a guy who many thought had breakout potential; it’s now or never for him to start showing it.

Betting Tip: Jets (+3.5)

The Jaguars are giving 3 1/2 points on the road. It’s hard to imagine the Jets rising up for two straight upsets in a row, but Bortles is so inconsistent it’s possible. Take the points.

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 10-9 New York Jets

This one won’t be pretty offensively. The Jags might squeak out an ugly win.

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Jim Beviglia

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Jim is a freelance writer concentrating on music and sports. He is the author of four books and writes for several online and print publications. He lives in Old Forge, Pennsylvania with his wife Marie and his daughter Daniele.

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