The Jacksonville Jaguars square off against the New England Patriots Sunday in Foxborough for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. They’ll need some big plays to pull off the upset.
For the seventh straight season the New England Patriots led by Tom Brady enter the AFC Championship game with Super Bowl aspirations. This time in their way is the young and hungry Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars enter the contest at nine point underdogs. After upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers in a surprise shootout, the Jaguars will try to take some of that momentum into this weekend’s game.
New England had no trouble handling their Divisional round opponent at home, the Tennessee Titans. This Jacksonville team is a different animal compared to their fellow AFC South team.
There are five elements in how the Jaguars can pull off this monumental upset this weekend. The first and probably biggest is at the quarterback position.
5. The Good Bortles
The Jaguars finished the season with a record of 10-6. Most of that success was credited to the defense and run game. However late in the season a new version of quarterback Blake Bortles emerged. This is the good place for Jaguars fans!
In four of the last five games Bortles put on a display that we have never seen from the four year pro. He was attacking defenses and pushing the ball down the field. The most surprising part was he was doing all this with possibly the worst supporting cast he’s had in his career.
For all the hate that Bortles receives, he actually had ten games with a quarterback rating above 80. That is better than guys like Cam Newtwon and Marcus Mariota. He finished the year throwing a career-low 13 interceptions. Statistically Bortles had a year on par with Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott.
Jacksonville will need that Bortles to show up Sunday to beat New England.