Week 2 at Jacksonville--Jalen meet Gronk. Gronk meet Jalen

RedOctober3829

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"When I mention that the Patriots still have All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, he makes a face. "I don't think Gronk's good." Registering my involuntary blinking, he course-corrects. "Let me say -- I don't think Gronk is as great as people think he is."
--Jalen Ramsey to ESPN's Mina Kimes

Ok, Jalen. Your mouth wrote a ten-figure check. Let's see if your body can cash it on Sunday. Calling out the best tight end to ever play the game is never a smart thing.

Onto more important matters. The Patriots did what I thought they would on offense against Houston. McD schemed the shit out of Houston and found ways to get the offense in favorable matchups all over the field. Let's see the adjustments he makes now that the Jags saw what they were doing on film. They certainly missed Edelman on 3rd down opportunities however. The offensive line was tremendous as I thought it was going to be but the Jags front is going to be the best they face all year. I think it's better than Houston's because of the combination of the size and speed of their inside guys combined with the pure speed and pass rush abilities of their ends. Their LB's are extremely quick and have the speed and athleticism to stay with the backs. This is a game where they have to rely on Brady to make the tough throws into tight windows more than ever. Not having a big back to run into this front is going to hurt. I'm not sure Burkhead is going to have that much success in that regard.

Defensively, if Fournette is hobbled they still have TJ Yeldon who is good so the threat of their running game is there no matter if Fournette is healthy or not. Their receivers aren't that good with Lee out so I can see them playing more of a full-field cover 3 rather than the double-team of 1 WR and zone everywhere else. They added Austin Seferian-Jenkins so that's an upgrade over Lewis, but I feel confident that Chung can do a good job on him. They really didn't do anything crazy to get to the QB against Houston because Houston's OL stunk and they got there with 4 rushers. That may not be the case this week as Jacksonville's OL is much better.

I love this early season test on the road. Jacksonville will be playing like this is their Super Bowl. Win.
 

Ale Xander

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What's the weather prognosis? Also, what's the lowdown on Fournette's health?

Hand-in-hand
 

RedOctober3829

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What's the weather prognosis? Also, what's the lowdown on Fournette's health?

Hand-in-hand
40% chance of thunderstorms with a high of 93 degrees. It looks like Florence will drop rain in the Jacksonville area during the weekend, but not sure that it will affect the game on Sunday. This is a game where depth will come into play. Cannon and Waddle will probably share snaps.

Fournette is out of practice today but I bet on him playing.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think it's going to be very tough sledding against this defense without Edelman. Don't think the offense scores more than 21-24 or so. Gronk will obviously be the focal point so Hogan/Dorsett will have to make plays. We'll see who Ramsey guards but you know he's going to want to take Gronk (with safety help, of course). James White might have 15 catches for 20 yards in this one.
 

Ale Xander

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Generally, I'd rather defend Yeldon on wet ground, and Fournette on dry ground.
 

RGREELEY33

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I have to agree with DrewDawg (shit, I hate saying that), that Yeldon is trash and a massive downgrade from Fournette.

I think the Pats have the potential to struggle against their smaller/quickish WRs, and that Belichick will try to limit the impact of Bortles running with the football.

This game comes down to whether or not the Pats can score or not — they’ll need 28+ to win IMO, and I think that may be challenging. This JAX defense is good — and they are going to be pissed about the AFCCG, at home, and without Edelman 3rd down conversions will be tough.

With that said, find a way. WIN.
 

RedOctober3829

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I have to agree with DrewDawg (shit, I hate saying that), that Yeldon is trash and a massive downgrade from Fournette.

I think the Pats have the potential to struggle against their smaller/quickish WRs, and that Belichick will try to limit the impact of Bortles running with the football.

This game comes down to whether or not the Pats can score or not — they’ll need 28+ to win IMO, and I think that may be challenging. This JAX defense is good — and they are going to be pissed about the AFCCG, at home, and without Edelman 3rd down conversions will be tough.

With that said, find a way. WIN.
The issue with Yeldon has been health. 2 of his 3 years he's played 10 and 12 games. He also is useful as a pass catcher as well having 36 catches in 12 games his rookie year, 50 catches in 15 games in 2016, and 30 catches in 10 games last year.
 

tims4wins

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I have to agree with DrewDawg (shit, I hate saying that), that Yeldon is trash and a massive downgrade from Fournette.

I think the Pats have the potential to struggle against their smaller/quickish WRs, and that Belichick will try to limit the impact of Bortles running with the football.

This game comes down to whether or not the Pats can score or not — they’ll need 28+ to win IMO, and I think that may be challenging. This JAX defense is good — and they are going to be pissed about the AFCCG, at home, and without Edelman 3rd down conversions will be tough.

With that said, find a way. WIN.
Wait what? They will need 28 to win? I think the winner scores like 20-23.
 

maufman

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The issue with Yeldon has been health. 2 of his 3 years he's played 10 and 12 games. He also is useful as a pass catcher as well having 36 catches in 12 games his rookie year, 50 catches in 15 games in 2016, and 30 catches in 10 games last year.
Yeldon is a poor man’s Dion Lewis — more than a third-down back, but not the guy you want to be handing the ball to when the defense knows you’re going to run. Fournette is that guy. The Jags’ offense isn’t the same if Fournette isn’t 100%.
 

RedOctober3829

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Yeldon is a poor man’s Dion Lewis — more than a third-down back, but not the guy you want to be handing the ball to when the defense knows you’re going to run. Fournette is that guy. The Jags’ offense isn’t the same if Fournette isn’t 100%.
Agreed. Not the same as a healthy Fournette but that can be said about any team. Yeldon is good enough to have a defense respect the running game, but not good enough to be a #1 guy.
 

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Fuck... this is an LA week for me and we're getting Oakland/Denver. I get the division rival thing, but is that REALLY a more popular choice for SoCal viewers that the AFC Championship rematch?

Edit: Put another way, in the New England market would you rather get an Eagles/Vikings game, or Jets/Steelers?
 

Kliq

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Watching this Jacksonville team; I have noticed a consistent theme. They usually come out on offense pretty strong, running the ball well and giving Bortles short, PA throws that he can't screw up. This was the case on Sunday against the Giants, during the first half they were able to move the ball pretty good even after Fournette went down. In the second half though, they seem to run out of creativity and Bortles isn't capable of beating teams on his own. Usually they get a big play from their defense (like Myles Jack's pick six last week) that can propel them to victory, but they don't always seem prepared on offense for a 60 minute game.

So don't be discouraged if they get out to an early lead because it's been very hard for them to sustain offensive success throughout the game. If the Pats take care of the ball, Brady and Co. should be able to scrape together 20+ points and that will be enough to beat Jacksonville.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Just another reason to feel bad for Jeremy Hill. Such shit luck -- he was have a great game. Blocked a punt, two runs for 18 yards... then blew out his knee on friendly fire from Develin. Even worse because without Burkhead and Michel, he'd have been top dog this week.
 

mikeot

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Watching this Jacksonville team; I have noticed a consistent theme. They usually come out on offense pretty strong, running the ball well and giving Bortles short, PA throws that he can't screw up. This was the case on Sunday against the Giants, during the first half they were able to move the ball pretty good even after Fournette went down. In the second half though, they seem to run out of creativity and Bortles isn't capable of beating teams on his own. Usually they get a big play from their defense (like Myles Jack's pick six last week) that can propel them to victory, but they don't always seem prepared on offense for a 60 minute game.

So don't be discouraged if they get out to an early lead because it's been very hard for them to sustain offensive success throughout the game. If the Pats take care of the ball, Brady and Co. should be able to scrape together 20+ points and that will be enough to beat Jacksonville.
I find some solace in this take on Jax not playing a full 60. One hell of an early season test for a slightly depleted Pats offense (no Jules, BurkH).
 

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I have to agree with DrewDawg (shit, I hate saying that), that Yeldon is trash and a massive downgrade from Fournette.

I think the Pats have the potential to struggle against their smaller/quickish WRs, and that Belichick will try to limit the impact of Bortles running with the football.

This game comes down to whether or not the Pats can score or not — they’ll need 28+ to win IMO, and I think that may be challenging. This JAX defense is good — and they are going to be pissed about the AFCCG, at home, and without Edelman 3rd down conversions will be tough.
This is a Jacksonville team that scored 13 on offense last week against a Giants team that had one of the worst defenses in the league in 2017. They punted on every second-half drive until the end of the game. They are minus Marqise Lee, maybe Fournette, lost WRs in the offseason, and don't have much at TE. If they score 28 Sunday it will say bad things about the Pats defense.
 

koufax32

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Watching this Jacksonville team; I have noticed a consistent theme. They usually come out on offense pretty strong, running the ball well and giving Bortles short, PA throws that he can't screw up. This was the case on Sunday against the Giants, during the first half they were able to move the ball pretty good even after Fournette went down. In the second half though, they seem to run out of creativity and Bortles isn't capable of beating teams on his own. Usually they get a big play from their defense (like Myles Jack's pick six last week) that can propel them to victory, but they don't always seem prepared on offense for a 60 minute game.

So don't be discouraged if they get out to an early lead because it's been very hard for them to sustain offensive success throughout the game. If the Pats take care of the ball, Brady and Co. should be able to scrape together 20+ points and that will be enough to beat Jacksonville.
Don’t forget that the defense will probably be good for a couple free 15 yard personal fouls. Let’s just hope it’s not in the form of cheap shots that knock people out of the game.
 

RedOctober3829

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Fournette did not practice again today. I still expect him to play however.

Looked at the weather again. Now it calls for mostly sunny and high of 94 degrees. This is where all the hill sprints are going to come into play as we see how conditioned the Pats really are.
 

Al Zarilla

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I wonder if 94 is the highest temperature they've played in the BB era. Maybe a Miami game was close?
I looked up that top 10 game Oct. 19 2003 when Olindo Mare missed a 35 yard FG attempt off the dirt in OT and Tom hit Troy Brown with an 82 yarder for the win. Only 84, but it was October.
 

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Final injury report of the week
Questionable--Burkhead(concussion), Cannon(calf), Crossen(hamstring), Michel(knee).

Hollister is off the injury report. All players above were limited at practice.
I don't like having both early down RBs questionable but I don't mind the Jaguars not having any idea on who's going to play and receive the most touches.
 

koufax32

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It will probably be hotter than 94. 98 and no wind today 8 miles west of the stadium. More of the same over the weekend. I honestly hope they have those tailgating tents to provide some shade. Going to be absolutely brutal.

On a related note I was in a soccer league several years ago and our first match was nfl week 2. The turf was so hot our cleats were melting if we stood still longer than 5 seconds. September in Jacksonville is brutal.
 

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I can second the brutal part of the current JAX weather.

The late start will still be hot, but a huge improvement over a 1 o’clock game.

Anyone going to the game be sure to mix plenty of non-alcoholic hydration into your tailgate. The EMT’s are going to be busy.
 

soxhop411

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Sony Michel just tweeted

game day tommrow with the eyes emoji... So it looks like he will be active tomorrow
 

Soxy Brown

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If Fournette is out, how are the Jags moving the ball, exactly? Anyone fretting about the state of the Pats WR corp should take a look at the Jags' WR depth chart.

If they don't get some short fields and a defensive/special teams TD (which is certainly a possibility with this defense), I don't think the Jags can score enough points to beat the Pats. This is a bad offense.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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I don't know why, but I'm just not at all nervous for this game. I think turnovers are the only way the Patriots lose because Jacksonville is just not gonna be able to move the ball to score.

Looking forward to seeing the O and D Lines performance this week because both we excellent last week.
 

koufax32

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You should be. Between Cory Grant and Bortles they can still get a couple 30 yard plays. The WR’s are great on deep balls. They may not need to methodically move the ball.
Anytime NE plays at sub-optimal health in a hostile environment where the first team to 20 wins, it should make you uncomfortable.

Heart: NE 24-17
Head: JAX 17-13