NFL Game of the Week: Jaguars vs. Eagles
A massive revenge game is set to take place this Sunday as the Jaguars travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Doug Pederson is returning to Philadelphia for the first time since he was fired after the 2020 season.
After an underwhelming season last year with Urban Meyer at the helm, Pederson has seemed to turn things around in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are 2-1 and are fresh off an impressive 38-10 win against the Chargers.
In that game, the Jaguars’ offense was getting it done through the air and on the ground. Trevor Lawrence was 28-for-39, throwing for 262 yards, three touchdown’s and no interceptions and James Robinson and Travis Etienne Jr. combined for 145 yards on the ground.
Christian Kirk had a good game as well with six catches for 72 yards and one touchdown. Kirk now has the eighth-most receiving yards in the league with 267, and is tied for second in touchdowns with three.
The Jaguars’ defense also came to play as they held the high-powered Chargers’ offense to 10 points and only allowed 26 rushing yards.
The Philadelphia Eagles are one of two teams in the NFL that are still undefeated. They’ll aim to move to 4-0 with a home win against the coach who brought them their first Super Bowl.
Last week, the Eagles beat the Commanders 24-8. Jalen Hurts was 22-for-35, throwing for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. DeVonta Smith had a monster game with eight receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown.
Although, the story for the Eagles in this one was the defense as they recorded nine sacks along with a strip sack that resulted in a turnover.
Hurts is looking like an MVP candidate as he is third in the league in passing yards with 916 and he has thrown for four touchdowns with only one interception that wasn’t his fault. He also has three rushing touchdowns and 167 yards on the ground to go with it.
Going into the year, many probably wouldn’t have expected this to be as highly touted of a game as it is. Most would have thought that it was a nice storyline due to it being a revenge game and Pederson’s first game against his former team as a head coach, but the Eagles are 3-0 and the Jaguars are 2-1 having just beaten one of the top teams in the league pretty handily.
The first thing to look at in this game is the battle in the trenches.
Against the Chargers, the Jaguars’ offensive line dominated. On 39 passing plays, the Jaguars allowed no sacks. Joey Bosa left in the first quarter due to injury, but not allowing a sack especially when Khalil Mack is on the field is still impressive.
The Jaguars also boast a top-10 rushing attack, averaging 123.3 rushing yards per game. Hence, this game may be determined in the trenches.
On the other side, the Eagles had no problem getting after the quarterback in their game as already stated, they had nine sacks and they are a middle of the pack team at stopping the run.
In terms of defense, the Jaguars have more to worry about. The Eagles have a top offense in the NFL as they are averaging a league-best 447.0 yards per game. Their offense is stacked with A.J. Brown, Smith and Dallas Goedert leading the receiving corps with Miles Sanders and Jalen Hurts dominating in the run game.
Only time will tell if the Jaguars can shut down another top offense and if the Eagles can improve to 4-0. Another uncertainty is whether or not Pederson will be booed in his return to Philadelphia.
One would think not after all he has done for the city, but you can never put anything past Philly fans.
Jake Hernick is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.