Baltimore Ravens vs Jaguars: Scouting the Enemy


Dec 7, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws a pass against the Houston Texasn at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports

That the Jacksonville Jaguars have defeated two NFL teams is a miracle. The Baltimore Ravens will hope to keep the Jaguars from a third miracle this Sunday.

Let’s take a look at this Jaguars team to see how the Ravens stack up.

Passing Offense

Considering his lack of weapons, lack of good blocking and terrible atmosphere in Jacksonville, Blake Bortles‘ rookie year has not been all that bad. The biggest issue is his lack of pocket presence, but the blocking has been so bad that he can’t entirely be blamed for that. All told, the Jaguars have given up 54 sacks this year, of which 38 were sacks of Bortles.

Bortles has also been turnover prone, throwing 16 picks on just 379 attempts and fumbling five times. If the Ravens get pressure on him, there is no way Bortles will be able to avoid turnovers.

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His weapons don’t really help him out much, though Marqise Lee looks to be a keeper. So did Allen Robinson before his season ending injury. Cecil Shorts and Allen Hurns are the lead receivers currently. Shorts has caught under 50 percent of his targets, while Hurns has barely exceeded that number, dropping seven balls this season.

In pass protection, the Jags are a mess. Luke Joeckel is still a work in progress at left tackle, while Sam Young is just a guy. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil could be in line for big games. Brandon Linder, the right guard, is a bright spot.

Rushing Offense

Denard Robinson has injected a little life into a stagnant Jaguars rushing attack. The former quarterback exceeded 90 yards three straight weeks in the middle of the season, but has struggled the past three weeks. Robinson is unfortunately out for the season. Toby Gerhart, meanwhile, has been awful, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. He will platoon with Jordan Todman and Storm Johnson.

The offensive line is no better at creating holes than protecting the quarterback. Linder is probably the only plus run blocker on the team, so the Ravens should have little trouble stuffing the run.

Rushing Defense

The Jaguars rank near the bottom of the league in run defense, but a large part of that is because teams are running the ball so much to protect a lead. In fact, the Jaguars give up a very respectable 4.3 yards per carry. Red Bryant is a pretty good run defender at left defensive end, and the linebackers are pretty solid as well. Running at Chris Clemons on the right side is probably a better idea.

All in all, the Jaguars have a decent rotation at defensive line, with guys like Tyson Alualu, Ziggy Hood and Alan Branch subbing in to help stop the run.

Pass Defense

Their ability to rush the passer has been the lone bright spot for the Jaguars this season, as Ryan Davis, Sen’Derrick Marks and Chris Clemons form a very nice trio. That trio alone has contributed 21 sacks, and the team as a whole has racked up 39. The Ravens’ offensive line will have to be on its guard, especially when Davis checks in. He dominates in limited reps.

The secondary is less exciting. Demetrius McCray is the team’s best corner, while the other start, Dwayne Gratz, has gotten beaten on a regular basis. Rookie Aaron Colvin has come on in recent weeks, showing pretty good coverage ability. Safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Josh Evans have struggled this year.

Despite the onslaught of pressure, opposing quarterbacks have averaged 7.7 yards per attempt against the Jaguars while compiling a 20:5 touchdown to interception ratio. Joe Flacco has a chance to have a very big game at home.