At 4:05 PM EST, the Jaguars (1-2) host the Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) in a game featuring oddly similar defenses. The Jaguars' unit is considerably better than the Bengals in points allowed, but when yardage is compared, they're nearly identical in total yards, rush yards and pass yards allowed.
With that in mind, it seems likely that the two sides' offenses will determine the winner of today's game. The Jaguars will once again rely heavily on Maurice Jones-Drew to carry a significant portion of their offense, but they have to get a big performance from Blaine Gabbert.
The Jaguars' offensive line is as healthy as it's been all season going into week four's game, and it seems likely that the Bengals will put points on the board. The big question is, can the Jaguars keep up?
Without announcing that I have a game plan for the Jaguars to follow, because I don't, I do believe the Jaguars should do their best to keep the Bengals off balance. There are plays to be had against the Bengals, and Gabbert needs to be in position to make those plays.
With that in mind, here are my 5 things to watch this afternoon.
1) Gabbert throwing on first down. The Jaguars may look to open up the offense for Gabbert and company against a weak Bengals defense. Look for them to take some shots on 1st and 10.
2) Rashad Jennings. Jennings is listed as "probable" for today's game. He should give Jones-Drew some nice breathers, keeping MJD fresh late in the game.
3) Turnovers. If Gabbert and the Jaguars' offense can move the ball, the game may be decided by a few takeaways by one team or the other.
4) Field Position. I almost wrote "Bryan Anger," but this goes both ways. When one of these teams punt, they want the other team to be pinned deep. One big punt from either side can translate into points later in the game.
5) Get off the field quickly. The Jaguars would like to show some more explosiveness this week. Last week, the Jaguars scored on two one play drives (59 yard touchdown run and 80 yard touchdown pass). On the other side of the ball, the Jaguars need to get three and outs to stay fresh.