Jacksonville Jaguars game predictions

September, 2, 2014
Sep 2
ESPN.com Jacksonville Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco makes his game-by-game picks for the 2014 season.

Week 1: at Philadelphia Eagles

This is the first test for the rebuilt defensive line. The group better be in shape because it's tough to handle the Eagles' ridiculous offensive pace. More importantly, will the Jaguars have the center and right guard spots figured out by then? Prediction: Loss

Week 2: at Washington Redskins

Forget worrying about RG III. The player the Jaguars need to stop in this game is Jordan Reed. Tight ends pretty much had their way with the Jaguars in 2013 and Reed has the potential to be one of the league's better players at that spot. Prediction: Win

Week 3: Indianapolis Colts

In four games against the Jaguars, Andrew Luck has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,079 yards and six TDs with three interceptions. He has thrown for fewer than 250 yards only once. This is where the improved pass rush needs to make its money. Prediction: Loss

Week 4: at San Diego Chargers

The Jaguars have not had much success on the West Coast. They are 2-9 all time in games played in the Pacific Time Zone, and haven't won a game in that time zone since a 13-6 victory over Oakland in 2004. Couple that with the Chargers being the third playoff team the Jaguars will play in the first four weeks. Prediction: Loss

Week 5: Pittsburgh Steelers

Might this be Big Ben versus Big Blake? The Jaguars are committed to Chad Henne as the starter, but if the team struggles in the first month and Blake Bortles continues to develop, this would be a logical point to insert Bortles into the starting lineup. Prediction: Loss

Week 6: at Tennessee Titans

Ken Whisenhunt helped Philip Rivers and Kurt Warner reclaim their mojo, but the problem in Tennessee is that Jake Locker never had any mojo to begin with. Even if Whisenhunt is able to work some magic with Locker, the one thing he can't do is keep him from getting hurt. Prediction: Win

Week 7: Cleveland Browns

The Browns do have a talented roster, but the Jaguars won this game in Cleveland last year and they're a better team in 2014. Maybe they'll be better at defending tight ends at this point, too. Prediction: Win

Week 8: Miami Dolphins

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill seems to be on a lot of "breakout players" lists. If that turns out to be the case, the Dolphins should be a playoff team. Prediction: Loss

Week 9: at Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals may be the most balanced team -- offensively and defensively -- the Jaguars will face this season. It'll be interesting to see if and how much Andy Dalton is energized by the club's confidence in him after the contract extension. Prediction: Loss

Week 10: Dallas Cowboys

It's hard to get a read on the Cowboys. They're no doubt loaded with talent on offense and Tony Romo is one of the league's top quarterbacks. And yet, somehow, things never seem to be quite in sync and there always seems to be some kind of distraction going on. But when that offense is rolling ... Prediction: Loss

Week 12: at Indianapolis Colts

Last season was the first since 2010 that the Jaguars didn't win a game in Indianapolis, but last year's loss came at the end of the season when the team was down nine starters or key players. The Jaguars have gone 3-1 after their bye the past four seasons. This also could be a good time for the Bortles era to begin. Prediction: Loss

Week 13: New York Giants

This is one of the swing games on the schedule, along with the Pittsburgh and Dallas games -- games the Jaguars could win if everything falls into place. It also depends on whether Eli Manning will be in the midst of leading the NFL in interceptions again. Prediction: Loss

Week 14: Houston Texans

It has been evident in the preseason that the Texans have more issues than just starting quarterback play. J.J. Watt is going to line up in different spots and it'll be interesting to watch his battles with left tackle Luke Joeckel, who was drafted in part to deal with the Texans defensive end for the next 10 years. Prediction: Win

Week 15: at Baltimore Ravens

This may be an important game in the wild-card playoff race -- for the Ravens. The Jaguars could get a chance to play spoiler. After winning in their first four trips to Baltimore, the Jaguars have lost their past five. Prediction: Loss

Week 16: Tennessee Titans

The Jaguars should have swept the Titans in 2013, but the roster was depleted by injuries at the end of the season. They should be able to get it done this season. Prediction: Win

Week 17: at Houston Texans

The Jaguars did sweep the Texans in 2013 and they'll be improved enough in 2014 to do it again, even if Bortles is on the field. Prediction: Win

Predicted Record: 6-10

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter



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