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Need to see more of you, big guy.
Against the Spread: Jacksonville +13.5
Over/Under: Under 42.5
Who will be kicking for the Jaguars? Josh Scobee hurt his leg on Sunday and JAX signed former Georgia PK Brandon Coutu just in case. Fans better hope Scobee can rally because Coutu has zero professional stats. As in none.
The Jaguars receiving corps will probably be minus Mike Thomas and Cecil Shorts.
In Week 14, Jacksonville scored against the Buccaneers on offense, defense and special teams.
Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert finally had a good game; he completed 19-of-33 passes for 217 yards and two TDs. He still threw two INTs, but let’s not get picky.
The day, of course, belonged to “Pocket Hercules," Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jaguars’ offensive stud finished the afternoon with 136 combined yards and four TDs. Yes, four. It’s a franchise record.
I was impressed with the fortitude of a Jacksonville squad that started the year strongly only to be hit hard with injuries. They caused seven turnovers. Yes, seven.
They forced a fumble in the end zone and recovered it for a touchdown. They intercepted Josh Freeman twice.
The secondary features one guy named Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and one newcomer. I realize that they were playing against a severely underperforming Tampa Bay team, but the patchwork unit still came up big last Sunday.
And now they will be getting star DB Dwight Lowery back in action. Look out, Matt Ryan.
Montell Owens caused two fumbles on punts. Colin Cloherty, who was signed from the practice squad on Friday, scooped up one for a score.
The Falcons still mystify me. They were lethargic and completely out of sync for the first half last week and Cam Newton and Company were running all over them.
And then they entered the fourth quarter.
Atlanta came storming back in the second half with some urgency and toughness against a talented but rookie Carolina QB.
Matt Ryan continued that strange noncommittal style that has concerned me all year. I spent the first half making notes like “Is he hurt?" “What is wrong with him?”
Julio Jones dropped three passes that I saw and Michael Turner wasn’t able to get in the groove.
And then they entered the fourth quarter. Cam Newton threw two picks in the second half. Ryan threw two TDs in the fourth quarter.
Julio Jones, who couldn’t catch anything for what seemed like hours, suddenly ended up with three receptions for 104 yards and two TDs.
Atlanta also wound up rookie speedster RB Jacquizz Rodgers, who scampered very successfully against the Carolina defense.
The Jags D is marginally more healthy than Carolina’s and those new DBs will be watching a lot of Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez tape this week.
If the fourth-quarter Matt Ryan arrives in the first quarter, Atlanta should win and cover with relative ease.
PK Matt Bryant has been sick all week, but is listed as probable.
Remember, the Falcons are still in the wild-card mix, while the Jags just want to gain some momentum at the end of a forgettable year.
I do think that Atlanta will win, but they are giving up 127.7 yards on the ground over the past month. I can see Maurice Jones-Drew salivating from here.