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Three issues to look at for in Broncos-Jaguars in London

The NFL’s third and ultimate London sport of the 12 months pits the Broncos in opposition to the Jaguars.

Each groups enter the matchup at 2-5 and in determined want of a spark after 4 consecutive losses.

Denver sits within the cellar of the AFC West. It is acquainted territory — the membership has completed final within the division for 2 years operating — however this isn’t the trip Broncos nation signed up for after Denver made a blockbuster commerce for Russell Wilson within the spring and paired him with an offensive-minded head coach, Nathaniel Hackett.

First-year head coach Doug Pederson had appeared on monitor to alter the Jaguars’ fortunes after a 24-0 undressing of the Colts in Week 2 and a 38-10 assertion sport in Los Angeles in opposition to the Chargers the next Sunday, however the good mojo ended there.

Whereas it is all however a ceremonial residence sport for many groups that earn the abroad designation, Jacksonville could be hoping its familiarity with London supplies a wanted benefit come Sunday. The Jags are partaking of their ninth London contest, greater than some other franchise, they usually’ve averaged 5.8 extra factors per sport throughout the Atlantic than in the US since 2015.

The Broncos will hold that in thoughts as each groups look to keep away from the probably dying knell a fifth straight loss would sound for a postseason run.

Listed below are three issues to look at for when the Broncos and Jaguars meet Sunday in London on ESPN+:

  1. Can both quarterback get going? Trevor Lawrence has improved upon his underwhelming rookie season, however he has but to find the consistency that made him the 2021 No. 1 total pick of Clemson. He was sizzling in each video games in opposition to the Colts, finishing a mixed 45 of 52 passes for 400 yards, three passing touchdowns (plus two extra on the bottom) and nil turnovers. He additionally had a terrific three-touchdown efficiency to upset the Chargers. However the chilly streaks have at instances been downright right here. In his different 4 video games this season, Lawrence has completed with a completion share starting from 47.8 to 57.1, scored 4 instances and dedicated eight turnovers. The street will not get any simpler in opposition to a fearsome Broncos protection. There’s been little streakiness to Wilson’s sport — his chilly snap has lasted all 12 months. His 58.6 completion share (thirty first within the league) and 83.4 passer score (twenty fifth) are each profession lows in what has up to now been a Corridor of Fame-caliber profession. Nothing on offense has come simple since Wilson’s relocation to Denver. He is thrown 5 TDs to a few INTs and is captaining a unit ranked final in each factors and red-zone landing share. A part of Wilson’s struggles might be attributed to {a partially} torn hamstring that held him out of Week 7 and a shoulder damage that required a process on Oct. 7. However, the previous Seahawk has remained steadfast in his optimism that the workforce will quickly discover its Rhythm. His subsequent likelihood to show it comes early Sunday morning for these watching within the US
  2. The Broncos D may very well be the principle issue once more. If Wilson and Co. have been placing up factors at even a league-average clip, Denver could be a wholly totally different storyline approaching the midpoint of the season. The protection ranks within the high 5 in whole protection, factors allowed, passing, sacks, red-zone landing share, massive performs allowed and yards per play. Apart from an uncharacteristic exhibiting in opposition to the Raiders the place the unit surrendered 32 factors, Denver has held opposing offenses to 13.6 factors per sport. Denver has additionally allowed simply seven touchdowns, the fewest within the league and the fewest by a workforce with a shedding document by way of seven video games since 1999, per NFL Analysis. In different phrases, Londoners might be witness to greatness on that aspect of the ball. The lone class the Broncos are severely missing in is turnovers. They’re tied for twenty third within the league with seven, which bodes nicely for Lawrence as he seems to reset his turnover woes with a 3rd straight giveaway-free sport. One other matchup to look at? Bradley Chubb and Denver’s move rush versus Jacksonville’s revamped offensive line. The Broncos enter Week 8 with 22 sacks. The Jaguars are tied for first in sacks allowed and have had 4 video games the place they gave up none.
  3. What is going to the Jags’ backfield appear like with out James Robinson? One may argue that Jacksonville communicated the reply loud and clear in Week 7. Robinson took solely 11 snaps in opposition to the Giants, had one goal and did not register a carry earlier than being traded to the Jets the next day. After out-snapping Robinson in each sport since Week 3 — however by no means by greater than 9 performs — second-year RB Travis Etienne accomplished his backfield coup by logging 53 snaps in opposition to Massive Blue with 14 carries for 114 yards and a rating. Regardless of Etienne seeing 81.5% of running-back snaps that sport, nevertheless, Pederson clarified Wednesday that Jacksonville nonetheless desires to “hold him from taking all of the load.” JaMycal Hasty, who had one stick with it three snaps in opposition to the Giants, is as a substitute the one in line for an elevated workload to assist hold Etienne wholesome all season. Correctly balancing Etienne’s game-breaking talents along with his continued well being might pay dividends for the membership. He is totaled 271 dashing yards since Week 5, sixth-most within the league, and has the second-most dashing yards (200) of any Jaguar by way of two profession begins, per NFL Analysis. An Etienne-led backfield with a measured dose of Hasty may show the easiest way to use Denver. The Broncos protection is fifteenth in opposition to the run and second in passing yards allowed.

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