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Patriots at Jaguars
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By Tom Wilkinson

NFL Preview – New England Patriots vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The best matchup in Week 2 in the NFL takes place on Sunday afternoon, as the New England Patriots visit the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game that can be seen on CBS. It is a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game that the Patriots won 24-20. It is a chance for Jacksonville to get the early edge on the Patriots in the AFC and also a chance to avenge last season’s loss. Let’s look at this Week 2 matchup and NFL picks.

Date and Time: Sunday, September 16, 2018, 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
NFL Odds at BetDSI: Pick, O/U 45
Patriots vs. Jaguars TV Coverage: CBS

It is only Week 2 of the NFL season but this is a huge game for both teams. For the Patriots it is a chance to once again show the AFC that they are the best team, while the Jaguars have a chance to take away the top spot, at least for now. This game is an AFC title game rematch, but this time around the game is in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have been excellent at home, as they have won their last six home games, the third-longest in team history.

The Jaguars are coming off a tough road win over the Giants last week in what was a low scoring game, while the Patriots pulled out a seven-point home win against the Houston Texans. The Jaguars will have to find more offense this week if they are to beat the Patriots. Jacksonville’s defense did score last week in the win over the Giants, and the players realize they need to score defensive touchdowns. “We just play ball, and we play with each other and for each other. Whatever the situation, we don’t back down. We go out and attack.” linebacker Telvin Smith said to the media.

The Jaguars do have some concern on offense this week, as running back Leonard Fournette is dealing with a minor hamstring injury. He will test the hamstring on Friday to see if he can go on Sunday.

Key Factor

The Patriots don’t lose very often, but when they do it is because the other team wins the turnover battle. Teams that beat New England force Tom Brady into making mistakes. When the Patriots win the turnover battle they are 143-15 under head coach Bill Belichik. When they lose the turnover battle they are 37-42. When turnovers are even the Patriots are 35-17. If the Jaguars are to win this game they simply have to win the turnover battle. That means forcing Brady into mistakes and it also means running the ball and keeping Blake Bortles under wraps.

Key Stats

The Patriots are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games on grass. The Patriots are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 road games. The Patriots are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games in September. The Jaguars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September. The Jaguars are 7-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

Looking at the total, the Under is 4-0 in the Patriots last 4 road games. The Under is 11-5 in the Patriots last 16 games overall. The Under is 9-2 in the Jaguars last 11 vs. the AFC. The Under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings.

Patriots vs. Jaguars Picks

How much credence do we give to the revenge factor in this game? There is no question that the Jaguars really want to win this game after losing last year’s AFC Championship Game. The question is can they come up with enough offense to keep up with the Patriots. If the Jaguars are going to win this game they have to run the ball, take time of the clock and turn this into a defensive game. That should mean a low scoring game. I lean a little bit to the Jaguars in this contest, but I think the better choice is to play the game under the total.

Patriots vs. Jaguars Pick: Under 45 at BetDSI
Patriots vs. Jaguars Score Prediction: Jaguars 23, Patriots 17

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