The Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that on paper seems to be over-matched each week, proved themselves again to be a plucky bunch with a last-minute 22-17 road win over the Indianapolis Colts as 3-point road underdogs Sunday.
The Jaguars pulled off the stunner with an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blaine Gabbert to Cecil Short III with just 45 seconds left in the game. For the day, Gabbert finished 10 of 21 for 155 yards with one touchdown.
Jacksonville is now 2-1 against the line, which includes a 23-21 cover as 3.5-point underdogs against the Minnesota Vikings in Week One. Next up for the Jags’ is a match-up with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Jaguars were a 1-point home underdog when the line opened Tuesday.
For Jacksonville to have a winning record against the spread at this point belies the statistics. The Jags’ offense ranks 29th in the NFL in points scored (17.5 points a game), 30th in total yards (268.3 a game), and 31st in passing yards (147.3 a game). The lone bright spot for the Jaguars has been its rushing attack, which ranks 10th in the NFL. Led by Maurice Jones-Drew—who had a key 59-yard touchdown run against the Colts—the Jaguars are averaging 121 yards a game on the ground.
Things haven’t been much better on defense, at least statistically. The Jaguars are giving up 412 yards a game and rank 28th in the NFL in total defense. They have been equally inept both against the pass and the run. The 258 yards a game they have allowed through the air ranks 21st in the NFL and the 154 rushing yards a game surrendered ranks 30th in the NFL.
Jacksonville has been able to overcome those numbers somewhat by covering two of its three games, but eventually the statistics figure to catch up to the Jaguars. The Bengals will be a tough test, so monitor the odds this week to see if the line moves up at all before putting the Jaguars among your Week Four NFL picks.