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NFL Preseason Betting: Eagles, Jaguars Stumble Into Season, Instead Of Roaring

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/24/2013 4:03:07 AM

A deficient football team has a lot of worries to deal with, but some concerns are more paramount than others. Philadelphia and Jacksonville will both be mindful of their offenses.

Keep An Eye On: Jacksonville’s vertical passing game

Sports betting lines don’t think Jacksonville’s passing game amounts to much… and they’re right.

This is a situation in which the Jaguars might not use creative plays, but certainly aggressive kinds of plays. The Jaguars are going to be playing their number-two quarterback, Chad Henne, with their first-string offense. This could be a mismatched pairing, but it’s what the Jaguars must work with since their anointed opening-day starter under center, Blaine Gabbert, has a thumb injury. They would have liked to have had Gabbert available for this game. Then, in the fourth and final preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 29, they could have gotten Henne added repetitions before the regular season. Under these circumstances, though, Henne will get a game with the first team and then a game (next week, on the 29th) with the second team. It’s in next week’s game that Jacksonville should pamper the second-team offense and become much more conservative, much more focused on running the ball and shortening the game in order to avoid injuries.

When football betting specialists delve more deeply into this game, they’ll likely note that Jacksonville wants to challenge its first-team offense and see what its playmakers can do, especially on the edges. This is why it’s important not just for Jacksonville to throw the ball against the Eagles, but to throw the ball down the field. No, the Jaguars don’t need to use trick plays or fancy plays, but they do need to see what their receivers can do on fly patterns and go routes. Those are basic concepts and plays, but they’re ones that aim for huge gains of yardage. These are the kinds of plays Jacksonville must test against Philadelphia’s secondary. This team needs to see what’s possible.

Watch The Progress Of:Riley Cooper (Eagles), Ace Sanders (Jaguars)

When the best online betting sitestackle this clash, they will point out that each of these teams will be focused on passing the ball to a certain extent. The Eagles primarily want to shore up the ground game, but their lack of depth at the receiver spot means that they do need to find some proven production on the perimeter. Cooper is a point of focus for Philadelphia’s offense – not because he uttered racist remarks at a concert in recent weeks and brought forth the wrath and disapproval of his teammates, but because he has to show that he can be a legitimate number-two or number-three receiver in the NFL. If the Eagles don’t get someone to fill in for injured receiver Jeremy Maclin, they’re going to have a tough time in 2013.

For Jacksonville, everything said above about the need to throw the ball vertically is precisely why Ace Sanders matters so much to Jacksonville in this tilt. Sanders must step up since the team’s most high-profile receiver, Justin Blackmon, has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Sanders has to become a pass-catching anchor for this group of receivers in Jacksonville.

Outlook:

The Eagles’ offense doesn’t show much promise right now… but Jacksonville’s in an even worse position. That’s the way to frame this game; it’s not so much that the Eagles will flourish – Jacksonville will flounder instead.

Odds: Eagles -3
Pick: Eagles -3


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