Jacksonville visits the Big Apple in their season opener of the 2018 National Football League regular season in a contest versus the New York Giants. It will be the first meeting between the two franchises since November of 2014 when the Jaguars defeated the G-Men 25-24 at Everbank Field. Jaguars vs Giants: Week 1 NFL Prediction and Spread.
The lifetime series between these two Week #1 NFL opponents is tied 3-3. There are a handful of intriguing subplots in the event. One of those is the return of Tom Coughlin to MetLife Stadium. In addition the matchup between Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey and the G-men’s wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr is must watch television. Leonard Fournette will receive most of the pregame running back attention . But rookie Saquon Barkley’s first regular season NFL game will be hyped, as well.
The Jaguars are “Old School” on both sides of the ball. The offense will continue to be run oriented with running back Leonard Fournette and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s playbook. The defense is physical and fast under the guidance of defensive coordinator Todd Wash.
The 2018 offseason saw several key signings that enforces the plan to feature Fournette on the offensive side of the ball. The addition of offensive lineman Andrew Norwell is evidence that Fournette and the running game will be the staple for the second straight season.
Quarterback Black Bortles has new weapons in the passing game however – as the offensive line and Fournette go – so go the Jaguars. At the close of June’s organized team activities Bortles was quoted by the Orlando Sentinel that he now “owns the offense”. Bortles also told the local media he was working at more of an ‘elementary level’ at the start of last season.
Head coach Doug Marrone and his coaches spoke tirelessly about specific players that stood out in the recent minicamp and OTA’s. One of those player personnel was Donte Moncrief. The wide out will more than fill the role of the departed Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, who are now with the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, respectively. Bortles in combination with Moncrief and Marqise Lee will keep opposing defenses honest. Moncrief’s size (6-foot-2) and his speed off the line of scrimmage along with the dual threat of Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Marcedes Lewis.
New York Giants Overview
The Giants posted a franchise-worst 13 losses in 2017. The front office did a solid job in the April amateur draft. And there is promise that the squad can return to their 2016 defensive form with the team’s new additions this offseason.
Veteran quarterback Eli Manning won’t be pressed by either Davis Webb or rookie Kyle Lauletta. Veteran tailback Jonathon Stewart will tutor projected rookie starter Saquon Barkley. The 2018 Giants will be much more balanced, and better, offensively with the additions of left tackle Nate Solder and rookie Will Hernandez. And it is safe to expect the 2018 offensive scheme to be different under new head coach Pat Shurmur. If there is any question that Shurmur wants to run the football look no further than his time as the OC in Minnesota. The Vikings ran it more than every other team in the league in 2017, outside of Jacksonville, the Giants Week #1 foe.
Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman drafted a franchise rusher and focused on an offensive line rebuild. The Giants new leadership did so with the sole purpose of being competitive and especially more capable of running the football than they were a season ago.
The Giants finished 31st out of 32 NFL defenses in yards allowed (373.2 per game). In addition New York finished 27th in points allowed (24.2) in 2017. Bettcher’s defense helped Arizona shut out Big Blue, 23-0, this past Christmas. And while the Big Blue defense was a mess as season ago the unit’s defensive drama included suspensions plus. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie storming out of the building on Ben McAdoo. In addition Janoris Jenkins no-showing for the Giants’ first practice out of the bye week. Also the Eli Apple season-long felonious attitude.
Out of New York is defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and in is former Arizona Cardinals DC James Bettcher. Expect the Giants defense to be considerably better, both in reality and statistically. Bettcher is young and aggressive. The former Cardinals defensive boss hasn’t yet defined the scheme he will orchestrate in New York but Arizona operated under a 3-4 defense and did so with great success under Bettcher.
The Giants will be a run-first offense this season and the defensive will be better because of the new scheme. In addition the defensive line will be deeper and do a better job containing the oppositions running game.
Despite being a pass-happy team last year and ranking at the bottom of the league in most important defensive categories the Giants cashed the UNDER five of their eight home games. The Jaguars came in UNDER the oddsmakers total as a visitor at a 4-6 clip last season including their postseason events.
Is a play on the Jaguars vs Giants Week #1 in a low scoring affair. The recommended sports investment is UNDER the TOTAL of 44 points.
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Jaguars vs Giants: Week 1 NFL Prediction and Spread