5 Things To Watch vs. Jaguars


The Ravens and Jaguars both enter Sunday's game with 2-6 records.

If either takes a loss, their already slim playoff chances grow even dimmer. If Baltimore wants to get back into the hunt, it needs to beat the Jags at home.

Here are five things to watch in this Week 10 matchup:

Sweet, Sweet Rest

The Jaguars are coming off a tough, physical 28-23 loss to the New York Jets. The Ravens are coming off the bye. It will be interesting to see if Baltimore is a little fresher in the fourth quarter. The Ravens have won 11 of their last 13 games following a bye, dating back to 2002. That's the second-best mark in the NFL over that time. They are 6-1 under Head Coach John Harbaugh after byes.

Jacksonville's Allens Are A Challenge

Ravens fans may be jealous of the Jaguars' young wideouts. The Jags have a pair of Allens who both have more than 600 yards receiving and six touchdowns this season. Allen Robinson, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound Penn State product, leads the team with 40 catches for 707 yards. Undrafted Allen Hurns, who is dealing with foot and thigh injuries, has 36 grabs for 635 yards. Cornerback Jimmy Smith called the duo "legit." Jacksonville has another good, young talent in Marqise Lee. Smith had a strong game against the Chargers and will need another one this weekend.

Ending The Turnover Drought

The Ravens haven't gotten a turnover since Week 3 against Cincinnati when C.J. Mosley returned a fumble for a touchdown. That's a five-game drought for the defense, which is now on pace for an NFL record low in single-season turnovers. Meanwhile, the Jaguars turned the ball over a whopping four times last week against the Jets. Second-year quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 381 yards, but tossed two interceptions and fumbled twice. Something has to give.

Special Teams Tricks Coming?

The Jaguars kept things interesting last year at M&T Bank Stadium by pulling out all their tricks. They surprised the Ravens with an onside kick that they recovered and also got a 19-yard gain on a fake punt to extend another drive. Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg said his players brought that up in meetings this week and Rosburg studied Baltimore's tendencies over the bye to make sure there are no gaps that can be exploited.

Ravens Receivers Without Steve

This won't be the Ravens receivers' first game without Steve Smith Sr. because he also missed the Week 5 game against the Browns. But this is the start of what will be the final half of the year without the leading playmaker. It's a good opportunity for Baltimore's wideouts to prove themselves as they'll be facing the league's No. 25-ranked pass defense. While Jacksonville is stout up front, the Jags are susceptible on the back end. Chris Givens has been elevated to a starting wide receiver, so it will be the first extensive look at what he can do.

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