Indeed – and no question the Jaguars team preparing for the 1-4 Bears is one with a positive outlook.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have plenty of reasons to be smiling heading into a Week 6 matchup on the road against the Chicago Bears.
“On that last play, I thought there was no way they wouldn’t [double-team Jeffery]”, Hoyer said.
In three and a half games for the Bears this season, Hoyer has six touchdowns and no interceptions, but that last stat is about to change. “I feel pretty good. I think our passing game is improving”, said John Fox on Wednesday, first pointing out the positive gains with the unit.
It’s not playing out that way. Over the past 16 games the two quarterbacks have played dating back to 2015, here is how they match up.
Ditto quarterback Blake Bortles, who had his first turnover-free game of the season in that 30-27 London victory over the Colts.
Mistakes were made and he still hung onto the ball too long, fumbled too often, and threw too many interceptions. Meredith played 93% of the offensive snaps and QB Brian Hoyer targeted him 12 times, more than any other player. He has a sack and FF in each of his last 3 games and led all rookies in both categories entering Week 5. The Bears offense produced 522 yards, its most for a game since Mike Ditka’s 1989 team. They can re-establish momentum, hope and a bunch of other cool things if they do. Hoyer, who replaced Jay Cutler after the veteran signal-caller suffered a thumb injury, has been superb in notching three straight 300-yard passing games without an interception but the Bears are still off to their worst start since 2005. A lot of that likely is due to turnovers on the offensive end.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts, had 10 catches for 171 yards, including a 35-yard TD grab late in the fourth quarter, in Indianapolis’ 29-23 win over Chicago.
There is enough talent on the Jaguars’ offense that should ensure that Thomas gets one-on-one looks. Bortles is forced to throw a lot because Jacksonville ranks last in the National Football League in rushing at just 301 yards for the season.
The third-year pro has done it seven times in 33 career starts.
The Jaguars have a young and talented defensive unit, but they have struggled to keep their opponents out of the end zone this season. “It’s another defense that’s going to be a real challenge for us”. Chicago has had 297 plays on offense and they’ve gained 1,862 yards, ranking them 8th overall.
I’ve been a huge fan of Gore’s since his early days with the 49ers, when for years he was one of the only members of that roster worth watching. Ramsey has been impressive and highly effective in Jacksonville’s pressing scheme. That forced the Bears to settle for a field goal instead of a possible touchdown. They know they could easily be 1-4 or 0-5 just as much as they could be 4-1 or 5-0.
The secondary has been banged up, starting with cornerback Kyle Fuller’s knee surgery before the regular season. By comparison, the Chargers are almost one yard ahead per game and have tallied 30.4 points per game, good for second in the league.