JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If everything falls right for the Jaguars, they could find themselves tied atop the division after this weekend. If the Jaguars beat the Broncos and the Texans and Colts both lose, all three teams would be 2-2 on the season. But the Jaguars have to hold up their end of the bargain first. Here are my four biggest keys to the Jaguars victory:
Give Minshew time. Amazingly, through three games, Denver's pass rush duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are without a sack. That won't last long, but if the Jaguars can extend their sackless streak for another week, that will make life much easier on Minshew, who has shown an ability to improvise but has also had some issues holding on to the football. Keep him clean, and Minshew can have a big day.
Get the ground game going. Leonard Fournette said this week that the lack of playing time in preseason games has stunted the start of the running game. After playing three regular-season games, that shouldn't be an issue anymore. The Jaguars need better run blocking from the interior line and Fournette needs to make better decisions at the line of scrimmage. Perhaps his 69 yard run in the fourth quarter of last Thursday's win over the Titans can provide a springboard for Fournette, who is on pace for more than 300 touches this season.
Block out the distractions. Whether it's Minshew Mania or the Jalen Ramsey saga, there is a lot floating around the Jaguars right now. It's always easier to block out the noise after a win and it appears that this year's Jaguars team may be more resilient than last year's edition. We'll find out on Sunday if they can play as a team and keep the Broncos winless.
Fast start. There isn't a team in the world that doesn't want a fast start, but when the opposition is saying things like they are "living in a world of suck," you have to think that the "here-we-go-again" thoughts can creep into the minds of the Bronco's players very easily, even this early in the season. While the Broncos are a slight favorite, the Jaguars have the momentum. Deliver in the first quarter, and it could be smooth sailing in the thin air of Mile High.