News4JAGs picks: How will the Jaguars do against the Commanders?

Thew News4JAX Sports staff offers its predictions for Jaguars games. (News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars open their regular season on Sunday against the Commanders. Each week, the News4JAX sports staff will offer predictions on the game.

Justin Barney

It’s a new season. Optimism is everywhere. I’ve seen a couple forecasts that have the Jaguars as a darkhorse to win the AFC South. I’m not quite there yet. I’d settle for seven wins this season. I think this is one of those victories. I have no confidence that Carson Wentz can beat the Jaguars. I like where Jacksonville’s defense is at, and we have yet to see that revamped unit at full strength. That will come this week as the team plugs in Devin Lloyd and Darious Williams into a system that looked strong in limited preseason action. I’m a little less confident in the Jacksonville offense right now. I think that side of the ball will eventually get there, but I think it’s going to take a few weeks. Jaguars 23, Commanders 17.

Cole Pepper

I think the Jaguars defense is going to have to do the heavy lifting early in the season. We didn’t see much from the starting offense in the way of touchdowns or creativity in the preseason. We’ll see more of the offense utilized on Sunday at Washington. That being said, once James Robinson is fully up to speed and Trevor Lawrence has gotten everybody on the same page on offense, I think this will be an improved offense, but we may not see the bulk of the improvement until later in the season. Washington isn’t a powerhouse on offense, so I don’t think it will take much for the Jaguars to be in this game. If the defense can win on first down and force obvious pass rushing situations, I believe they can get to Carson Wentz. The question is, how often will they have the chance? I’m feeling the optimism in the Jaguars building. Jaguars 23, Commanders 20.

Jamal St. Cyr

I believe the Jaguars start the year with a W. This is a huge game for this team. Doug Pederson won’t say it publicly but he understands just how important a win to start the year would be for this young team. I expect Pederson to cook up a perfect game plan this week to take advantage of a Commanders team that will be without their best player (Chase Young). I expect James Robinson and Travs Etienne to combine for over 100 yards from scrimmage, plus a much-improved Trevor Lawrence will be tossing touchdowns left and right in DC. Since the Jaguars posted the “Paid in Full” movie reference on their social media, the theme for this week’s Jags game will be “Everybody Eats B.” Jaguars 30, Commanders 17.

About the Authors:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.