Las Vegas, and the sports betting world in general, isn't giving the Jaguars a chance against the Denver Broncos in week six. The NFL's most dominant team is favored by 28 points over the league's unanimous worst team in the league. Although the spread is massive, we have to wonder whether the Jaguars have a chance to stay within four touchdowns of Peyton Manning and the Broncos' offense.
Before we even begin talking about the four touchdown spread, let's get this out of the way right now. The Jaguars have no chance at actually winning the game. In this article, I'm only talking about the Jaguars' ability to stay within four touchdowns of the Broncos. Because I'll be assuming that most of my readers are very familiar with spread betting, I'll skip the basics, but if you're fuzzy on details, you can read more on football here. Now that we're all familiar with the spread, we plunge forward.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have the worst offense in the NFL, and their defense isn't much better. For now, we'll simply focus on their lethargic offense. Despite having a great running back and a pair of solid receivers, the Jaguars have been unable to produce anything on offense this season. Much of that can be
blained blamed on their terrible quarterbacks. The remainder of the blame can be placed on their terrible offensive line.
For a team to be successful in the NFL, it must be stocked with good talent, and it must be led by a great head coach and a great starting quarterback. While the jury is still out on Gus Bradley, Chad Henne, Blaine Gabbert and whoever will be the flavor of the month down the road aren't good enough to lead the Jaguars' offense. With no pass or run blocking and no quarterback, the Jaguars' offense is just sunk.
The Jaguars' defense has been slightly better. While the Jaguars routinely give up huge numbers to the opposing offense, much of that has to do with fatigue and bad field position. The Jags' most proficient attribute is their ability to move the ball the wrong direction and turn it over at a moment's notice. Early in games, the Jaguars' young defense is able to keep them in games, but those players only have so much stamina, and the end result will continue to be profoundly negative so long as the Jaguars can't move the ball on offense.
So, to get back to the original question, can the Jaguars cover a spread of 28 points against the Broncos? Well, yes, they can, but they may need some luck.
Against the Cowboys, the Broncos' defense was nothing short of awful. With Chad Henne, the Jaguars will take some shots down the field, and Justin Blackmon may be able to produce a few big plays to help the Jaguars out. If Jacksonville can get a few cheap touchdowns, they may be able to keep the game within that 28 point limit.
The other, admittedly more likely, scenario could occur if the Broncos simply pull Manning later in the game. With a 28 point lead late in the day, there's no reason for the Broncos to risk Manning's health. If that's the case, the Jaguars may be able to pull that lead back to about 25 points. There again is an opening.
Make no mistake about it, this could be the bloodbath of the year. The Jaguars are atrocious, and the Broncos appear nearly unstoppable. This could be a very entertaining game to watch for all the wrong reasons.