The Jaguars in prime time twice in December? What the hell was league schedule maker Howard Katz thinking there? I mean, this is a boring team with a poor fan base that hasn’t had a winning season since 2007. I’d imagine that, unless you’re a Jags or Falcons fan, you’ll only watch tonight if you have some “friendly” bets on the game, so here’s our prognostic look at tonight’s rather unappealing affair:
Atlanta needs this, Jacksonville does not. The Falcons are good in situations like these, the Jaguars (aside from last week’s aberrational victory) are typically not. Atlanta is 11-0 at home against teams with losing records dating back to the start of 2008, winning those games by an average of 12 points per.
And yet they’re a 13.5-point favorite tonight, up a field goal from where that line started.
That number might be too high. Jacksonville hasn’t been blown out on the road since that debacle Week 2 against the Jets. Since then, they’ve lost by six in Carolina, four in Pittsburgh, 10 in Houston and four in Cleveland, also winning in Indianapolis along the way. Blaine Gabbert showed glimpses of promise last week in Jacksonville’s best offensive game of the year, and league-leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew is always a threat.
Considering that the Falcons have given up 40 points to two rookie quarterbacks since top cornerback Brent Grimes went down with a knee injury in Week 12, the Jags might actually be able to move the ball with their rookie signal caller Thursday night.
To be clear, the Jaguars don’t stand much of a chance in this game. Don’t read too much into what they did last week against a Tampa Bay team that has given up — Jacksonville has lost too many players to injured reserve and is playing its third game in 11 days. That said, I think they’ll have enough in the tank for a sneaky cover.
GLS prediction: Falcons 24, Jaguars 13