FOXBOROUGH, MASS. – Spend enough time analyzing teams, and you can convince yourself of anything. I heard the warnings when this AFC Championship Game matchup was set that no matter how you slice it, the Patriots weren’t going to blink. Too much experience. Too much Belichick. Too much Brady and Gronk, etc.
But the more I study Jacksonville, the more I like. It starts with the pass rush. The key to beating the Patriots is applying pressure on Brady, especially up the middle, and the Jaguars can get after you. Here’s Sacksonville’s starting D-line:
DE Yannick Ngakoue: 12 regular season sacks
NT Abry Jones: 1 sack
DT Malik Jackson: 8 sacks
DE Calais Campbell: 14.5 sacks
The Jaguars defense scored eight touchdowns this season. Ngakoue, in particular, is a force with his strip sacks. This has to be on Brady’s mind, especially with his right thumb injury.
Note: NFL Network showed Brady walking into Gillette Stadium with his right hand in his jacket pocket. Check back here for more pregame updates.
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