When the New England Patriots get ready to play in the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, they arguably will be facing their toughest opponent all year. The Jaguars have arguably the best defense in the entire league which will be an interesting matchup against the Patriot’s offense, which is arguably one of the best in the league. It will be interesting to see how this matchup will play throughout the game.
The Jaguars have two very athletic and talented corners. A.J. Bouye will most likely be covering Brandin Cooks, the Patriots top wide receiver and there is a good chance that he will shut him down. Cooks may be able to beat Bouye deep with his quick speed, but besides that Cooks may have a quiet game. The other corner, Jalen Ramsey, is most likely going to cover Rob Gronkowski. There may not be a tougher assignment in all of football than covering Gronkowski. This matchup could go either way, but very few people, if any, have been able to shut down Gronkowski. The Patriots love using their athletic running backs, Dion Lewis, James White and even Rex Burkhead to dump passes too and let them make their defenders miss. With the Jaguars athletic linebackers, they may be able to cover these running backs which will force Tom Brady to look to his other weapons.
If those matchups are shut down because of the Jaguars defense, this means that Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan could have huge games. Hogan had a very quiet game against the Tennesse Titans in the Patriots first playoff game. He had one reception for four yards. That was his first game back from injury and with another week to heal he should be ready to have a huge game. Danny Amendola had a huge game last week. Now that Julian Edelman is hurt, Amendola has taken over that security blanket role for Brady, and his role always improves in the playoffs. Last week he had 11 receptions for 112 yards on only 13 targets. The Jaguars will either have to cover Hogan and Amendola with their safeties or their third of fourth cornerbacks, which is a matchup that the Patriots should have the advantage.
In order for the Patriots to win they have to win some of these matchups throughout the game. They should be able to take advantage of the Hogan and Amendola matchup. The Patriot’s defense is going to have to limit the Jaguars offense in order to win. Sunday should provide interesting matchups throughout the game and whoever wins more of the matchups is going to win the game.
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