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First Week of Staff Expectations: Jacksonville Jaguars in Washington Leaders

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end, Arden Key #49 reacts to scoring a sack during the first quarter of an NFL pre-season game on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.

You have a lot of options when looking for opinions about the NFL, but you won’t find a larger group of experts on Jacksonville Jaguars than this group here.

Made up of the entirety of Times-Union’s six-member sports team, plus our special guest and longtime friend ESPN’s Mike Derucco, we’re giving you our predictions for how we see our opening week one Sunday between the Jaguars and the Washington Commanders.

If you were wondering how the last year went, DiRocco cleared the floor with the competition, going 14-3. Now retired John Reed beat the TU starter, and was next at 12-5. Jane Freenet and Gary Smits were both 10-7.

This year we welcome some new pickers. They include Jaguar’s new writer, Demetrius Harvey, sports reporters Juston Lewis and Clayton Freeman, and sports editor Tim Walters.

This week, Homer was strong as the picks swing 5-2 in favor of Jacksonville. Washington is the 2.5-point favorite, but Jaguar is 14-13 on opening day.

More on Jaguar:

Demetrius Harvey

Jaguar beat writer

Jaguar 21, Commanders 17

Jaguar’s team enter Sunday’s game with a renewed sense of pride and accountability with coach Doug Pederson at the helm. With that said, Jacksonville should be able to come out swinging, taking on Carson Wentz and the Washington leaders.

Demetrius Harvey profile picture

Demetrius Harvey profile picture

Mike Dirrock

ESPN

Washington 20, Jaguar 17

The Jaguars would look like a functional NFL team (hello! That’s progress!) but I still have a lot of questions about this team. Plus, my operational tenet with this franchise after the past 10 years is that Jaguar cars are bad even when they aren’t.

Mike DeRocco, ESPN

Mike DeRocco, ESPN

GENE FRENETTE

Times Union Sports Columnist

Jaguar 23, Commanders 20

It’s a new season and a different team, so Jaguar might not have fouled Carson Wentz who wet the bed against them by berthing a playoff on the Indianapolis Colts line in January. However, the Jaguar’s defense has been significantly upgraded, they have signed Brandon Sheriff away from Washington to fortify their offensive line, and they have Doug Pederson in place of Urban Mayer. It’s a very good preparation to break the 17-game road streak of defeats.

BRUCE LIPSKY/Times-Union - Times-Union sports columnist Jane Frenet is photographed at the Times-Union Studio on Thursday, December 26, 2007, in Jacksonville, Florida (The Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky)

BRUCE LIPSKY/Times-Union – Times-Union sports columnist Jane Frenet is photographed at the Times-Union Studio on Thursday, December 26, 2007, in Jacksonville, Florida (The Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky)

Gary Smits

Times Union Sports reporter

Commanders 23, Jaguar 20

I have some concerns about the Jaguar’s offensive line dealing with Washington’s strength and defensive line. Plus, could Carson Wentz play the Jags worse than the final in 2021?

Gary Smits, Florida Times Union

Gary Smits, Florida Times Union

Gaston Lewis

Times Union Sports reporter

Jaguar 27, Leaders 14

Back on a rollercoaster again. I’m choosing the Jaguars with the idea that Doug Pederson’s attack will take a step forward from what we saw in pre-season. Also, this game is a perfect opportunity for the Jacksonville front seven to make a statement.

Justin Lewis shot in the head

Justin Lewis shot in the head

Times Union sports writer Clayton Freeman. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]

Times Union sports writer Clayton Freeman. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]

Clayton Freeman

Times Union Sports reporter

Jaguar 17, Leaders 13

Midfielders have usually been playing well against the Jaguar defense as of late, but Carson Wentz was a stark exception in January.

This, combined with Washington’s injury problems and a dismal appearance, gives the Jags a good chance of beating an NFC opponent for the first time since the Giants were brought down 20-15 on September 9, 2018.

USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA Deputy State Sports Editor Tim Walters

USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA Deputy State Sports Editor Tim Walters

Tim Walters

Times-Union Sports Editor

Jaguar 24, Leaders 21

I made this prediction a couple of weeks ago on my podcast, “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast,” so I’m going to stick with it. Leaders aren’t an overly impressive team and it’s hard to tell what they are – whether they’re competing or rebuilding. They lack Chase Young’s best passing performance and QB Carson Wentz hasn’t done well against the Jaguars in recent history. I think Trevor Lawrence will throw two touchdowns and one interception, and James Robinson comes back victorious on the TD Tour. And I think they beat it on a field goal because special teams have been a question mark lately and it would be great to see 23-year-old Riley Patterson sign recently and win the game for the team.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jags vs. Commanders Expected: Florida Times-Union Picks NFL Game Week 1


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