TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Jacksonville Jaguars At Philadelphia Eagles

Jacksonville Jaguars
Philadelphia Eagles
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Gus Bradley knows that his quarterback of the future is anxious to get started, but the head coach does not want to throw rookie Blake Bortles into the fire just yet. Instead, he is letting Chad Henne handle the starting assignment and he will likely hold on to the quarterback position for the first month of the season. Henne completed more than 60 percent of his passes last year, but he tends to make key errors.
Winner The Eagles know that Nick Foles is not likely to repeat last year’s 27-2 TD-interception ratio, but they believe that he will build off last year’s success and continue to develop into a first-rate NFL quarterback. Foles is an accurate passer who excels at reading the defense and finding the soft spot. He has the size – 6-5 and 243 pounds – to see over the top of the defense and shake off pass rushers.
Offense
The Jaguars are going to try to take the pressure off of Henne by giving him a credible running game. That does not look probable at this point because starting running back Toby Gerhart lacks speed and the kind of moves that cause tacklers to miss. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts knows how to get open and has dependable hands, while rookie Marqise Lee is a potential big-play threat.
Winner The Eagles decided they didn’t need to have a divisive DeSean Jackson on their roster, and while the decision may be understandable from a team-unity standpoint, it could come back to bite them. LeSean McCoy may be the most valuable running back in the league and the addition of Darren Sproles gives Philadelphia a superb 1-2 punch. Riley Cooper will catch anything he can reach.
Defense
Winner If the Jaguars have any chance of building a respectable team this year, it will be the result of hard, physical play by the defense. Chris Clemons and Red Bryant left the Super Bowl champion Seahawks and signed with the Jags, and they will upgrade the defensive line. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny is one of the most dependable tacklers in the league.
Winner The Eagles did not make anywhere near the amount of progress with their defense that they did with their offense last year. This unit needs to be a lot more physical and tougher against the run if the Eagles are going to continue to climb the ladder. Outside linebacker Trent Cole had 8.0 sacks last year and is a legitimate threat. Inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans is a solid tackler.
Special Teams
Winner The Jaguars used a third-round draft pick on Bryan Anger in 2012, and the move has paid off because the team punts so much. Anger has excellent leg strength and is adept placing the ball inside the 20. Josh Scobee (groin) made 23-of-25 FG attempts last year, and should be ready to go in the opener.
The decision to jettison Jackson not only takes away a big receiving threat, it also hurts them in the return game. Punter Donnie Jones has average leg strength and is a middle of the pack punter, but he gets his kicks away fairly quickly.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Winner Philadelphia Eagles
3 out of 4

The Jaguars are a feisty and hard-working team under Bradley, and they could cause some problems for the Eagles. However, Philadelphia is not going to let Jacksonville come in and steal a win in the opener. The Eagles will take charge of this game in the second half and win the game.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Connecticut

Ski Card
WTIC Holiday Stores 2016
Hear WTIC Podcasts

Listen Live