The Jacksonville Jaguars have been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season as they sit atop the AFC South after finishing last season in the basement with a 3-13 record. The Jaguars attempt to maintain first place in the division when they visit the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Jacksonville owns a one-game lead in the South over Tennessee thanks to a winning streak that reached four games with last Sunday’s 19-7 triumph at Cleveland. The Jaguars’ defense has been a huge reason for their turnaround, as it has allowed a league-low average of 14.1 points per game. Arizona is in the midst of its first losing streak of the campaign as it has dropped back-to-back contests against Seattle and Houston. The positive from last week’s 31-21 road setback against the Texans was the fact the Cardinals eclipsed the 20-point mark for the first time in four games and third time overall this season.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Jaguars -5.5. O/U: 38
ABOUT THE JAGUARS (7-3): Jacksonville has held opponents under 10 points in six of its first 10 games and can become the fifth team since 1940 to do so in seven of its initial 11 contests. Leonard Fournette ranks third in the AFC with 740 rushing yards and has registered four 100-yard performances, which is tied for the most in the league this season and second-most by a rookie in franchise history. Blake Bortles has excelled against the NFC on the road, recording 1,144 passing yards and 11 touchdowns in four career games.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (4-6): After completing 22-of-34 passes for 257 yards and a career-high three touchdowns last week in his debut with Arizona, Blaine Gabbert gets a shot at the team that drafted him 10th overall in 2011. “Things didn’t work out for me there, but looking back on it, hindsight is always 20/20,” the 28-year-old Gabbert told reporters regarding his time in Jacksonville. “There were some things in my control, some things out of my control. For whatever reason, it didn’t work, but I wouldn’t change it at all.” Larry Fitzgerald reached 15,157 career receiving yards last week, passing Tony Gonzalez for fifth place on the all-time list, and needs 52 yards against the Jaguars to overtake Isaac Bruce (15,208) for fourth.
1. Fitzgerald, who is 136 receiving yards behind Randy Moss for third all-time, needs six catches on Sunday to join Gonzalez and Jerry Rice as the only players in NFL history with 1,200 career receptions.
2. Jacksonville DE Calais Campbell, who played for Arizona from 2008-16, is tied for the league lead with 11.5 sacks.
3. Arizona RB Adrian Peterson is one away from becoming the ninth player in league history with 100 career rushing touchdowns.
PREDICTION: Jaguars 33, Cardinals 17