Jacksonville Jaguars v Philadelphia Eagles, Friday August 16
The NFL pre-season is continuing as we build towards the start of a new season in September and among the many intriguing match-ups is this clash between the Jaguars and the Eagles.
Eagles On Top
The Jaguars and the Eagles have met only six times in the NFL, with their first fixture coming back in 1997. The Jaguars won that game 38-21 and their next two encounters in 2002 and 2006. But the Eagles have had the edge in recent seasons, winning their last three, including a 24-18 victory at Wembley Stadium last season.
Jaguars Seeking Return to Top
Two seasons ago, Jacksonville Jaguars reached the AFC Conference Final, but fell short and they have been sliding ever since. The decision to gamble on Blake Bortles backfired badly and although the Jaguars defence remained strong last season, they had no offensive threat and finished with a dismal 5-11 record. Their response has been to gamble on another quarterback, paying $88 million over four years to bring in the Eagles 2017 Super Bowl hero Nick Foles.
Philadelphia Still Strong
After their 2017 Super Bowl heroics, it was inevitable that there would be a hangover of sorts last season, but thanks to efforts of Foles, the Eagles had a respectable campaign, recovering from a 6-7 record to reach the play-offs, beating Chicago in the Wild Card game and eventually bowing out to the New Orleans Saints. This time round, their offense is stronger than ever, while they are unlikely to suffer as many injuries on the defensive side as they did last time round. If quarterback Carson Wentz can stay fit, they should be serious contenders in the NFC.
Visitors have the Edge
Predicting pre-season games is often tricky and the fact that both Foles and Wentz will be sitting this one out adds a further element of unpredictability. Both teams also struggled in their first pre-season games, with the Jaguars losing 26-0 to Baltimore and the Eagles losing 27-10 to the Titans. But the Eagles clearly have the edge when it comes to strength in depth, so with the Jaguars odds on with most bookmakers, there will be plenty of NFL fans prepared to side with the Eagles at 13/10.