Final analysis: The Jaguars-Commanders experts

JACKSONVILLE– Each week during the 2022 season, Jaguars “experts” – Bucky Brooks, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, JP Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – will analyze the next day’s Jaguars game.

Washington Commanders at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Bucky Brooks, NFL Media and Jaguars Media Analyst

  • The Jaguars will win if: The game is played on their terms on either side of the ball. Defensively, the Jaguars want to beat the Commanders on first downs to eliminate the ground game and put pressure on Wentz to win the game as a setback passer. The veteran quarterback has withered under pressure throughout his career and facing a menacing Jaguars frontline in obvious passing situations could result in a handful of turnovers from the streaky passer. On offense, the Jaguars want to control the tempo with a high-percentage aerial offense complemented by creative running play. Lawrence will play a key role as a point guard type distributor running a fast break with a number of veteran pass catchers on the wings. If wide receivers Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Marvin Jones and tight end Evan Engram finish the game with comparable touch numbers, the Jaguars have followed the balanced game plan that Pederson and Co. say will lead to wins. in competitive matches.
  • Commanders will win if: The line controls the trenches. Commanders hold an advantage at the point of attack with three first-round defenders possessing “game takeover” potential. With Allen, Payne and Sweat wreaking havoc on the line, Lawrence could falter in a collapsing pocket. If COs bottle Robinson and Etienne, it could make life miserable for the quarterback and act as a caller on critical hits.
  • As Brooks sees it: This is an ideal opening game based on Pederson’s story with the Commanders quarterback. The Super Bowl-winning head coach knows the strengths and weaknesses of Wentz’s game, and that insight should allow Caldwell to craft a game plan that frustrates the veteran quarterback from the first shot. If the Jaguars can keep the game close for the first three quarters, Wentz will give the defense a packed turnover with the game on the line. I think the Jaguars have been in control from the start and come out of FedEx Field with their first win of the season.

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

  • The Jaguars will win if: They start well and gain confidence from the start. It’s a young team that had a good camp, but there are still tons of youth and novelty. They need early success. They have to stay on the pitch in attack, to score early. I think the defense will play well, keeping them in the game. Combine that with some early points and I like the Jags’ position.
  • Commanders will win if: They stuff the Jags early and get Wentz started. He really struggled against the Jags in that last game last season, which likely cost him his job with the Colts. Early moments really matter here because the Jags are young and Wentz is new to his team.
  • As Frangie sees it: It will be a very tight match. I think the Jags defense will play really well in this one. I see a game in adolescence, 20 years at most. If Lawrence is successful early on, I like their chances.

Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end

  • The Jaguars will win if: they can win the turnover battle. First games can always be difficult to predict, especially with teams that have changed a lot from the previous year. Pre-season is never a good indicator, but winning the turnover battle when the games count is the best indicator of success. The Jags need to make Wentz look like he did the last game against him.
  • Commanders will win if: Their defense controls the line of scrimmage. The former first-round draft picks Washington has up front in Allen, Payne and Sweat are great football players and will test veteran offensive lines. Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio ranked his defense in the Top 5 two years ago, but last year it faltered. He will seek to put them back among the best.
  • As Lageman sees it: This is going to be a great football game with many scenarios AND unknowns. Can the Jaguars team gel quickly to start the season with so many new components in training and players under Pederson? Can Lawrence make a big leap in Year 2? Can Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell unleash some fury on opposing attacks? Do the Jags have a kicker? Will Jaguars linebackers Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd and Fortner make you love draft picks? I can’t wait and I prepared my popcorn!

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Athletic Director

  • The Jaguars will win if: They lead early. There is confidence in Jacksonville. Anything to keep that momentum going early on Sunday will be a major plus. There could be a snowball effect like the 2017 opening if things happen soon enough. The Jags haven’t played with a lead much the past two seasons and I think that defense could be really fun if given an advantage on the scoreboard.
  • Commanders will win if: They reach the trenches. The Jaguars have a redone offensive line against a very good front – even without defensive end Chase Young. I don’t think there’s any doubt that both teams will want to run the ball to help their quarterbacks and the Jaguars’ top priority in 2022 on defense is to stop the run. If Washington can win the trenches, they win the game.
  • According to Martineau: I like Jaguars Sunday and I like them big. I think it will be a strong first impression for Pederson. He knows how to prepare a team, and there’s a lot of hunger in the Jaguars locker room. Lawrence will have a good day, the defense will turn a lead into a rout and the Jaguars will win 27-10 in the regular season opener.