Marcedes Lewis (Peters/JagNation.com)
The expected difference makers in Sunday afternoon’s clash between the Jaguars and Broncos are quarterbacks David Garrard and Jay Cutler, running backs Fred Taylor, and Maurice Jones-Drew, and wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Matt Jones among others. Which players could make a difference in this game that may not be on the tip of many fans tongues? We have the answers.
When the Jaguars are on offense:
Tight end Marcedes Lewis is better known for his drops this season, but Lewis did have a nice 24-yard touchdown reception against Pittsburgh. If the Jaguars are going to pull a mild upset, Lewis will have to play big.
The Jaguars offensive line needs to play well this Sunday as the Broncos have had trouble stopping the run. This game will be decided in the trenches for the Jags offense, and the line must dominate.
Dennis Northcutt has been inactive for the last two games and he will likely get an opportunity on Sunday. Northcutt needs to get open and catch the football, and give the Jaguars coaching staff a reason to activate him more often.
Defensive end Elvis Dumervil is a speedy rush end who can really get after the passer. Khalif Barnes or Tony Pashos will have their collective hands full with Dumervil.
Linebacker Boss Bailey will have a big say in the outcome of this game as it will be up to Bailey to make some big stops on the explosive Jacksonville running backs.
When you think about the Broncos secondary, Champ Bailey and Dre Bly immediately come to mind. A player that will need to play well is safety Marlon McCree, who can be a ballhawk or a detriment as he’s susceptible to the play-action fake.
When the Broncos are on offense:
It is unclear whether or not rookie wide receiver Eddie Royal will play, but if he does he will have a major advantage over Jaguars cornerback Drayton Florence. The extra attention that will likely be focused on Brandon Marshall should open up the field for everyone else.
Perhaps the most underrated group on the Broncos has been their fantastic offensive line. Led by rookie tackle Ryan Clady, the Broncos have been more than solid, and Jay Cutler has been sacked just twice.
Tight ends have killed the Jaguars defense over the past few seasons, and although Denver will be playing this game without Tony Scheffler, they will have former Patriot Daniel Graham, who is a solid target.
Defensive end Derrick Harvey hasn’t put up many stats this season, but he’s getting good push at the line of scrimmage. Harvey could come through with a big day.
Jaguars defensive tackles Tony McDaniel and Derrick Landri will get more playing time than usual, and they will need to make a difference in the middle.