The 5 o’clock club is published Wednesday to Saturday during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
A quick peek backwards
Before we move forward to look at the challenge the Redskins will be facing when they visit the Jaguars on Sunday, let’s take a final quick look back at last week’s beatdown at the hands of the 4-8 New York Giants.
Last weekend, ahead of the Giants game, 5 o’clock club readers were invited to vote on over-under predictions for the game. Let’s see how we did.
Predictions & actual results for last week’s New York Giants game
OBJ and Barkley combine for 13.5 catches against the Redskins on Sunday
- prediction: over (57%)
- actual: Of course, OBJ was a late-week scratch from the game, so this one was a little unfair. By himself, Saquon Barkley had only 4 catches for just 27 yards.
Saquon Barkley gets 131 scrimmage yards against the Redskins on Sunday
prediction: over (58%)
actual: Barkley didn’t even need his 27 receiving yards to get this number. He had 170 yards on the ground on a mere 14 carries.
Saquon Barkley averages 5.81 yards per touch against the Redskins on Sunday
prediction: under (58%)
actual: Normally, the average yards from scrimmage is a number that is dragged up by the receiving yards, and down by the rushing yards to some compromise spot in the middle. Not so for Saquon Barkley last week. He averaged an astounding 12.1 yards per carry as a rusher, and a mere 6.75 yards per reception as a receiver.
I’m too disgusted to even do the math on the yards per touch average. It was a lot more than 5.81. Hell, it was a lot more than 9.81.
The Redskins give up 429 yards of total offense to the Giants on Sunday
prediction: under (69%)
actual: Not that 429 yards is a challenging total for a defense, but this one was close. The Giants actually put up 402 yards of total offense, but a lot of that was likely due to New York taking their foot off the gas once they were up 40-0.
Sanchez will throw 2 interceptions on Sunday versus the Giants
prediction: He will throw exactly two (54%)
actual: The fans — incredibly — got this one right. What makes it perhaps more impressive, is that Sanchez managed to do this while playing just over half the game.
The Giants defense did manage to collect a third INT, but that one was late in the game, and came from the arm of Josh Johnson.
The Giants will get 3.5 sacks against the Redskins on Sunday
prediction: A perfect 50/50 split, with 82 votes for “over”, and 82 for “under”. I should become a bookie.
actual: Washington gave up 5 sacks to the Giants defense.
By the way, all 5 of the sacks were against Mark Sanchez. The very mobile Josh Johnson spent most of his night on the field sprinting left or right, and the Giants pass rushers couldn’t catch up with him.
Which will Mark Sanchez throw more of on Sunday?
prediction: 37% of fans said that Sanchez would have the same number of INTs and TDs, as opposed to more of one or the other.
actual: We all know that the Redskins were being shut out when Jay Gruden turned to Josh Johnson, so it’ll come as no surprise that Mark Sanchez further enhanced his standing as an unreliable quarterback by throwing two picks, while failing to score at all.
Here’s what James Dorsett had to say about the Sanchize following the Giants debacle:
Mark Sanchez might be the worst quarterback currently on an NFL roster and showed it on Sunday. This was literally one of the worst quarterback performances of the year and in franchise history.
The Sanchize completed 6-of-14 passes, gained just 38 yards on those throws, did not throw a touchdown or a first down, was sacked five times and threw 2 interceptions, one of which was returned for a pick-six. He did not gain any rushing yards either. The yardage, touchdown, sack and first down totals were all season worsts by a Redskins QB.
Sanchez posted a 10.7 passer rating, 2.71 YPA and a -3.71 adjusted YPA in the game, with the latter two of those being new career lows. Here is where those numbers rank this year among all quarterbacks (minimum 10 attempts): 2nd-worst, 3rd-worst and worst. Only Nathan Peterman and Tyrod Taylor were worse in any of those three statistics.
Sanchez is now tied for the lowest adjusted interception rate (83 interception % index) among all qualifying quarterbacks in NFL history.
Adrian Peterson rushes for 89.5 yards against the Giants on Sunday
prediction: Over (58%)
actual: I have to admit, this fan prediction surprised me.
Peterson actually got only 16 yards on 10 carries, which surprised me more.
Shifting the focus to the Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars played in the AFC Championship game last year, and gave the Patriots all they could handle. Many people felt that the Sacksonville defense would see the team right back in the AFCC game again this season.
Meanwhile, preseason expectations for the Redskins weren’t very high (except for me... I picked them to win ten games and the NFC East).
By the time both teams had played 5 games, each of them was sitting at 3-2. The Jaguars had a big win over the Patriots in Week 2 and the Redskins had quality wins against the Packers and Panthers.
Over the next 4 games, the two teams would head in dramatically different directions. The Redskins went 3-1 to reach an overall record of 6-3, and put themselves at the top of the NFC East.
Jacksonville went 0-4 and plummeted to the bottom of the standings in the AFC South. The losing streak reached 7 games before Jacksonville picked up a 6-0 victory over division rival Indianapolis in Week 14.
That was followed up by a 30-9 beatdown at the hands of another division rival, the Titans, last week on Thursday Night Football — a game that looked a lot like the Redskins-Giants travesty that followed on Sunday.
The Redskins come into this week’s game in Jacksonville riding a 4-game losing streak, and having lost 5 of the last 6. Jacksonville, meanwhile, has lost 8 of their last 9 games.
The Redskins come into the game with plans to start their 4th different quarterback of the season in Josh Johnson, with most fans seeing that as a likely upgrade to last week’s starter, Mark Sanchez.
The Jaguars will probably be starting Cody Kessler over Blake Bortles; I don’t think it even matters which one gets the nod.
Bortles started the first 11 games for the Jaguars this season. As a starter in 2018 he has a 3-8 record, and has thrown 13 TDs and 10 INTs, while rushing 50 times for 325 yards.
Kessler started in the last two games, helping his team score 6 points in the win against the Colts and 9 points in the loss to the Titans. Kessler also played in the Houston Texans game mid-season. Kessler, in his three appearances, has 2 passing TDs and 1 INT. He has also run 12 times for 53 yards.
Suffice to say, neither quarterback has been leading many offensive explosions this season.
Here’s my take on this game: Whichever team loses this game should be #32 in the Power Rankings that follow. This is a contest to see which team has fallen the to the deepest depths from which there is no return (this season), and which team still has a little pride left.
My gut tells me that the Jags are the team that has given up, and that the Redskins — still just a half-game out of a playoff seeding — have a reason to fight on.
My gut tells me that the Jaguars are lost in the wilderness at quarterback, while the Redskins stand ready to rally around Josh Johnson, at least this week.
Let’s see what your collective guts are telling you.
Jacksonville is ranked 30th in the league in Points per Game scored, at 16.3. Only Arizona and Buffalo are worse. The Redskins rank two slots above the Jags at 19.2 ppg, among a group of only six teams averaging under 20 ppg.
Since Week 5, Jacksonville has scored over 20 points just twice, and is averaging 13.75 ppg in those 8 games. They have been held under 10 points five times this season. In Cody Kessler’s two previous starts against the Colts and Titans (ranked 15th & 4th in scoring defense) the Jags averaged 7.5 points per game. The Redskins are ranked 14th in scoring defense, one slot ahead of the Colts.
Jacksonville scores 13.5 points against the Redskins on Sunday
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Leonard Fournette has missed about half the season with injury this season. In the 6 games he has played, he has 104 carries for 350 yards, averaging 3.4 ypc. He also has 4 rushing touchdowns.
Fournette also has 16 receptions (about 2.4 per game) for 139 yards and a TD.
Fournette put up 95 yards rushing against the Steelers and the Bills in back-to-back games in Weeks 11 & 12, but hasn’t had even 60 rushing yards in any other game this season. He has averaged under 4.5 yards per carry in 4 of his 6 games.
Leonard Fournette rushes for 65 yards against the Redskins on Sunday
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The Jacksonville receiving corps may be the only one in the NFL that might have a chance of making the Redskins appear to have ‘marquee’ players by comparison: Donte Moncreif, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark, and Rashad Green catch passes from the quarterback du jour for Jacksonville.
- Moncreif 13 games, 604 yards, 46.5 ypg
- Cole 13 games, 446 yards, 24.3 ypg
- Westbrook 13 games, 641 yards, 49.3 ypg
- Chark 10 games, 174 yards, 17.4 ypg
- Green 6 games, 38 yards
Here is a list of the biggest games of the season for the top 4 receivers:
Moncrief had one 100-yard game, against the Jets in Week 4. His next best was 98 yards vs the Colts, when he had an 80-yard TD reception.
Cole put up 116 yards in a win against the Patriots in Week 2. His next best was 70 yards against Kansas City.
Westbrook had 9 catches for 130 yards against the Jets (same as Moncreif’s big game). His next best was 88 yards against the Titans last week.
Chark put up 68 yards against KC, and hasn’t played since Week 11.
So, that’s three 100-yard games; two of them in the same week verses the Jets, and none at all since that Week 4 game.
Jacksonville’s leading receiver puts up 69 yards against the Redskins defense on Sunday
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Josh Johnson scored twice last week; one TD pass and one run into the end-zone (not counting his two 2-point conversions).
Josh’s previous career high in TDs came in 2009 when he played in 6 games, with 4 starts, and threw for 4 TDs and 8 INTs on 125 attempts, while rushing 22 times for 148 yards.
Jacksonville’s defense is ranked 7th in the league in points allowed, at 21 ppg. They lead the league in Passing TDs allowed, at just 15 passing TDs in 13 games. They rank 20th in the league, with 10 interceptions (Redskins are #8t with 13; Bears are #1 with 25).
Josh Johnson will get 2 TDs (passing, rushing, receiving) in the game against the Jaguars
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How many 2-point conversions will the Redskins attempt on Sunday against the Jaguars?
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The Jacksonville Jaguars are ranked 21st in rushing yards per game allowed, at 120.4.
Here are the teams ranked above Jacksonville that the Redskins have played, and the rushing yards per game that the Washington offense achieved against them:
1. Saints 77.6 - Skins = 39
3. Cowboys 86.8 - Skins = 130, 80
5. Texans 88.2 - Skins = 124
7. Panthers 97.8 - Skins = 132
8. Colts 102.9 - Skins = 65
11. Eagles 106.6 - Skins = 104
20. Buccaneers 119.4 - Skins = 116
Redskins rush for 118 yards against the Jacksonville defense on Sunday
This poll is closed