Jacksonville Jaguars: Controlling line of scrimmage top priority vs. Rams

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 08: Ben Roethlisberger
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 08: Ben Roethlisberger /

The Jacksonville Jaguars must control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball against the Los Angeles Rams to earn their fourth win of 2017.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Los Angeles Rams in another must win game. Jacksonville is looking to seize control of the AFC South divisional lead. First, the Jaguars must control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Jacksonville is coming off an impressive victory on the road in Pittsburgh. Telvin Smith received the honor as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. The defense forced their will upon the hapless Pittsburgh offense. Now, Jacksonville faces another team with a strong running game. The front seven must stop Rams third-year running back Todd Gurley. Currently the Jaguars run defense is ranked 31st in the league. Expect the Jaguars to stack the box to keep Gurley contained.

Calais Campbell must continue pressuring the quarterback. Campbell has been relentless this season while pursuing the opposing quarterbacks. His pressures have allowed other Jaguars linemen to record sacks. As a team, Jacksonville has collected 20 sacks through five weeks.

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If the Jaguars defense is able to continue its dominant play, there is a good chance for a Jacksonville victory. But the Jaguars offensive line is facing a good Rams defensive front seven. Making things tougher, Brandon Linder will miss his second game due to illness. How will Jacksonville win this battle in the trenches?

Tyler Shatley will start again at center. He will be pressed into action by the presence of the Rams Aaron Donald. Pro Football Focus Edge grades Donald as the premier interior defensive lineman in the NFL thus far in the year at 91.1. Shatley will help in double team blocks against Donald. Perhaps the Jaguars will experiment with their blocking scheme as well. Expect the Jaguars to run multiple screen plays to slow down Donald.

Mike Kaye of First Coast News had this to about the rest of the Jaguars offensive line:

"Fellow offensive lineman Patrick Omameh (hip)…listed as questionable and will be game-time decisions. If Omameh is forced to miss the game, Chris Reed would probably move to the starting left guard spot. Reed temporarily relieved Omameh against Pittsburgh and filled in as a starter last season."

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Jacksonville must be able to control the clock offensively. To do that, they have to run the ball and pass in strategic situations. Are the Jaguars going to be able to control the line of scrimmage with two starter missing? To win they are going to have to find a way.