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Browns Schedule Week 14: Scouting the Jacksonville Jaguars

Cleveland has a nice bounce back opportunity on Sunday against the Jaguars who could be without Trevor Lawrence.

NFL: DEC 04 Bengals at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns are hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend in what should be an exciting AFC conference battle.

It appears that Joe Flacco will be getting the start at quarterback on Sunday based on his practice reps this week, so it seems like he’ll have another chance to prove himself. Fortunately for the Browns, it’s also starting to look like the team could be getting a few more impactful players back from injury this week, which is a breath of fresh air for the organization.

Though the Jaguars have had a great season so far, they continue showing a couple of consistent weaknesses each game.

Jacksonville’s pass defense continues to be abysmal

Though the Jaguars defense has been very good against the run in 2023, their pass defense is almost non-existent. The linebackers continually show the inability to cover tight ends consistently, and their secondary can’t seem to stay in advantageous positions.

This Jacksonville defense is currently allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete a whopping 66.5% of their passes while averaging 25.1 completions per game, 6.9 yards per attempt, and 261.7 passing yards per game. Every one of these statistics ranks in the bottom 25% of the league as of right now, and it’s still trending in the wrong direction.

The Jaguars can’t run the football efficiently

There’s a reason why Jacksonville’s entire offensive game plan is centered around Trevor Lawrence and the passing game. The run game is only averaging 3.6 yards per attempt despite being 8th highest in overall attempts per game. One of the main problems has been the offensive line’s inability to get a push up front.

The offensive line has been fairly good when pass blocking, but when its time to run the ball it seems like they have some miscommunication or assignment issues. Its fairly safe to say that despite the team’s success, Jaguars HC Doug Pederson has had a problem keeping this one-dimensional, offensive unit balanced.

C.J. Beathard could end up starting on Sunday for the Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence is currently dealing with a high ankle sprain but has been practicing in a limited capacity over the past two days. C.J. Beathard, his primary backup, was limited to start the week as well with a nagging shoulder injury.

If Lawrence is indeed ruled out on Sunday then Beathard would be the next man up. He hasn’t played much over his last three seasons in Jacksonville, and when he has, it hasn’t been very intriguing. In his 11 career games played for the Jaguars, he has an average quarterback rating of 42.1. He has looked capable when it comes to the quick passing game, but he has almost no ability to consistently push the ball downfield in most situations. In seasons when he attempted more than 10 passes, he has averaged 4.4 yards per attempt which is incredibly low for a typical, effective NFL passing game.

What’s your score prediction for the game? Join fellow Browns fans in the comment section below.