JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami) – When the season began, most NFL experts picked the Jacksonville Jaguars to be one of the worst teams in the league. But the Jaguars have stiff competition for the race for the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft from the New York Giants.
Both teams are 0-5 and while the Jaguars have scored a total of 51 points this season, a point that was made by the Denver Broncos’ Twitter account Monday, the Giants have been an even bigger disappointment led by quarterback Eli Manning.
The former Super Bowl MVP has looked like a shell of his former self en route to throwing 12 interceptions to just eight touchdown passes. Manning has also been sacked 15 times on the season behind a porous offensive line.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said if fans want to blame someone for Manning and the team’s struggle, blame the head coach.
“I can understand what the football world may think. Actually, what should happen is people should shift it to me,” Coughlin told USAToday.com. “In this one, criticizing the quarterback for the outcome for everything there at the end of the game is not right.”
Manning isn’t getting any help from his once stellar defense. The Giants have given up at least 31 points in each of the first five games, tying a record held by the 1954 Chicago Cardinals.
Plus, the Giants will likely be without the services of running back David Wilson, meaning a lackluster running game could get even worse.
While the sky is falling in New York, Jacksonville fans are more than used to seeing bad football being played by their team. But things may get really out of hand on Sunday when the Jaguars travel to Denver to face a red-hot Broncos team.
The Jaguars’ defense is ranked 31st in the league in scoring and 22nd in the league in total yards allowed. The Jaguars defense is also ranked 28th in passing touchdowns allowed, interceptions, and in rushing the defense is ranked 32nd in yards allowed and 29th in yards per attempt.
Against that backdrop, the Broncos have scored 230 points through five games this year, averaging 46 points per game. Peyton Manning leads a passing offense ranked 1st in passing yards, passing touchdowns, fewest interceptions, and net yards per attempt.
The Broncos also rank 15th in rushing yards gained, fourth in rushing touchdowns, and first in starting drive position, length of drives, average plays per drives, and points per drives. Denver has also scored more than 50 points for the last two consecutive games.
Not surprisingly, oddsmakers are putting the spread for this game at the largest in NFL history, 28 points. Given Denver’s recent play, unless Peyton Manning doesn’t play in the second half, it’s probably safe to put money on the Broncos even with a 28 point spread.
While the Giants still have the ability to turn the season around, especially in a woeful NFC East, Jacksonville is buried and has lost their top overall draft pick, Luke Joeckel, to a broken ankle. That means that come April, Jacksonville will likely be the first team on the clock when the draft begins.