Many have said that the Green Bay Packers have an easy schedule in 2016, but as many will soon find out, winning in Jacksonville is no longer an easy task.
The Jaguars have made big strides in the past few seasons, especially at quarterback and at the skills positions.
The defense has also gotten much better and after two years of big free agent spending and heavy drafting towards defense, the Jaguars are hoping to contend for the playoffs.
The Packers are already in that position. But their goals are even bigger. They want to win the NFC North and earn home-field advantage.
Winning games against the Jaguars will be essential to making that happen. And with that in mind, here are three keys to a Green Bay win Sunday.
Run the football:
The first key for Green Bay is pounding the rock. If Eddie Lacy and James Starks get close to 30 combined carries that will mean bad things for the Jaguars.
If Green Bay can control the game and use the run to open the play-action passing game, then watch out. Running the ball has been a big focus for Mike McCarthy, we’ll see if it pays off early.
Yes. The running game will be key. It’s just as important for the Packers defensively. If Blake Bortles has all day to throw and is always in good situations down-and-distance wise, it will put pressure on the Green Bay defense.
With Chris Ivory, Jacksonville is going to run the football, stopping it will give a big boost to the Green Bay pass rush, which has to hit Bortles if the Packers are to win.
Get Rodgers and Jordy Nelson on track:
Rodgers is the first to admit he struggled in 2015, but now, it’s a new year and thankfully, Jordy Nelson is back.
It will be important for Rodgers and Nelson to find rhythm and confidence early. When those two are in sync and making big plays, the Packers seem unstoppable.
Hopefully that’s what we will see from the Pro-Bowl duo Sunday against the Jaguars and if we do, Green Bay should have a good chance to come away victorious.