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The 10-4 Patriots will travel down to Jacksonville to take on the 2-12 Jaguars. Let's take a look at my bold predictions for New England's Week 16 game.
I'm going to try to make this article as bold as I can—but bear with me, this game is going to be a complete blowout.
Jacksonville is an inferior team and New England needs to destroy them—it's just that simple.
With that being said, let's take a look at my bold predictions for New England's Week 16 game in Jacksonville.
1. Tom Brady will only play three quarters
With the Jaguars standing at a putrid 2-12, I don't see Tom Brady making it into the fourth quarter—the game should be well out of hand at that point.
With Brady and the Patriots likely ending the game before halftime, I see Ryan Mallett coming in for a few series to show give the league an idea of what he can do.
2. Ryan Mallett will throw a touchdown pass
Assuming that Ryan Mallett does play, I do see the Patriots giving him some time to play with, just to see how he does against a legitimate NFL defense.
Mallett has yet to throw a single touchdown pass, but if he does play tomorrow I see that happening. Then Mallett will have a touchdown to go along with his one career interception.
3. Justin Blackmon will be shut-down
Let's just say that I love Aqib Talib—he is the missing piece that this defense needed.
Talib has consistently shut-down opposing team's No. 1 wide receivers ever since arriving with the Patriots back in Week 11.
With that being said, I don't see Justin Blackmon presenting that much of a challenge against Talib.
4. Cecil Shorts will have a big day for the Jags
With Alfonzo Dennard officially listed as out, this means that Kyle Arrington will likely start opposite of Aqib Talib at cornerback.
With Arrington struggling for the most part of this season, I see Cecil Shorts being Jacksonville's only offensive threat.
Shorts leads the Jaguars in receiving yards as he's racked up 925 yards on 49 receptions while scoring seven touchdowns.
5. Stevan Ridley will bounce back with a huge performance against Jacksonville
Last Sunday night was pretty ugly for Stevan Ridley as he ran for just 23 yards on nine carries against the San Francisco 49ers while losing one fumble—he was immediately benched after his fumble.
Ridley has rushed for 1,105 yards on the season and has been pretty impressive for the Pats thus far in 2012—just not against the 49ers.
With that being said, I'd hope to see Ridley have a huge game against the NFL's worst rush-defense.
Final Prediction: New England: 45 Jacksonville: 10
I really don't see this game being close at all and I see it getting out of hand rather early—with Ryan Mallett relieving Tom Brady in the second half.
These are two teams heading in complete opposite directions as the Patriots have already clinched the AFC East while the Jaguars sit at 2-12 and are candidates for the top overall pick in next year's draft.
There is no reason why New England wont blow out Jacksonville Sunday afternoon.