NFL PicksBetting Overview:

Washington head coach Mike Shanahan has been able to make winning teams out of average players, and post Super Bowl winning NFL scores with Hall of Fame caliber players. The man knows how to utilize talent and get the most from his team. Maybe that is why the NFL betting world is shocked to see the chaos being created by Shanahan in Washington. The problems with defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth were avoidable with some face-to-face talking before the season started, but the problems that Shanahan created with starting quarterback Donavan McNabb are just baffling.

The preseason NFL predictions surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars certainly did not include the Jags competing for the AFC South title in week 15 of the regular season. But last week’s loss to the Colts may have been the end of a season that saw the Jaguars take a center stage no one expected them to take. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew has become the focus of an offense that still does not have an identity, but yet can put a lot of points on the board.

Offense:

The Jacksonville offense was able to go toe-to-toe with a relatively healthy Indianapolis Colts defense in what become a week 15 shoot out for first place in the AFC South. But the Jags running game could just not get going against that Colts defensive front, and Maurice Jones-Drew wound up with on 46 yards rushing and no touchdowns. Quarterback David Garrard showed that he can get the ball down the field when he needs to, but eventually he ran out of ideas and the Colts defense won the day.

The Redskins gave the starting quarterback job to Rex Grossman in what head coach Mike Shanahan calls an “evaluation period.” That basically says to the fans that the Redskins have thrown in the towel on the season, officially, and the fans can expect to see a lot of replacement players in the game for evaluation purposes. That bodes really well for a Jacksonville defense that is looking for a reason to get better. For example, when the Redskins were near the goal line late in their week 15 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Shanahan did not have starting running back Ryan Torain in the game. The goal line, with the game on the line in the regular season, seemed like a good time for Shanahan to evaluate talent.

Defense:

Defensively the Washington Redskins are a mess as well. The Washington coaching staff is trying to hammer a 3-4 defense into a roster that is not made up of players that can play that kind of scheme. For some reason, Mike Shanahan is not willing to work with what he has. He seems more content to exert his power as the head coach and, rather than gradually moving towards the scheme he wants, he is trying to force players to play in ways they are not comfortable playing. With no Albert Haynesworth, Shanahan has no nose tackle for his defense, and that opens up the Redskins against the run.

The Jaguars defense is not much better than the Redskins, and they showed up when they gave up 34 points to the Indianapolis Colts in a game the Jaguars had to have. The worst part for the Jacksonville defense is that they were beat by the run and the pass.

The Bottom Line:

If Mike Shanahan is going to continue to evaluate talent, then the Jaguars will take this game easily. If Shanahan uses the players he has to try and win this game, then it will be a very close game.

BSN Sports Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars

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