NFL Week 17 predictions: Do any experts give Jacksonville Jaguars a shot vs. New England Patriots?

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  • Trevor Lawrence
    Trevor Lawrence
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Mac Jones
    Mac Jones
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Bill Belichick
    Bill Belichick
    American football coach
  • Darrell Bevell
    American football player and coach

The Jacksonville Jaguars face a steep task Sunday when they take on the New England Patriots.

The Jaguars (2-13) have the upper hand in the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. They still have Trevor Lawrence, but as of Thursday, 27 Jaguars were on the COVID list. James Robinson suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in last week's loss. And while Darrell Bevell coaches out the rest of the season after Urban Meyer was fired, owner Shad Khan has begun his search for the next head coach.

The Patriots, meanwhile, are 9-6 and fighting for the AFC East crown. Rookie Mac Jones, a Jacksonville native, could be the Offensive Rookie of the Year. They've lost two games in a row, but both have been against fellow playoff contenders.

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NFL reporters and analysts weigh in with their picks:

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Patriots 34-10

The Patriots are well coached by Bill Belichick. The Jaguars were poorly coached by Urban Meyer and some of the residual effects of his philosophy are being felt to drag down Trevor Lawrence and the defense. Belichick will befuddle Lawrence and his team's strengths of the defense and the running game are further boosted by Jacksonville's glaring weaknesses. Lawrence loses vs. Zach Wilson and Mac Jones in consecutive weeks and wishes his situation could get a lot better in 2022.

Wes O'Donnell, Bleacher Report: Patriots 31-10

The Pats are coming off two straight tough losses. Now Belichick's team gets a struggling rookie quarterback, at home, while looking to hold onto a playoff spot. This is a lot of points, but a morale-boosting game that New England needs badly ahead of a battle with division rival Miami in Week 18. Total domination incoming.

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Patriots 30-13

Darrell Bevell won’t lose this one to Bill Belichick by calling a pass play with the game on the line. Hooray?

Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Patriots 34-0

Jacksonville’s latest shame game came just last week when the Jaguars allowed the Jets — the Jets, mind you — to rush for 273 yards. I’m guessing Bill Belichick gives Josh McDaniels his best frog imitation and tells him, “Run it, run it.” Like they did in Buffalo.

Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Patriots 27-10

This is a tough one. The Patriots are limited offensively and have played sloppy football since their bye week. Then again, my rule to never, ever pick the Jaguars to win has recently extended to never, ever picking them to cover. It's been a sound strategy, and New England should be able to grind them down even if it takes longer than the Foxborough faithful want.

Bill Bender, Sporting News: Patriots 30-14

Here is another game with a remarkable spread. It's another battle of rookie quarterbacks between Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones. Look for the Patriots to take advantage of a Jacksonville team that has a -19 turnover ratio. That won't play well on the well, and Jones gets back on track with a pair of TD passes.

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk: Patriots 21-0

In a matchup of rookie quarterbacks, the advantage goes to Mac Jones because he gets to play the Jaguars’ terrible defense, while Trevor Lawrence has to face the Patriots’ excellent defense.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Patriots 31-7

The Jaguars are a complete disaster, and now they are playing consecutive road games against a Bill Belichick team that is coming off a home loss. Good luck with that. The Patriots will get back on track here with a defensive showing that will force Trevor Lawrence into some turnovers. This will be ugly.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jaguars vs. Patriots predictions: NFL Week 17 expert picks

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