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Falcons' next opponent: 5 things to know about the Jaguars

The Falcons host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday for their final home game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season.

After a thrilling win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the Falcons (5-9) will be looking to close out the season with consecutive wins.


The Jaguars (5-9) are also coming off an impressive come-from-behind 20-16 win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 15.

Here's five things to know about the Jaguars:

Get ready for Minshew mania

Much of the Jaguars' season has been centered around the quarterback competition that has developed throughout the season.

Jacksonville signed Nick Foles to a four-year deal worth a reported $88 million in the offseason in hopes he could become their franchise quarterback for years to come. Foles injured his collar bone in Week 1 and was placed in injured reserve.

While he was out, Gardner Minshew carried the Jaguars to a 4-4 record as the starter.

Foles resumed his starting role when he was able to in Week 12 but didn't produce the way the Jaguars hoped he would. Foles was benched after the first half of Jacksonville's 28-11 loss and Minshew has been named the starter since.

After a horrid first half against the Raiders, Minshew rebounded with an excellent performance. Minshew led the Jaguars to 17 points in the final 16 minutes of their win.

In 10 starts, Minshew has thrown 245 passes for 2,795 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Jaggs have one of league's top pass-rushing duo's

Rookie Josh Allen and fourth-year defensive end Yannick Ngakoue have been hard to stop coming off the edge this season. Allen has recorded 10 sacks in his first year in the NFL and Ngakoue has eight.

Atlanta's offensive line will have to put together another dominant performance keeping Matt Ryan's pocket clean as the Jaguars rank No. 5 in the NFL in sacks with 43 on the year.

Leonard Fournette having career year

After playing in only eight games in his second year, the former LSU running back and No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft is having the best season of his career thus far.

Fournette ranks No. 9 in the league in rushing yards with 1,081 on 250 carries. He's also been a factor in the passing game as he's caught 73 passes for 488 yards.

Jacksonville's offense could get boost with return of DJ Chark

The Jaguars were without their leader in receiving yards, touchdowns and receptions in DJ Chark.

Coach Doug Marrone said Chark will begin running and cutting this week after suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of the Jaguars' most recent game against the Raiders.

Chark has caught 67 passes for 956 yards and eight touchdowns in his second season in Jacksonville. He's made an impressive jump from his disappointing first year in which he caught just 14 passes for 74 yards.

Jaguars have struggled to stop the run

The Jaguars have been one of the league's worst team when it comes to stopping the run this season.

Jacksonville ranks No. 29 in rushing defense giving up 140.1 yards per game.

The Falcons will look to take advantage of this matchup as they continue to try and get their run game improved. The return of rookie right guard Chris Lindstrom and the development of rookie right tackle Kaleb McGary has helped recently.

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