Week 6 Preview: Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguarsby Garrett Brooks October 17, 2020 0 comments
The Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars face off Sunday with both teams looking to notch their second win of the season. The Lions are coming off their bye week with a 1-3 record, while the Jaguars enter the game at 1-4, including a four-game losing streak following last week’s 30-14 loss to the Texans.
Key Rookie Cornerbacks
This game features the first two cornerbacks selected in the 2020 NFL draft. The Lions took Jeff Okudah out of Ohio State third overall, six spots before the Jaguars took C.J. Henderson out of Florida ninth overall. Both have had good moments and learning moments in their first few games, which is to be expected at the NFL level. In three games played, Okudah has totaled 18 tackles to go with an interception and a pass deflection. Henderson, meanwhile, has played in four games and has recorded 15 tackles to go alongside his interception and four pass deflections. While both have the talent to become their respective team’s shutdown corner one day, expect them to continue learning about life in the NFL in the short term.
Speaking of life in the NFL, the Lions leading rusher a quarter of the way through the season is Adrian Peterson, who has rushed for 245 yards. The 35-year-old running back also leads the team in rush attempts, with 54. D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson, both second-round running backs the Lions selected since 2018, have combined for 33 rushing attempts. All three members of the Lions unusual backfield have rushed for one touchdown score.
The Jaguars, on the other hand, are feeding their rookie running back James Robinson all the carries he can handle. Robinson has received double-digit carries in all five of the Jaguars games this season and tacked on at least one reception in every contest. He’s averaging an impressive 4.6 yards per carry so far to go along with his three rushing touchdowns.
Fellow Jaguars rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. leads the team in receiving yards and receptions through five games after catching seven passes for 79 yards last week. The two rookies, combined with fourth-year wideout Keelan Cole account for 42.5% of Gardner Minshew‘s targets on the season.
On the Lions side, Matthew Stafford‘s most reliable target has been second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson, who has 15 catches for 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Stud wide receiver Kenny Golladay has caught a touchdown in both of the contests he has played in. The four touchdowns between those two account for half of Stafford’s passing touchdowns.
On the injury front, Lions starting center Frank Ragnow is being listed as questionable with a groin injury. Veteran corner Desmond Trufant is out (hamstring). The Jaguars are listing Tyler Eifert and DJ Chark as questionable on the offensive side. Defensive end Josh Allen is also listed as questionable due to a knee injury. Allen has recorded a sack in back-to-back games.
Date: October 18, 2020
Start Time: 1:00P.M. EST
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Stadium: TIAA Bank Field
TV Info: FOX
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: DET -3 (-110) | JAX +3 (-10)
Moneyline: DET -160 | JAX +130
Over/Under: O 54.5 (-110) | U 54.5 (-120)
While both teams enter this contest with one win on the season, there’s a significant difference in how they got here. The Lions three losses have come to the Bears, Packers, and Saints. All three are good NFC teams, and the Bears and Saints games were one-possession contests. The Jaguars, meanwhile, have lost to the Dolphins, Bengals, and Texans in the last three weeks. Each loss was their opponent’s first win of the season.
Detroit is the better team right now and will begin displaying that as the season unfolds. They should be able to score early and often in this one, making the Jaguars offense play catch up from the early going. For that reason, the Lions -3 and over 54.5 are plays to feel confident in.
The Lions come out of the bye week firing offensively. Peterson’s extra days of rest will have him feeling fresher, and Stafford is going to utilize his offensive arsenal for catching the ball. The Jaguars won’t get run off the field, as Minshew gets the ball into his guy’s hands, who do their part to keep the Jags in the game.
Final Score: Lions 33, Jaguars 24
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