Sat, 28 Jan 2023

Week 13 opponent: What the Jaguars are saying

Detroit Lions
01 Dec 2022, 19:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

What are the Jacksonville Jaguars players and coaches talking about ahead of Sunday's Week 13 matchup against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field? Let's find out:

1. Talk about two teams who are very similar in Detroit and Jacksonville. Both have identical 4-7 records, newer coaching staffs trying to build a culture, rosters littered with young playmakers, and offensively they are just one place apart in the rankings in total offense, rushing and passing.

They're also two young teams learning how to finish games. Jacksonville has lost six one-score games this season. The Lions have lost five such contests.

"It's good for the whole team to be able to finish the game," Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson told Jaguars.com of his team's last-second win over a good Baltimore team last week. "We talk about it all the time but learning how to finish - learning how to win a game - goes a long way for everybody's confidence."

2. Anyone who was at Detroit's Thanksgiving Day Game against Buffalo or watched on TV could feel the energy in a packed Ford Field. Pederson certainly did. Pederson mentioned this week the loud environment at Ford Field was something his team will have to prepare for this week and navigate through on Sunday.

"This (Detroit) team has won here recently, and they are playing much better as well. So it's another good challenge for us," he said.

3. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, turned in a third consecutive 100-plus-passer rating game Sunday. He's completing 77 percent of his passes with six touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 116.1 over his last three.

"He did a tremendous job at the helm," Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk told Jaguars reporters after his three-touchdown performance against the Ravens last week. "He stayed cool. Whenever 16 is rolling, we're all rolling."

NFC NORTH: Where all four teams stand heading into Week 13O'HARA: What we learned from Week 12KEY QUESTIONS: Will WR Jameson Williams or DL Romeo Okwara play this week?

4. How will the Lions prepare for Jacksonville's running back situation?

The Jaguars have leaned heavily on Travis Etienne Jr. at running back since trading James Robinson to the New York Jets in October. Etienne carried the ball just twice for three yards before heading to the locker room with a foot injury last week. It sounds like Etienne will be able to play Sunday, but it also sounds like Darrell Henderson could get some run in their backfield too. The Jags claimed Henderson off waivers from the Rams last week.

"We got to get him some touches this week in practice, we got to get him caught up," Pederson said of Henderson on Monday. "We will spend these next couple days meeting with him and getting him going. I think it's possible that, obviously, working him into practice, but he could be a player that we might need for the game.

5. The Lions, Jaguars and the rest of the NFL will be participating in the annual My Cause, My Cleats campaign this week. On Sunday, NFL players, coaches and staff will wear cleats and shoes honoring charities and organizations they support. Each shoe reflects a personal story, or a cause championed by the player, coach or staff member. Stay tuned for more on the Lions' selections for the campaign later this week on detroitlions.com.

Sign up for Baltimore News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!