Behind Enemy Lines: Previewing Jaguars Vs. Lions
For both the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) and Detroit Lions (1-3), Week 6's bout at TIAA Bank Field will be a must-win game. Which team can stop the negative momentum and start winning games?
To preview the game, we break it down with John Maakaron of AllLions. Who wins, who will standout and what should we track?
Q: How has Matt Stafford played this year? Up to expectations?
A. Matthew Stafford has not played up to expectations through the first four games. He has thrown interceptions at inopportune times and has taken too many sacks. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell mentioned this week he wants Stafford to work on his footwork going forward. Bevell also explained Stafford missed significant time last season with a back injury and did not have the benefit of playing in the preseason.
Q: How hot is Matt Patricia's seat, and is any criticism for him warranted?
A: Matt Patricia's seat is the hottest it has ever been. Not many would be surprised if he was dismissed should Detroit go on the road and lose to the Jaguars. The defense is among the worst in the NFL and supporters are fed up. He was brought in as a defensive guru who worked with Bill Belichick in New England, but the team has not had any real success through his first couple seasons on the job. The odds of Patricia returning for a fourth season in Motown are slim if the losing ways continue.
Q: What has Jeff Okudah brought to the defense this year?
A: Okudah is learning on the job. His first couple of starts did not go as planned, even though he secured his first career interception against the Cardinals. He is gaining the confidence of the coaching staff week after week, as he looks to steadily improve in man coverage. He has not allowed a touchdown against him his rookie season. He brings a willingness to learn and adapt daily and is fitting in with the defensive backs on the roster.
Q: Is playing Adrian Peterson over the young backs in Swift and Johnson the right call?
A: Swift should be playing more, no question. Peterson has been highly productive for the Lions, but Swift needs to see an increase in his snap counts in the coming weeks. He is a solid pass catcher and has made several plays after his drop the opening week of the season. Kerryon Johnson has been relegated to spelling Peterson and is being used as a pass-blocker.
Q: Who do you think wins on Sunday and why?
A: I think this game has a chance to be a very high scoring and entertaining game. Jacksonville appears to struggle getting off the field on defense as much as Detroit does. Detroit will look to control the game on the ground and will look to take advantage of matchup advantages. I think tight end T.J. Hockenson could have a multiple touchdown performance in a victory for the Lions, 37-34.