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NFL Picks: Jaguars and Lions Face-off in a Marquee Preseason Matchup
August 22, 2023
In an unexpected turn of events, NFL enthusiasts will be treated to a sizzling preseason encounter as the Jacksonville Jaguars head to Ford Field to confront the Detroit Lions this Saturday. Elevating the stakes even higher, The Football League has granted this clash a coveted national TV spot, underscoring its significance in the preseason calendar with interesting NFL Odds that might have resonance throughout the season.
This isn’t just a mere encounter; the teams will get well-acquainted during their joint practices on the preceding Wednesday and Thursday. With the Jaguars coming off a narrow 28-23 victory over the Dallas Cowboys and the Lions marking their preseason debut with a 21-16 triumph over the New York Giants, the stage is set for an intense face-off. Both teams, however, will be missing some key players – the Jags without Henry Mondeaux, Sammis Reyes, Leonard Taylor, and Dawuane Smoot, and the Lions without Trey Quinn, Justin Jackson, Emmanuel Moseley, and Hendon Hooker.
Although Trevor Lawrence’s debut against Dallas was brief, making five of six passes, we’re likely to witness more of him on the field against Detroit.
The Jaguars are signaling a tactical move: the coaching staff might rest their starters in the final preseason game, focusing on fringe players. This makes the upcoming encounter even more crucial for the first team due to unexpected dark horses having good performances and complicating the depth chart.
Travis Etienne, Jacksonville’s star running back, is slated to be heavily involved in the proceedings. Despite a somewhat lukewarm preseason record for the Jags, the team is keenly focused on ironing out its squad dynamics. One major internal competition to keep an eye on is the tussle between Tre Herndon and Gregory Junior for the coveted nickel cornerback spot – a position emphasized by the Jaguars’ defensive strategies last season.
Detroit Lions have something to prove.
While Detroit’s strategy for joint practices hints at the heavy involvement of their starters, it remains to be seen how this will translate on the actual game day. Jared Goff, Lions’ lead quarterback, was notably absent in the previous game, giving Nate Sudfeld a chance to shine, albeit with two interceptions. The Lions’ offensive arsenal, including Jahmyr Gibbs, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Marvin Jones Jr, and Jameson Williams, is expected to be more active this time around.
An exciting subplot is the expected presence of backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and the emerging star, Julian Okwara, whose stunning three sacks against the Giants make him a player to watch. Additionally, the defense’s strength will be further tested as Brian Branch and Tracy Walker III vie for the starting role.
Conclusion: Lions in the Driver’s Seat?
The Detroit Lions, touted by many experts as the potential winners of the NFC North this season, are anticipated to play their starters expansively on Saturday. The Lions boast a powerful combination of talent and depth, with standout performers like Jahmyr Gibbs, Amon-Ra St.Brown, Marvin Jones Jr, Aidan Hutchison, and Alex Anzalone.
While the Jaguars are also set to deploy their starters, the Lions have the edge, especially playing at home. Their depth, combined with players eager to cement their place in the squad, could tilt the scales in their favor this Saturday.
So, as we approach this thrilling encounter, one thing is for sure: NFL fans are in for a treat, and the road to the regular season is heating up!