Detroit News scouting report: Lions at Jaguars

Detroit News

Rod Beard
 
| The Detroit News

Lions at Jaguars

Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. Sunday, TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.

TV/radio: Fox/760

Records: Lions 1-3, Jaguars 1-4

Line: Lions by 3

DETROIT NEWS STAFF PREDICTIONS

Rod Beard of The Detroit News breaks down the Lions’ Week 6 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars:

Key matchup

LIONS RUNNING BACKS VS. JAGUARS DEFENSIVE LINE

The Lions have a favorable matchup against the Jaguars’ defense, which gives up an average of 137 yards per game, including 205 to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4. The Lions won’t have it easy, though, with Adrian Peterson missing some practice time because of a non-COVID illness this week.

The Lions have split the carries this season between Peterson, Kerryon Johnson and rookie D’Andre Swift. If Peterson can’t go, that’ll put more of the onus on the other two to carry the ground game, though Peterson has been the leading rusher.

The game plan could call for the Lions to lean on their short-passing game a bit more, but there’s no reason that with an opportunity to run against a porous defensive front, that they don’t go for it.

More: Lions’ Kenny Golladay coy about negotiations on new contract

Jaguars to watch

Gardner Minshew II, QB: He’s not one of the elite quarterbacks in the league, but Minshew can be dangerously effective. He’s passed for 300 yards in three of the Jaguars’ five games this season and he has 10 touchdown passes in five games, which is tied for the most in franchise history. In the 19 games in his career, Minshew has thrown 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions, including four this season.

James Robinson, RB: The undrafted rookie is the Jaguars’ leading rusher, with 516 total scrimmage yards (333 rushing and 183 receiving), which ranks fifth in the league. Robinson is a capable receiver out of the backfield, as he showed with six catches for 83 yards against the Dolphins. Minshew will be the focus, but the Lions can’t forget about Robinson as a dual-threat option.

Laviska Shenault Jr., WR: With one of their main targets, D.J. Chark listed as questionable, there will be more of a focus on Shenault, a rookie who played at Colorado. In their five games, Chenault has 23 catches for 270 yards and a touchdown. He’s coming off his best game, with seven recpetions for 79 yards against the Texans.

More: Wojo: Is Matthew Stafford entering the closing stretch of his career as a Lion?

Facts and figures

►The Jaguars are one of the few teams to have fans in the stands, at their TIAA Bank Field. They’ll be at about 25 percent of capacity and had about 14,000 fans for the opener and 16,500 against the Dolphins in Week 3.

►The Jaguars are the only NFL team against whom Stafford hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass; he’s thrown at least two against every other opponent in his career. In Stafford’s NFL career, he’s 4-0 when playing in the state of Florida and 7-1 combined against the Jaguars (2-0), Miami Dolphins (2-0) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1).

►With consecutive losses against the Dolphins, Bengals and Texans, the Jaguars became the first team to lose three straight games to previously-winless teams in league history, according to Elias Sports.

rod.beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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