By Dustin Fletcher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, at 1 p.m. the Jacksonville Jaguars will take on the Detroit Lions. The Jaguars (1-4) have lost four straight after their week one win over the division rival Indianapolis Colts. Since then, the team, mainly the defense has taken several steps backward en route to four straight losses. It has not been pretty. They’re back at home for the first time since week three, when they were demolished by the Miami Dolphins.
Last week, the team gave up 8 receptions, 161 yards and a touchdown to Brandin Cooks, who had been a non-factor all season. David Johnson nearly had 100 yards rushing for the first time in over four years. The previously 0-4 Houston Texans got their first win, one week after the Cincinnati Bengals did the same thing against the Jaguars. Right now, the team is every team’s “get right game” with the way the defense is playing. C.J. Henderson is banged up. Tre Herndon has regressed in his second year as a starter. Chris Claybrooks is in over his head. This secondary, bar Sidney Jones IV (who was very good last week) and Jarrod Wilson have been inconsistent at best, and swiss cheese at worst this year. Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay will likely have a field day with this defense.
As bad as the secondary has been, that was to be expected with so many departures and young faces. The defensive line, with high expectations following Josh Allen’s stellar rookie season and K’Lavon Chaisson’s first round price tag have been a huge disappointment this season. Josh Allen has two sacks, Dawuane Smoot has one and Chaisson has one. That’s five sacks in five weeks, and unless your team’s secondary is the Legion of Boom or Jacksonville circa 2017, your won’t win a whole lot of games or stop anyone playing like that.
The Jaguars likely will have no answer for Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay’s size and speed. Sidney Jones IV played very well last week against Houston, but there isn’t quite the big bodied presence for the Texans that Golladay offers. In three weeks, Golladay has 10 catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Look for Golladay to have a great day in the red zone today and to approach 100 yards, realistically. Matthew Stafford will likely have close to 300 yards in what should be a shootout.
As bad as the defense has been, the offense has been promising in most weeks. The team constantly makes it into the red zone, but has had some problems converting in multiple weeks. James Robinson looks like a running back drafted in the first round, let alone someone that was undrafted. LaViska Shenault has been solid and looks to keep improving every week in this Jaguars offense. Gardner Minshew has still looked like a promising young quarterback, and if he can improve his pocket composure, he could be great. Keelan Cole has been a fantastic comeback story. If the offensive line can stay healthy, the offense should be able to keep the Jaguars in close games every week. If the defense can deliver 3-4 stops a game, the team could turn around it’s fortunes.
Unfortunately, the Jaguars will likely not be able to get more than one or two stops, and the Lions will continue to attack the Golladay mismatch until the Jaguars can stop it. This game is likely a close one with a high score, but the Lions will likely rise victorious. It’s a Jags life.