The Jacksonville Jaguars will face off against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. One of the biggest storylines surrounding the primetime bout is whether Trevor Lawrence will suit up. Currently, the third-year quarterback is listed as questionable after suffering a knee injury in Week 6.
Following the Jags' 37-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts, Lawrence said he was feeling fine. He then told the local media Tuesday that he was feeling better than he expected. Although backup quarterback C.J. Beathard got all first-team reps Tuesday, he said Lawrence will most likely start against the Saints.
All signs point toward Lawrence lining up behind center Thursday but if has a setback and isn't good to go, here are four reasons the Jaguars can beat New Orleans with Beathard at the helm.
4. The running game is clicking, the Jaguars can lean on Travis Etienne
Travis Etienne has been an integral part of the Jaguars offense since he supplanted James Robinson in the lineup last year. Six weeks into the 2023 season, he ranks sixth in rushing yards and leads the league in broken tackles with 29.
Although Etienne only managed 55 yards on 18 carries (3.1 yards per carry average) against the Colts in Week 6, he reached the end zone twice and is a threat to break off a long run at any given time. The Jags made an effort to establish the run during their three-game winning streak and they'll most likely try to do it again in Week 7.
New Orleans currently ranks ninth in the NFL in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns allowed. However, that number looks better than it truly is because they held the New England Patriots to just 45 yards in Week 5. Leaving that game outside, the Saints have given up 100 rushing yards or more four times this season. Expect heavy doses of Travis Etienne in primetime.