The Jacksonville Jaguars will be facing the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. You've heard that ESPN will be offering an alternative Toy Story broadcast of the game, one which will feature players in Andy's room. Trevor Lawrence knew about the simulcast but thought players would be characters from the movie franchise. In particular, he thought he would be Slinky Dog.
Lawrence told the local media Wednesday he wasn't the biggest Toy Story fan but liked the movies overall, " I like the movies. I just don't know all the characters necessarily and all but I definitely have watched all of them."
"It'll be cool for the kids, if I was a kid and they did that for a football game, it'd be definitely entertaining," Lawrence said.
Lawrence went on to say he didn't know which character he would play but was hoping he would be Slinky. He was then told he would be himself, it's just that the game would be in Andy's room.
ESPN announced early in September that they would be offering the Toy Story simulcast. As Lawrence said, it could be popular with kids, a demographic the NFL is interested in reaching. The league has also had games on Nickelodeon featuring characters such as SpongeBob, with lots of success. This led CBS Sports to team up with Paramount to continue to broadcast games on Nickelodeon this season and air the first-ever Super Bowl simulcast.
Heading into the game, 1010 XL partnered with long-snapper Ross Matiscik, who asked other Jaguars players which Toy Story characters they knew. Once Woody the Cowboy and Buzz Lightyear became the most common responses, Matiscik asked his teammates which other characters they were familiar with. Slinky Dog was often brought up.
Toy Story aside, the Jaguars are facing the Falcons at a critical point of the season
The Jaguars are a 3-point favorite heading into Week 4 but the Falcons are 2-1 and arguably better on paper. Their defense ranks seventh in the league in points allowed and their running game is among the top 10 in the league.
Early in the season, this seemed like a favorable matchup for the Jaguars, one they could potentially lose: The proverbial trap game. Trevor Lawrence has played relatively well most of the year but hasn't got much help from his offensive line and their receivers. To win, Jacksonville will need to cut down on the number of drops (especially in the red zone and enemy territory) and the offensive line must win the battle in the trenches.
On defense, the Jags will need to get after Desmond Ridder, who's been sacked 12 times this year. Also, they must contain rookie Bijan Robinson. In theory, they should be able to accomplish both goals but they've failed to do so the past two weeks.
Whether you watch the traditional broadcast or the Toy Story one, this should be one entertaining matchup, one the Jaguars cannot afford to lose if they want to catch up with the Indianapolis Colts in the race for the AFC South title.