The Jacksonville Jaguars, on a short week, turn their attention to a middling New Orleans Saints team. The Jags are looking to extend their three-game winning streak and guarantee they are above .500 before a much-needed bye week in a couple weeks.
Jaguars Offensive Matchup vs. the Saints
Of course, Trevor Lawrence’s availability on Thursday can drastically change the meaningfulness of the Jaguars’ offensive statistics to this point. However, it appears as of this writing that Lawrence will be starting.
Regardless, the Saints have been hyper-effective across the board in their pass defense. Although they have not faced the offensive weapons that the Jaguars have — their toughest matchup came versus the Buccaneers in Week 4 while giving up three passing touchdowns — they have been stout against most quarterbacks.
While still effective against the run, the Saints are slightly more vulnerable in this area. More notably, the Saints give up 4.75 yards per carry when running to the left side. If Lawrence cannot play, expect the Saints to load the box similar to what the Jaguars defense did against the Colts last week. Conversely, if Demario Davis cannot play (he's listed as questionable despite not practicing all week), this will help the Jaguars significantly in the rushing game.
Jaguars Defensive Matchup On Thursday Night Football
The Saints are not without their own offensive injuries. Starting tight end Juwan Johnson, right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, and backup (started last week after Trevor Penning was benched) left tackle James Hurst all ruled out.
While the Saints' offense has been effective throwing the ball, these injuries may significantly hamper the offense and allow for Josh Allen and Travon Walker to capitalize. Expect Derek Carr to look to get rid of the ball quickly, with the Jaguars rolling safety help towards Montaric Brown’s side.
Since Alvin Kamara has returned from his suspension, the Saints have been somewhat effective in the rushing game. While the Jaguars’ defense has been stout against the run, I would expect lighter boxes this week than we saw against the Colts and Falcons.
Keep an eye out for the statistical recap next week and Go Jags!