Detroit Lions vs Jacksonville Jaguars Week 11 Preview

Detroit Lions vs Jacksonville Jaguars Week 11 Preview

FUNDAMENTALS:

Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

When: Sunday, Nov. 20, 1 p.m.

Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.

Television: Fox 2 Detroit

Radio: WJR-AM 760

WHAT’S ON THE LINE:

First place. Hard to believe I just typed that, But, yes, keeping the lead in the NFC North heading into a pivotal Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Minnesota Vikings is what’s on the line! Both the Vikings and Green Bay Packers are playing poorly and this is a great opportunity for the Lions to extend their lead in the division. With the Lions on a bye last week they moved into the top spot of the of division thanks to both Green Bay and Minnesota losing to average teams. The Jacksonville Jaguars are below average so Jim Caldwell and Co. need to get the job done and move one game closer to clinching their first NFC North title…ever.

WATCH FOR…

  1. Von Lozon: The Lions after a bye. Taking advantage of the bye week is something fans and media always talk about. But, the reality is that over the last five years the NFL has seen teams come off a bye week with only a 52% winning margin. Fortunately, the Lions are above that trend at 4-1 (only four teams are 5-0) and Caldwell is 2-0 as Lions coach after a bye. The 2016 Lions need to build on that winning bye week tradition (lifetime the team is 15-11) and then get ready for a tougher match-up just four days later against the Vikings.
  1. Kyle Mallett: Lions’ approach to this game as a team and how they handle prosperity. Being handed the division lead last week is odd. Certainly the Lions have earned it… to a degree. Let’s see them go out and have a statement game on Sunday. With a reasonable schedule remaining, can the Lions hold this gift of a lead or will we see another collapse like 2013? Can they finally change the losing culture? They can start at beating a bad team at home. We’re about to find out very soon what this team is made of.
  1. Kent Platte: Nevin Lawson, Devin Taylor. The small, fiery corner has played better as the year has progressed, and while corner is still going to be a need going into the 2017 draft, the question is “how big of one?” Taylor had his first non-poor game of the season against Minnesota. Is he going to finally play at the level of his tremendous physical stature?
  1. Nick Kostora: If Detroit can build a lead. Pointing out the fact Detroit has trailed in the fourth quarter of every game this season is well-trodden territory at this point. However, it’s especially important for Detroit not to get mired in a close battle this week against Jacksonville. The Jags are horrible through the first three quarters of most contests this year, often relying on late-game efforts from Blake Bortles. Detroit needs to show it can blow teams out when the opportunity presents itself.
  1. Kevin Remenap: How the team handles the pressure of suddenly leading the division. The coaching staff has been taking risks during games that felt like they didn’t matter — like going for it on fourth down numerous times. The players seem to be loose and confident. Will that change now that they’re the hunted?
  1. Michael Berson: Darius Slay. He’s coming back from injury, and with that we can see what the secondary can really do with the addition of Jonathan Banks. It’s almost a perfect match due to the Jaguars’ great receiving core, and can really sling the ball to a number of guys on the offense.

[graphiq id=”b3qmYgYXz6Z” title=”Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions – Game Coverage” width=”600″ height=”1000″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/b3qmYgYXz6Z” link=”http://nfl-games.pointafter.com/l/20440/Jacksonville-Jaguars-at-Detroit-Lions-on-November-20th-2016″ link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

Predictions:

Von Lozon (4-5): This feels like a trap game for some reason. The Jags have two wins on the year, the Lions are at home…but yet I still have a strange feeling about this game. However, that isn’t swaying my opinion on the outcome of the game that much. The bottom line is the Lions are a better team this season than the Jaguars, and we should all be able to witness the Lions keep their lead in the NFC North after this game. Lions 24, Jaguars 13

Kyle Mallett (4-5): Everything from positional matchups and breakdowns points to a Lions’ victory, which is exactly what makes fans nervous about this game. The Jags are awful and have no shot of making the playoffs, while the Lions have everything to play for and are trying to get a big monkey off their back. As long as Blake Bortles is still throwing ridiculous interceptions, give me the home team to win…big. Lions 27, Jaguars 10

Kent Platte (3-6): Will the Lions’ defense continue its king-making ways, allowing yet another poor quarterback to look like he’s turned a corner? As bad as Bortles has been, I’m inclined to believe he looks better against the porous Lions’ defense. I think this one ends up close, and the Lions once again trail in the fourth quarter. I play the odds, and the Lions are 9-for-9 in that specific regard. Lions 30, Jaguars 27

Nick Kostora (3-6): Detroit hasn’t lost a game after a bye week since 2011, and the Jaguars are playing some of the least-inspired football in the NFL. Bortles has thrown 11 interceptions against 16 touchdowns, and the Yeldon/Ivory combo at running back has been non-existent. The Lions can, and will, jump all over the Jaguars early. Lions 34, Jaguars 21

Kevin Remenap (3-6): As much as I am rooting hard for a Detroit victory, there is nothing more Lions-esque in history than taking the division lead, facing a beatable opponent at home…and then falling flat at home. The Jags have weapons, and the Lions are weaker on defense. I’m fighting 40 years of history here when I say my score prediction. Lions 24, Jaguars 20

Michael Berson (4-5): The Jaguars’ defense has underperformed, and while the offense is good, I think the Lions can stop it. Blake Bortles is always good to throw a few interceptions per game. If the offense shows up, this should be no contest from the get-go. Lions 35, Jaguars 21

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