Every week of the thrilling 2023 season, a group of seasoned Jaguars experts, including Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick, and Kainani Stevens, dissects the upcoming Jaguars matchup. As the Jaguars prepare to face the Saints, let’s delve into the insights from these football connoisseurs.
Tony Boselli, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Left Tackle:
For the Jaguars to clinch victory, they need to safeguard Trevor Lawrence, who may be nursing an injury, and match the Saints’ robust front seven. On the defensive front, it’s crucial for the Jaguars to maintain solid tackling and limit explosive plays. If they can apply pressure on Derek Carr, he’s bound to make mistakes. In Boselli’s view, Thursday night games pose unique challenges, especially for the visiting team, and considering the Jaguars’ injury woes, Lawrence’s presence on the field is pivotal. Boselli anticipates a gritty, low-scoring win of 20-14 for the Jaguars.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars:
The Jaguars’ path to victory hinges on their ability to establish a strong running game, especially if Lawrence is absent or not at his peak mobility. A standout performance from Travis Etienne is imperative. Even with a healthy Lawrence, the Jaguars perform best when they maintain a balanced offense. Defensively, it’s crucial for the replacement of Calais Campbell, expected to be absent, to step up and perform well. According to Frangie, this matchup is a challenging one for the Jaguars, given the short week, away game status, and facing a formidable defense. To secure a win, the Jaguars need to exhibit toughness and efficiency.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Defensive End:
Lageman believes the Jaguars’ key to victory lies in their defense’s ability to continue generating turnovers, leading the NFL with 15 takeaways. The Saints, on the other hand, will have the upper hand if they can secure a quick start and establish an early lead, placing the Jaguars in a catch-up situation. Given the demanding nature of being the away team in a short-week game, the Jaguars will be thoroughly tested. Success will largely depend on Trevor Lawrence’s knee condition and the performance of his offensive line.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director:
To secure a win, the Jaguars must rely on Travis Etienne Jr., aiming for over 120 yards from scrimmage. Effective running against a sturdy Saints defense will allow them to control the clock and set up big passing plays. Given the Saints’ impressive defense, scoring more than 20 points would be a significant accomplishment. As for the Saints, they should focus on safeguarding the football and avoiding turnovers, as history has shown that the Jaguars struggle when unable to force turnovers. Martineau envisions a slightly unusual and clunky Thursday night game, predicting a 23-19 win for the Jaguars.
Oehser underlines the Jaguars’ challenges in this matchup, including uncertainties surrounding Lawrence’s knee injury and missing key players, like Calais Campbell. Furthermore, the Jaguars face the daunting task of playing three games in just 12 days. To emerge victorious, the Jaguars must rely on their opportunistic defense to create scoring opportunities and shorten the field. On the other side, the Saints need to excel in the red zone and put pressure on the Jaguars, especially considering their strong defense. According to Oehser, this game poses multiple challenges for the Jaguars.
Key injuries, including Trevor Lawrence and the offensive line, present a significant hurdle for the Jaguars. Lawrence’s presence is crucial for the Jaguars’ success, but the team must be prepared for backup players to step up. The Saints can secure a win by giving Derek Carr time in the pocket to exploit the Jaguars’ vulnerabilities. Sexton acknowledges the difficulty of predicting this game, emphasizing the Jaguars’ ability to overcome challenges. However, the Jaguars face the unique situation of playing their third game in 12 days across two continents, making it a formidable task.
J.P. Shadrick, Jaguars.com Senior Reporter:
Shadrick underscores the importance of the Jaguars’ defense, which currently ranks third in the league against the run and has forced a league-high 15 takeaways. However, the offense is grappling with key injuries. To win, they must lean on Etienne and the running game. On the Saints’ side, they should focus on ball possession and converting opportunities into touchdowns, given their average offensive output. Shadrick acknowledges the inherent challenges of Thursday Night Football and the Jaguars’ injury concerns. Trevor Lawrence’s presence and safety are paramount for the team’s chances, especially with their resurgent defense.
Kainani Stevens, Jaguars.com Reporter:
Stevens emphasizes the Jaguars’ defensive dominance as a key factor. The struggling Saints offense, led by Derek Carr, will face additional pressure if the Jaguars can maintain their momentum in forcing turnovers. On the flip side, the Saints’ win largely depends on Trevor Lawrence’s availability and effectiveness, especially with backup C.J. Beathard stepping in. Regardless of the starting quarterback, Stevens envisions a defensive battle with the Jaguars prevailing with a 13-10 victory.