All week, analysts have explored how similar the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars are right now. It’s not just their 4-7 record. It’s the fact that they’re both extremely young teams still pulling themselves out of a toxic culture. It’s the fact that both of the teams seem to be hitting their stride right now after a tumultuous first couple months of the season. It’s that they’re both philosophically aligned, with a focus on stopping the run on defense and establishing it on offense.
That last point is the one that may matter most on Sunday. The Lions’ rushing attack may not be as lethal as it was early in the season, but they’ve gotten better in short-yardage situations and are lethal on the ground in the red zone. The Jaguars rushing attack is led by second-year running back Travis Etienne Jr., who is averaging an explosive 5.5 yards per carry on the season (third among RBs with 100+ carries).
On Thursday night, we previewed this matchup with SB Nation’s fantastic new head writer JP Acosta, who also happens to be a lifelong Jaguars fan. During the podcast, he expressed his admiration for Detroit’s ground game.
“I legitimately love the Lions’ run game,” Acosta told us. “They throw everything at you. They’re going to run outside zone, inside zone, power, counter, trap. They’re pulling Penei Sewell from tackle into gaps. It’s the most fun thing you’ll ever see. Watching Penei Sewell pull and just take out DBs and linebackers is the coolest thing in football. He’s arguably been the best right tackle in football.”
Hear what Acosta had to say about Trevor Lawrence, former Lions Marvin Jones Jr. and Jamal Agnew, and his prediction for Sunday’s game.
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