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Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction, Preview, and Odds - 10-18-2020 - Winners and Whiners

It’ll be a trip to Struggleville in Sunday’s head-to-head showdown between the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. A week off might have been precisely what the doctor ordered for the Lions after coming up short in an offensive shootout at home against the New Orleans Saints. On the other hand, the Jaguars fell as flat as an ironing board on the road against the Houston Texans for their fourth consecutive loss of the season.

(Late line movements and injuries reports were updated on Saturday afternoon.)

Line Movements:

This one has had a small shift in the line but the home team is still the underdog. The Lions opened as 2.5-point favorites but that is now down to Detroit -3 or 3.5 depending on the sportsbook. 63 percent of the bets ATS are backing the Lions and giving the points.

The total for this game opened at 53.5 points. There hasn t been a ton of movement though it has trended up to 54.5 points as of Saturday afternoon. A slight majority, 52 percent, of the bets on the total feel that this one is going to go over the mark.

Fall brought an end to yards needing to be mowed, but unfortunately for the Lions, it hasn’t stopped opposing rushing attacks from mowing over their defense.

They are currently ranked dead last in the league in average rushing yards allowed (170.2 yards). That, in turn, makes them one of the worst teams in football in time of possession. It’s a serious problem that should keep head coach Matt Patricia up at night, especially with so many other coaches around the league losing their jobs.

He can at least find solace in the fact that the Jaguars are one of the league’s worst rushing offenses, with the team averaging only 98.4 yards per game on the ground. That could create a scenario where Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has to continue throwing the ball downfield into the strength of the Lions defense: the defensive secondary. It’s a unit that is ranked 13th in the league, with opponents averaging 234.8 passing yards per game against them.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford might be able to show off his arm against a Jaguars team with the fifth-worst passing defense in the NFL. He could certainly use a favorable matchup considering he has yet to eclipse 300 passing yards in a single game this season. While the Jaguars aren’t as bad as the Lions against the run, it’s still pretty much a free pathway for hoarding rushing yards for teams lining up against them. Even the ageless Adrian Peterson should find massive holes along the once-vaunted Jaguars’ defensive front.

Those years are long gone in Jacksonville.

Injury Report:

OUT: WR Geronimo Allison, DT John Atkins, FB Nick Bawden, OL Russell Bodine, DE Austin Bryant, TE Hunter Bryant, CB Justin Coleman, DT Jashon Cornell, CB Desmond Trufant

Questionable: G Joe Dahl, CB Mike Ford, LB Christian Jones, S C.J. Moore, OL Frank Ragnow, RB Bo Scarbrough

The Jaguars went on the road to face a Texans defense ranked among the worst in the league. They were essentially handing out yards and points to opposing teams like free candy on Halloween. But it would seem as if the Jaguars lack a sweet tooth considering how they mustered only 14 points in a fourth consecutive loss.

Can they turn it around against the Lions?

Minshew will have to call upon more than just the power of his mustache to give him a legitimate shot in a potential offensive shootout with Stafford. Undrafted rookie running back James Robinson shows promise whenever the game plan is concerned with getting him more involved.

The passing attack is still ranked top-10 in the league, but the inability to consistently get things going on the ground is crushing for the Jaguars, especially with a run-in against the Lions’ moribund rushing defense next on the itinerary. They need to pound the ball on the ground and ultimately work towards scheming receivers open instead of forcing passing to them.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars are hopeful to have their defensive playmakers on the field. Myles Jack, Josh Allen, and CJ Henderson are all listed as questionable for Week 6. Their absences would pile on an already growing list of problems for the Jaguars. Like Minshew, Stafford is one of the most sacked quarterbacks on average per game. Yet, the lack of talent and experience along the defensive front for the Jaguars could create a ton of problems.

Injury Report:

Out: RB Ryquell Armstead, CB D.J. Hayden, RB Leon Jacobs, K Josh Lambo, DE Leventee McCray, CB Rashaan Melvin, TE Josh Oliver, DL Dontavious Russell, S Andrew Wingard, DT Al Woods

Questionable: LB Dakota Allen, WR D.J. Chark, DB Chris Claybrooks, TE Tyler Eifert, DT Daniel Ekuale, DT Abry Jones, RB Devine Ozigbo, WR Laviska Shenault Jr.
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