Rogue Rundown: Jaguars-Lions

The Jaguars are 1-3 on the road (thanks, Chicago).  They head north this week for a third game against the NFC North this season.  The Detroit Lions have won four of its last five games.  It’s the second straight week the Jags will face a team coming off a bye week.

Detroit (5-4) does not look like the same squad that dropped three in a row earlier this season.  They are in a three-team race – with Minnesota and Green Bay – for a division title.  The Jaguars (you know they are 2-7) are looking to snap a four-game losing streak.  If you having any remaining passion and energy for the Jags, it kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS.

Meeting: 

The Jaguars lead the series 3-2.  The last time the Jags played in Detroit – Nov. 2008 – Jacksonville won 38-14.  Most recently, the Jaguars hosted the Lions on Nov. 4, 2012.  Detroit took a 24-0 lead with 434 total yards to win 31-14.  The loss sent the Jags to a 1-7 record.  This all feels a little similar.

Humble-brag to Lions fans:

The Jaguars defense does not allow much yardage.

Kicker Jason Myers connected on a 54-yard field goal last Sunday.

Connections to River City: 

Detroit safety Don Carey spent two years in Jacksonville.  The Jaguars claimed him off waivers on August 8, 2009.

Other former Jaguars now with the Lions: Clay Harbor, Justin Forsett, Thurston Armbrister and former Jags assistant offensive line coach (2012) Ron Prince.  It’s a long list.

Jaguars WRs coach Jerry Sullivan was the Lions wide receivers coach from 1997 to 2000.

What to Watch:

Can the Jags force a turnover?  It might be the only reason to watch.  No NFL franchise, since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, has gone six straight games without getting a turnover.

Like Rich Gannon last week, will Steve Beuerlein pick apart Blake Bortles’ issues?  Odds are yes.

A Lions team without Calvin Johnson is really weird, but are they better without him?

Trying to Figure Out:

Will the Jaguars be able to get four or five wins this season?  How crazy is that.  /sips beer

Are the Lions legit?  Can they continue an upward trend of a playoff team?

About the Opponent: 

Hopefully the Lions are looking ahead to the Thanksgiving game against Minnesota.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford is in the NFL MVP conversation alongside Tom Brady and Matt Ryan.  Stafford has a stable of guys he can use.  His connection with tight end Eric Ebron is strong.  Stafford has the wheels to run for first downs.  And Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has been receiving plenty of attention lately.  Oh, and Stafford can hand off to Theo Riddick or find Marvin Jones, Golden Tate or Anquan Boldin in the aerial attack.

Detroit’s win over the Vikings two weeks ago was impressive.  It’s crazy to think that Lions head coach Jim Caldwell’s seat was hotter than Gus Bradley’s.

Lockdown Matchup:

The Lions offensive line was bolstered with three draft picks.  It was the first time since 2001 Detroit used that many selections on the o-line.  Is this what the Jaguars were trying to build?  Not really the most attractive matchup to watch but we want to see how teams have built through the draft.

This Equals a Win:

Do you know?  Pixie dust and unicorns?  Four-game losing streaks are too commonplace.

A single turnover would be nice.  Scoring points in the first quarter.  Passion from the Jags players in a venue where they will hear more cheering and clapping.

How to Listen:

Frank Frangie, Tony Boselli and Jeff Lageman will provide the call on 1010XL and 92.5 FM with Rick Ballou working the sidelines. The Sawyer Gas Kickoff Show begins at 10 a.m. The simulcast will be on WGNE 99.9 FM.

Where to Watch: 

The 1 o’clock kickoff will be on CBS and locally on WJAX 47.  Andrew Catalon has the play-by-play work this weekend with Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein with Catalon in the booth.

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