JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Analytics and advanced stats are more popular than they've ever been. But they don't always tell the full story. The Jaguars (2-7) enter Sunday’s game at Detroit, ahead of the Lions (5-4) in total offense and total defense. But Detroit is tied for first place in the NFC North while Jacksonville is dead last in the AFC South.
A big reason why is because the Jaguars have gone five games without forcing a turnover. Jacksonville hasn't forced a turnover since Yannick Ngakoue intercepted Andrew Luck in a game against Indianapolis on Oct. 2. That was more than 23 quarters ago. Their current dry spell is tied for the longest drought since the 1970 merger.
"It has been a point of emphasis and we have to continue to stress it," said Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash.
The Lions, meanwhile, have lost only one fumble this season, and Stafford has been intercepted just five times.
The good news is the Jaguars should have one of their biggest play makers available. On Saturday, Telvin Smith attended his brother's funeral in his hometown of Valdosta, Georgia. Jaguars owner Shad Khan lent him his private jet and Smith joined his teammates in Detroit late Saturday night.
"I think it’s arrows up," said Jaguars coach Gus Bradley. "Anticipate him playing. I’m not saying 100 percent because it’s an emotional time tomorrow. I can’t tell you how he’s going to come out of that. How can anybody come out of that and predict that? Knowing Telvin and what he’s all about, anticipate him playing. That’s why he’s probable.”