JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After upsetting AFC North-leading Baltimore, the Jaguars travel to Detroit to face the Lions in search of starting another winning streak. Here are four storylines to follow on Sunday:
Trevor Lawrence’s progress
Trevor Lawrence is coming off his best game as a pro. Can he keep it rolling? After leading the Jaguars on the game-winning drive, Lawrence has received rave reviews from across the league and from his coaches.
“That last drive, he just got hot,” said Jaguars’ offensive coordinator Press Taylor. “You can see it in the way he threw the ball, the conviction he had. You saw that confidence pouring out of him in the way he played, in the way he let the ball rip. That is just conviction. He knows what he wants. He knows what he’s looking at from the defense. He knows where his guys are going to be.”
Who runs it?
The running back situation is up in the air for the Jaguars. With Travis Etienne yet to be medically cleared after a foot injury Sunday, the Jaguars must make alternative plans. JaMycal Hasty filled in for Etienne against the Ravens rushing for 28 yards and catching five passes for 67 yards, including a touchdown. Rookie Snoop Conner got his first carries in the NFL, running three times for 11 yards.
On Monday, Doug Pederson said that the team was being cautious with Etienne on Sunday after the injury.
“He’s going to be okay,” Pederson said. “He just got rolled up on his surgically repaired foot. Just caution and precaution, just wanted to make sure that he was and will be one hundred percent moving forward, so we were just more precautionary in that game than anything else.”
The Jaguars could also see Darrell Henderson make his debut for the team. The former Rams running back joined the team last week but was inactive for the game against Baltimore. He has run for 283 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games for the Rams this season.
Matchup of top two picks
When the Jaguars prepared for the NFL draft, the decision of who to take with the top pick came down to Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson. So far this year, both have flashed at times. Hutchinson’s numbers are better than Walker’s when it comes to rushing the passer. The former Michigan star has 5.5 sacks to go with 20 tackles. Walker has 2.5 sacks and 18 tackles. It will be interesting to see how both perform on the same field.
Reunion game for several
Jaguars’ wide receivers Marvin Jones and Jamal Agnew both spent time in Detroit before signing with Jacksonville. Jones played with the Lions for five seasons, including his best pro campaign when he caught 61 passes for 1,101 yards and nine touchdowns with Detroit in 2017. Agnew was drafted by the Lions as a defensive back and led the NFL in several punt and kick return categories before signing with the Jaguars in 2021.
There are two men on the Lions’ side with significant Jaguars ties. Wide receiver DJ Chark was a second-round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2018 and made the Pro Bowl in 2019 with the team. He was signed as a free agent in Detroit before this season. And the Lions’ quarterbacks coach is Mark Brunell, the former Jaguars quarterback and News4JAX sports analyst.