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Jaguars Columnists Predictions for Lions-Jags Game

Alan Wilson:

The Jaguars are looking to avoid becoming the first NFL team in history to lose back-to-back weeks to 0-8 teams. The Lions are simply atrocious. But then again, so were the Bengals until last week when the Jaguars made QB Ryan Fitzpatrick look like a Pro Bowler (I kept waiting on the Ickey Shuffle with all the running Fitzpatrick did). The Jaguars seem like a team that is on the verge of giving up. But I think Jack Del Rio’s tone change this week will benefit the team. Jacksonville has a history of not playing well in domes, so I expect the Lions to hang around in this game. This is the game when the Jags get their “MoJo” back as Jones-Drew carves up the Lions defense.

Jaguars 31, Lions 23

Maxwell Lee:

Several weeks ago, as an idle Jags team rested and recovered from injuries, my friend told me how optimistic he was about the upcoming schedule. Three games in a row against three teams with a total of two victories. Jacksonville had really shown us something at Denver and there was legitimate cause to believe the Jaguars would soon be 6-3 and in the thick of the wild card race.

Hate to say it, man, but I told you so. I was indeed optimistic, but still worried about a streaky Browns team that had shown some explosiveness on the offensive end. Ditto for the Bengals. Something about both these teams scared me when I thought about Jacksonville’s defensive woes. Of course, I went with what should have been better judgment and picked the favorite in both cases, but I was hardly stunned by either loss.

All this to say that I did indeed see potential defeats against both Ohio franchises beforehand, but never did I expect the Jags to drop one to the Lions. And I still don’t see it. The game will be blacked out in the Detroit area, so fans will have to go to the game to see QB Daunte Culpepper’s return to the NFL. Culpepper will share the backfield with fellow UCF alumnus RB Kevin Smith. But last year’s third round pick has struggled to get the ground game going for Detroit. With a new QB and no more Roy Williams, the toothless Lions offense will need to use a lot of WR Calvin Johnson. Jacksonville’s equally toothless defense should be able to key on Johnson and do just enough to neutralize the rising star. I also expect the Jaguars offense to finally put together a strong game from start to finish, especially against the league’s worst defense.

Yes, Jacksonville is in a world of trouble. The team is headed toward an early elimination from playoff contention and will face intense scrutiny this off-season. But even when the sky is falling, losing to the Lions is an entirely different abyss that I don’t think the Jaguars have quite fallen into yet. The Jags win this war of attrition at Ford Field.

Jaguars – 27, Lions – 17, Fred Taylor – 11,000 career rushing yards.

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