Tempers will flare and really mean things may or may not be said by otherwise gentle men this Sunday, as the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6 but 7-0 in our hearts), square off in a rectangular sodded playing arena against another team with a fiercely cartoonish and geographically misplaced cat for a mascot, in the Lions of Detroit, Michigan.
After looking like they couldn't compete with the Mean Machine for most of the first half of the season, and the team seemingly spiraling into the worst season in the history of a franchise that once had the likes of Bobby Shaw and Matthew Hatchette as starting wide receivers, at the same time, the boys in
teal menacing Jaguar black and white managed to put together a surprisingly NFL-like performance last week against one of the leagues better teams in the Green Bay Packers, that left many diehard Jag fans believing they were in some sort of hallucinogenic magic ride.
This week, the team will try to continue looking like a professional sports franchise and will have to do so against the league's best passing weapon in wide receiver Calvin Johnson and his handler, Matthew Stafford of the Athens Staffords.
Whether the Jaguars pull off a triumphant second win in eight games remains to be seen, but here's hoping we at least get a spirited contest with little injury or a massacre.
Now here's three things to watch for the Lions this Sunday.
1. Damned Decepticon
When your team is 1-6, you can turn your attention to watching the league's elite players when they come to town, especially those whom you almost rarely get to see in person. Sunday should be one of those days for Jags fans, and "Megatron" himself comes to town to no doubt shake off the cobwebs that have been plaguing him somewhat this season, and blow up for 10/150/and a touchdown or two. Though 'Tron has not been as productive this season as in the past, our very own Cecil Shorts has more touchdown receptions through last week, it's still the same guy who is a threat from anywhere on the field and the most dangerous weapon in football. (Sit down, Anger) No matter who is out there on the other side for the Jaguars, just letting Johnson get his hands on the ball could prove to be a long day for the secondary and in turn, on the scoreboard. Not that I'm telling you anything you don't know there.
2. A Boy Named Suh
Perhaps my biggest question entering this game for these two teams, is not what the final score will be or how the Jaguars will try and contain Megatron, but rather if Jag fans at EverBank Field Sunday will witness a professional hit executed on their quarterback by one NdomdfwejgerijgeKONG Suh. Since entering the league, the man child that is Suh, has been known to do as much egregious damage to opposing quarterbacks as he has for pedestrians and their sports utility vehicles. Hint, both are quite a bit. With the well publicized injury to Gabbert's shoulder still no doubt in the minds of the opposing team, one must pray that Brad Meester, Uche Nwaneri, and Mike Brewster are able to keep this guy off of the Jaguars qb, or we're all going to bear witness to something pretty graphic on Sunday afternoon.
3. Welcome (Back) to Duval
Sunday's game will be a homecoming of sorts for several current Lions players. Defensive end Cliff Avril, (who would've been a Jag had he not been franchised last March /wink), is a Jacksonville native and played his high school ball at nearby Clay High School. Also returning to EverBank Field are former Jaguars LB Justin Durant, FS Don Carey, WR Brian Robiskie, fan favorite WR/special teams ace Kassim Osgood, and of course recently traded WR Mike Thomas, who will ironically be making his Lions debut on Sunday against the team he was on just a few days ago. It will no doubt be an interesting sight to see Thomas run his route in another team's jersey, and of course by interesting I mean a sigh of relief.