1. Blake Bortles has shown success in his first two preseason games against the Buccaneers and Bears, but those two teams have mediocre pass defenses. What can Jaguars fans expect out of Detroit's secondary, and pass defense in general?
The Lions' secondary has done an okay job this preseason, but that's not exactly saying much. They faced Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel in the first game and Matt Schaub and Derek Carr last week. On paper, the secondary is the biggest question mark on the entire team simply because of the uncertainty at cornerback. Former Jaguar Rashean Mathis is coming off an excellent season and is once again a starter for the Lions, but he'll be 34 later this month. Darius Slay, meanwhile, is trying to make a big improvement after a tough rookie season. And behind them, well, there are really even more questions about the Lions' overall depth at the position.
2. Bortles is going to be playing his first game with the starters in Detroit. How do you expect him to perform?
I think it'll really come down to how much protection he has up front. If Bortles is given time, he should be able to find holes in the Lions' secondary or at least draw some flags thanks to the NFL's ridiculous new officiating policies. If the Lions are able to put pressure on him, though, then he could have a tough time getting into any kind of a rhythm with the first-team offense.
3. In the past few years, the Lions have signed a number of free agents coming out of Jacksonville. Is it mere coincidence, or is there something there?
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The Jacksonville-to-Detroit connection is one of my favorite running jokes on Pride Of Detroit. It does sort of feel like every other free agent who ends up in Detroit previously spent some time in Jacksonville. At first, a lot of people thought it was related to Shack Harris being in the Lions' front office, but he's been in Detroit for more than five years now, so it's probably just coincidence.
4. What are some position battles that Lions fans have been following this summer? Who should Jaguars fans be watching on Friday night?
There are really three main ones that come to mind: right tackle, strongside linebacker and kicker. At right tackle, LaAdrian Waddle is trying to follow up a solid rookie season by once again starting, and he's trying to hold off Corey Hilliard in the process. At strongside linebacker, meanwhile, second-round pick Kyle Van Noy is trying to unseat Ashlee Palmer. And at kicker, which may feature the closest position battle on the entire team, Giorgio Tavecchio and seventh-round pick Nate Freese are really neck and neck.
5. Backup running back George Winn bounced around the league his rookie yearut seems to be settling in nicely to Detroit. Will he make the final 53-man roster?
He's definitely come out of nowhere in the last couple weeks to get into the mix for a roster spot. He was impressive at running back in the Lions' preseason opener, and he really impressed on special teams last week. If nothing else, he's seemingly decreased Mikel Leshoure's chances of making the team, but I have a feeling the Lions will simply keep former Jaguar Montell Owens on their roster and cut both Winn and Leshoure when all is said and done.