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Jaguars vs Giants: Players to watch

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

In a matchup of recent head coach hires, Brian Daboll and the 5-1 New York Giants are heading to the Bank on Sunday to face Doug Pederson’s 2-4 Jacksonville Jaguars.

These are the players I’ll be paying the most attention on either side of the ball.

RBs Travis Etienne, James Robinson, and Trevor Lawrence

Unlike his brother in Cincinnati, offensive coordinator Press Taylor and the Jaguars offense have showcased a diverse run game this season. It includes a wide array of both zone and gap concepts as well as designed quarterback and receiver rushes. Lawrence ran for two scores last week as Jacksonville’s coaches continue to cook up the good stuff.

Don “Wink” Martindale’s aggressive man blitzes against a second-year quarterback and rookie center is a spooky thought. But we should expect more treats than tricks (sorry) if the Jaguars lean on its run game behind James Robinson and Travis Etienne.

DE Foley Fatukasi

According to Sports Info Solutions, the Jaguars are allowing -0.23 Expected Points Added (EPA) per rush when Foley Fatukasi is on the field, and -0.08 EPA/run allowed when he’s off.

For context, Sony Michel ranks 34th in the NFL with -0.08 EPA per rush, and Cam Akers ranks 54th with -0.24 EPA per rush (among 56 running backs with 25-plus carries).

So the Jaguars go from a good run defense to a dominant one when Fatukasi is playing. That’ll be much needed this week with New York’s Saquon Barkley coming to town.