clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jaguars vs Lions: 3 X-factors for preseason week 2

The Jacksonville Jaguars face off against the Detroit Lions for their second preseason contest, and these three X-factors could play a role in the result.

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars traveled to the Motor City this week, where they enjoyed a competitive round of joint practices with the Detroit Lions. They are now set to take on Dan Campbell’s squad on Saturday afternoon for their second preseason contest of 2023. Though Jacksonville’s starters aren’t expected to see much time, if any, we can still break down some key factors that may contribute to a victory on Saturday.

Coming off a 28-23 win over the Dallas Cowboys last week, the Jaguars will be looking to keep that momentum rolling with another solid performance in Detroit. First-year quarterback Nathan Rourke proved to be the big story last week after leading the third unit to two touchdown drives, including a Mahomes-like pocket-escaping touchdown heave that was the talk of social media for the evening.

That is what makes the preseason so fun. You just never know who is going to stand out when given the opportunity. Who will it be this week? Let’s take a look at three potential X-factors for the Jaguars ahead of kickoff in Detroit.

Gregory Junior

Gregory Junior is coming off a standout game against the Cowboys where he recovered a fumble on special teams and then forced one on defense that ultimately saved a touchdown. His performance over the course of camp, paired with his playmaking early in the preseason, has all but guaranteed a spot on the final roster this season.

Even so, Junior should still be viewed as an X-factor in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ preseason Week 2 contest against the Detroit Lions. If Junior stacks a couple of solid performances in a row leading into the regular season, he could seriously threaten the job of Tre Herndon for that starting nickel spot.

Be on the lookout for Junior as he lines up against a couple of receivers that have impressed for the Lions in Chase Cota and Antoine Green. The two rookies led the Lions in receiving yards last week and are looking to secure their spots on the roster, so Junior could be tested a handful of times. It will be interesting to see how he answers the praise of the past week.

Seth Williams

Seth Williams just keeps standing out during training camp. It’s getting to the point where it would be surprising if he doesn’t secure that sixth receiver spot on the final 53-man roster.

The third-year wide receiver out of Auburn came into the league as a sixth-round pick to the Denver Broncos in 2021, but upon being cut the following season, Williams signed with the Jaguars’ practice squad. He now finds himself in one of the more competitive roster battles on the team, as he, Tim Jones, Kevin Austin Jr., Elijah Cooks, Kendric Pryor, and Jacob Harris are all vying for that coveted WR6 slot on the depth chart.

Right now, it feels like Seth Williams might just have the edge, but a lot can happen from now until that decision is made. If Williams can keep up his competitive style of play and flash on the field yet again on Saturday, it could go a long way in helping him to secure his spot on the team.

Offensive Tackle Depth

Earlier in the week, it was reported that offensive tackle Josh Wells went down with what looked to be a serious injury that could presumably sideline him for some time. With the details of the injury still yet to be released, it’s tough to speak definitively, but no matter the extent, that news does not bode well for the Jaguars.

They’re already going to be shorthanded at tackle for the first four weeks of the season due to Cam Robinson’s suspension, so losing a guy with Wells’ experience is brutal at this stage.

That’s why fans should be paying close attention to the tackle depth behind Anton Harrison and Walker Little in Detroit. That depth is the likes of Blake Hance, Cole Van Lanen, Coy Cronk, and newly signed veteran journeyman Bobby Evans. If there is a noticeable drop-off in play from what Wells was providing the team, the Jaguars may be forced to make a move before the regular season to upgrade that swing tackle spot.

What say you, Jaguars fans? What are some X-factors that come to your mind ahead of the team’s preseason battle against the Lions?