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Detroit News predictions: Lions vs. Jaguars

The Detroit News

Justin Rogers, Rod Beard, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Sunday’s Lions vs. Jaguars game at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville (1 p.m., Fox/760 AM).

Gardner Minshew

Justin Rogers: While there hasn't been any indication from ownership, this feels like it's setting up as a win-or-pack-up-your-desk game for coach Matt Patricia. Two teams have already fired their coaches and a loss to the lowly Jaguars would extinguish an already faint ray of hope for the 2020 season. That said, I think those talks will be postponed at least another week. Lions 26, Jaguars 20

Rod Beard: The Lions have struggled this season, but they get lucky after their bye facing the Jaguars, who have lost three straight games to previously-winless teams. All the signs point to the Lions winning this game – which always gives reason for pause. With all their blown leads this season, the Lions can't afford to have another one against the Jags' lackluster offense. A loss to the Jaguars could lead to the vultures flying above the Lions for the rest of the season. Lions 27, Jaguars 17

Subscription: Wojo: Is Matthew Stafford entering the closing stretch of his career as a Lion?

John Niyo: The Lions are coming off a bye, look relatively healthy and are traveling to face one of the league's worst teams. Jacksonville's last three games were losses to previously winless teams – that's an NFL record. And if you can't score 30 against the Jaguars, you're doing something wrong. Lions 31, Jaguars 24

Bob Wojnowski: Anything the Lions can do, the Jaguars can do worse? Ah, be careful here. Jacksonville’s defense is ranked lower, and both are inept at rushing the passer (five total sacks each). The similarities are actually eerie, but the Lions aren’t in position to overlook anyone. The difference should be at quarterback, where Matthew Stafford needs to settle down and manage a winnable game. Gardner Minshew directs a Jacksonville offense that has skill, but not much experience. The Lions should be as desperate as any 1-3 team, and they perhaps used the bye week to tighten up their defense. Lions 34, Jaguars 24