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Our defense vs. their offense: Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans’ defense has a tall task this Thursday.

New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints take on a high-powered Jacksonville Jaguars squad this Thursday night. There are a lot of players on both teams that are on the injury report, and with the short week, it’s hard to tell who’s going to play and who isn’t.

As it stands right now, Trevor Lawrence, Zay Jones, Walker Little and Brandon Scherff would’ve missed practice on Monday if they Jags had a full day and not just a walk through. For the Saints defense, Demario Davis would’ve been the only DNP and Cam Jordan and Tyrann Mathieu both would’ve been limited.

Obviously, anyone of these players missing the game would be huge, but without any real updates, let’s just focus on the big one, Trevor Lawrence.

When Trevor Lawrence plays, the Jags offense can be as good as anyone in the league. They had a couple of bad weeks in weeks 2 and 3, but outside of that, they’ve scored 31, 23, 25 and 37 points.

The Saints defense will have their hands full on Thursday night if Lawrence plays. He, Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk and Travis Etienne can score a whole boatload of points on anyone, so the Saints defense can’t come out slow like they did against the Texans on Sunday.

The secondary will face arguably their toughest challenge yet. Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk are one of the best 1-2 punches in the league at receiver, and the Saints can’t afford to let them go off. Lattimore got embarrassed a bit last weekend, so hopefully he can come out and lock up Ridley. Adebo/Taylor will have to do their job against Kirk, because if Ridley is locked up, Lawrence will not hesitate to feed Kirk.

The Saints defensive also got bullied in the run game, especially in the first half against the Texans. If Cam Jordan does indeed miss the game (which it doesn’t seem like he should since he was listed as limited), then the Saints are in big trouble trying to stop Etienne.

The good news for the Saints is that the Jags will likely be without two of their starting offensive linemen. If that holds true, Carl Granderson and company should be able to get after Lawrence or whoever else is at QB all night long. They’re going to have to get pressure in his face, because if they can’t, Lawrence is one of the most accurate passers in the NFL and will be able to hit target after target if he can just sit in the pocket all night.

Overall, the Saints defense is in for a tough fight on Thursday. They will likely have to hold the Jags to under 20 points if the Saints want any chance of winning with their offense. I believe they can do it; they just can’t afford to come out slow like they did on Sunday.

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