It’s Thursday and you know what that means — it’s time for another Thursday Night Football preview with Mike Golic Jr. and Mike Golic Sr.!
THIRSTY THURSDAY LIVE 8-10a ET!!!— GoJo and Golic (@GoJoandGolic) October 19, 2023
OPOSSUM! Jags at Saints Thursday Night Football Preview, No show Harden & ranking NFL backup QBs
+ @jasonfitz in Hour 2 to talk about the Top 4 teams in CFB, Penix Jr & the Vegas Aces
Going into the game, Jaguars QB and friend of the program Emerson Lotzia’s lord and savior Trevor Lawrence is officially questionable with a knee sprain, although there was encouraging news early in the afternoon.
GoJo notes that a major facet of Lawrence’s game is his mobility and has played a major role in the way the Jags’ offense has looked of late. GoJo notes that with Lawrence and Travis Etienne in the backfield, the Jaguars have realized maximized the space, with every play feeling like there’s a bunch of bodies going in a bunch of different directions east and west and making this offense the best version of itself in the Doug Pederson era. GoJo said it feels like the outcome of this game could be hinging solely on the outcome of Lawrence’s health as the Jags are in a great position to earn the W if he’s active given how well their defense has been playing and how much the Saints’ offense is beat up and slightly unproductive.
Senior says he has expected a little bit more out of the Saints thus far. On the Jaguars' side, he said this is a situation in which you look and see if you can rely on others, noting that Etienne leads the league in touches through six weeks at 22 per game (19 carries, three receptions). Senior says he expects Lawrence to be out there, especially considering that after tonight he’ll have 10 days to recover before the Jags’ next game.
Meanwhile, in considering the state of the AFC South, GoJo admits he almost made the mistake of taking his eye off the ball when Mike Vrabel is the guy holding it. GoJo says Vrabel has ascended into that Mike Tomlin role where the minute you start doubting him or looking away from him he’s managed to MacGyver a team together that is somehow going to be a playoff contender, especially in a lax division.
GoJo notes that we came into the season expecting Jacksonville, somewhat similar to Detroit maybe a year back on the timeline, to take the next step, which for Jacksonville would be winning the division. While we may have upgraded expectations for the Lions, as the Golics discussed on Tuesday with Lomas Brown, for Jacksonville, GoJo says we’re somewhere in the middle ground. The revitalized play of Lawrence since Pederson has arrived in Jacksonville, as well as a defense that has been one of the best at taking away the football this season, should be enough to lift the Jags up in a lackluster division, GoJo says.
Meanwhile, turning his attention to the NFC South, Senior points out an interesting stat. You know who has scored the most points in that division this year? 0-6 Carolina. He says it's such a head-scratcher of a division where you realize you’re getting one team into the playoffs and you expect them to be eliminated pretty quickly — at least until the inevitable miraculous playoff run. GoJo points out that the Saints' offense has been a major point of frustration — last week’s loss to the Texans was the first time the Saints had gone over 400 yards of total offense this season. Which is strange given that the Saints boast Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave and Michael Thomas, who has come back from injury to look more like himself than we’ve seen in a long time. But GoJo points out that you have to keep in mind that it’s been a bit of a revolving door up front for New Orleans, which for the longest time had been known for having a strong offensive line. And it’s not a strength they’re able to rely on any longer.
Going into tonight’s game, the Saints are a slight home favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, which GoJo chalks up to respect for the environment in the Dome. He says if Lawrence is good to go, even in a limited capacity — which it seems he will be based on reports — then he thinks the Jags keep the hot streak alive and pick up the W. Senior agrees, going with the Jags if Lawrence does indeed play. And Senior points out that it gets glossed over that if you don’t have a good offensive line, which effects everything from sacks to the rushing attack to the passing attack, it’s going to really hamper what you can do. And the Saints are struggling in that area for sure right now.
Meanwhile, it seems GoJo has a new roommate these days ...
Hour 1: GoJo’s New Possum, Thursday Night: Jaguars at Saints, Vegas Aces Win Back-to-Back WNBA Titles, the Rangers finally lose in the postseason, and Sam Hartman’s New 70s Mustache
Watch GoJo and Golic every weekday on Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Xumo Play and DraftKingsNetwork.com from 8 to 10 a.m. ET. The show will also be available via audio on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Mike Golic Sr. on X at @golic and Mike Golic Jr. on X at @mikegolicjr.
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