The game of football is all about matchups. Well, honestly, it's about a lot more than that. But individual matchups help decide the outcome of each and every football game.
This weekend the Jaguars will take on the Saints inside the friendly confines of TIAA Bank Field. The Jags are favored in this one, despite the Saints coming into the contest with a 4-1 record. If the Jaguars are to prove Vegas correct, they'll need to win some key matchups.
Here are three pivotal matchups between Jacksonville and New Orleans.
Marcus Davenport vs Cam Robinson
The Saints' Pro-Bowl pass rusher, Cam Jordan, is having another phenomenal season in black and gold, but he lines up on the left side of the defensive line. So Jawaan Taylor will be tasked with slowing him down. Taylor has been pretty impressive throughout the first five week of his career. Last week the rookie right tackle didn't allow a single pressure.
I'm more concerned with the other side of the offensive line. Cam Robinson will matchup with second-year edge rusher Marcus Davenport. The two players are trending in opposite directions. Cam Robinson has had a rough go of it in the last two weeks. Against the Broncos in week five, Robinson picked up three penalties and surrendered three pressures. And last week against the Panthers was an unmitigated disaster: Robinson allowed eight pressures. Marcus Davenport, however, is coming into his own. He's racked up 29 pressures this season with seven QB hits and three sacks. Cam Robinson will need to bring his A-game in this one. Otherwise, Gardner Minshew will be running for his life yet again.
DJ Chark vs Marshon Lattimore
Marshon Lattimore is one of the premier cornerbacks in all of football. Last week he showed that by goosing Mike Evans. Jaguars' wide receiver DJ Chark has been electric in 2019. He's performing at an elite level and is a dangerous threat week in and week out. He's leading the AFC in receiving with 485 yards and has also picked up five touchdowns, scoring in every game but one. Most pundits will certainly give the advantage to Lattimore in this matchup, but I'm not so sure that Chark won't hold his own. He has some of the best receiver traits imaginable. He possesses 4.3 speed, stands 6'4'' tall, and in 2019 has been catching literally everything. Gardner Minshew isn't gun shy, so if he thinks Chark has a chance, he'll sling it to his go-to guy. Get your popcorn ready, Duval!
Calais Campbell vs Larry Warford
This is one matchup where the Jaguars should have a distinct advantage. Campbell has been one of the most disruptive forces along the defensive line since joining the Jaguars in 2017. This season, the mayor of Sacksonville has three sacks, all of which came against Tennessee in week three. He's consistently gotten pressure this year, but he needs to get Teddy Bridgewater on the ground this week. The man he'll likely be lined up against, Larry Warford, has struggled a bit over the last three weeks, surrendering an average of four pressures per game. Calais will need to have a big day in front of his home crowd to help stymie the Saints' potent offense.
BONUS: Shad Khan said Thursday that Jalen Ramsey would play this weekend. If that's true, Ramsey will draw a tough assignment against Michael Thomas. Thomas is one of the game's most physically imposing receivers. If these two lineup mano a mano, sparks will fly.
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