The Saints host the Jaguars in a cross-conference battle. Each team has a similar record; however, unlike New Orleans, Jacksonville is playing off the back of a win.
The injury report is a major factor in this match, as both teams have important players who could potentially miss out on Thursday's game.
New Orleans is riddled with injuries, and among them is Chris Olave. Olave has been one of the Saints best players this year, as he's on track for over twelve hundred yards and is averaging thirteen yards per catch. The wide receiver out of the 2022 draft class has certainly made his mark on the NFL and has been a strong asset for the offence. Chris was limited in Tuesday's practice and is questionable for this week's important game. (per Saints injury report)
Trevor Lawrence was also limited in Tuesday's practice due to a knee injury (per the Jaguars injury report). C.j. Beathard is the Jaguars second-string quarterback and has played just two snaps in his career.
Why the Saints can win
Despite the loss against Houston on the weekend, the Saints have seemed to work out their offense, despite being one of the worst in the league on that side of the ball. Derek Carr played his best game in a long time, as he threw for three hundred and fifty-three yards. Their running game is also beginning to strive, as Alvin Kamara has averaged seventy-four rushing yards over the past two weeks.
If Carr can continue his momentum in the pass game, then the Saints should run right through the Jaguars defence. Jacksonville has the second-worst passing defence in the NFL, and New Orleans has a strong chance to take advantage. The Saints fifth-ranked passing defence should be able to shut down whichever quarterback takes the field for the opposition, especially an UN-experienced Beathard.
Why the Jaguars can win
Obviously, whether or not Lawrence plays is very important regarding the result of this match. If Lawrence is absent, then expect a lot of their offensive production to be in the running game. Their ranked fifteenth in rushing yards gained per game. This is nothing to be impressed about; however, it'll need to be good if they're without Trevor. Jacksonville is walking into New Orleans with a three-game win streak, which gives them plenty of momentum.
They dominated the Colts last week, which is very tough to do, especially after playing two games in London. Statistically, the Saints have a poor offense, which means the Jags have a great chance of winning if they can score at least a moderate amount of points.
Who wins and why
It's hard to confidently pick a winner in this game. The Jaguars are flying, but Lawrence might be out, and the Saints are slowly finding their offensive identity. Even if Trevor plays, the game will be low-scoring and i think the Saints will relish at home. I expect their defense to leave the Jags to under seventeen points and Derek Carr's team win their fourth game of the season by a field goal.
If Lawrence plays, my score prediction is that the Saints win 17-14