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Fact or Fiction: More touchdowns from rookies coming?


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

The Giants will have multiple touchdowns from rookies again

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Again!? It's asking a lot given the only two rookies that are likely to touch the ball on Sunday are Daniel Bellinger and Wan'Dale Robinson. Robinson will quickly become Daniel Jones' go-to player in the passing game but it won't necessarily translate to touchdowns every week. Bellinger has three touchdowns this year but at some point someone else, perhaps Chris Myarick, may be a target in the red zone area of the field.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Wan'Dale Robison caught four passes, including a touchdown, in just 15 snaps in his first game back from injury. Brian Dbaoll said they'll look to increase that number as he ramps back up. Meanwhile, tight end Daniel Bellinger is coming into his own and has found the end zone in back-to-back games.

Lance Medow: Fiction – In order for this to be a fact, Wan'Dale Robinson and Daniel Bellinger would both have to reach the end zone again because those are the only two rookie skill position players on offense unless of course you think there's a chance Evan Neal or Joshua Ezeudu serve as a receiver. Hey, Andrew Thomas already has caught a touchdown in his career, so it's not a stretch but highly unlikely. Bellinger has yet to find the end zone in consecutive games and Robinson just returned from a knee injury. You could see one of them scoring a touchdown but not both.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Last week's two-touchdown performance from Wan'Dale Robinson and Daniel Bellinger was great to see and an encouraging sign of what's to come in the future. But expecting that sort of output two weeks in a row might be too much to ask. Robinson's role should continue to grow as he gets further removed from his Week 1 knee injury, and we have already seen Bellinger's playing time increase (his 45 and 61 snaps the last two games, respectively, are the most he's played all season). But unless one of the rookies on defense is able to record a turnover and return it for a touchdown, this is a tall ask.

Kayvon Thibodeaux will record another sack on Sunday

John Schmeelk: Fiction – The Jaguars have two capable, if not Pro Bowl caliber, offensive tackles in Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor. Trevor Lawrence also averages 2.56 seconds before he throws a pass, which is the eighth-fastest average time to throw in the NFL. Jacksonville is a team based around the run game and there's a real chance Thibodeaux doesn't get the opportunities necessary to get a sack.

Dan Salomone: Fact – His game-clinching strip-sack last week could be the launching pad for what the Giants hope is a long and productive career for the fifth overall pick.

Lance Medow: Fiction – The Jaguars have only surrendered 10 sacks in six games and all 10 have come in three contests so opponents are not necessarily having field days at the expense of the Jacksonville offensive line. When you take that into consideration, the fact that Thibodeaux has one sack in his first four games and that the Jaguars will look to establish the run, let's lean toward fiction.

Matt Citak: Fact – Thibodeaux was able to register his first career sack in last week's win, and it could not have come at a more crucial time. But even before his strip-sack of Lamar Jackson, the rookie outside linebacker had been getting closer and closer to the quarterback in recent weeks. Thibodeaux had four pressures against both the Bears and Packers, and is now up to 12 pressures in his four games this season. Jacksonville has allowed just 10 sacks on the year, the eighth-lowest in the NFL, but Thibodeaux will be able to ride the momentum of last week and pick up sack No. 2.

Daniel Jones will pass for a season-high number of yards in Jacksonville

John Schmeelk: Fact – Daniel Jones will have to top 217 yards to set a new season high and he will do it. The Jaguars stop the run, allowing the third-fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL (89.3). According to Next Gen Stats, the Jaguars load the box on more than 53% of their snaps, which is the second-highest rate in the NFL. They are going to force the Giants to pass the football, and they will be able to with Wan'Dale Robinson healthy and back on the field. The Jaguars' opponents have a quarterback rating of 132 on passes that travel at least 20 yards in the air. If there was ever a game to make some big plays down the field for the Giants offense, it's this one.

Dan Salomone: Fact – With Wan'Dale Robinson back and Daniel Bellinger settling into the NFL game, Jones' passing numbers should only increase. The Giants won't mess with the winning formula they have found on the ground, but the passing game started to click last week.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Surely many said the same thing last week when the Giants faced a Ravens team that ranked last against the pass yet Daniel Jones threw for only 173 yards. Regardless of the opponent, the Giants' offensive identity is the run game and they're not going to get out of character simply because throwing the ball may look attractive on paper. That's not their DNA. Even though Jacksonville ranks third against the run and 21st against the pass, you'd still be surprised if New York goes to the air similar to what the Colts did last week when Matt Ryan threw the ball 58 times. Jones' season-high in passing yards is 217 against the Packers in Week 5 and that was against one of the top secondaries in the league.

Matt Citak: Fact – Jones has been good this season, completing a career-best 67.3 percent of his passes. His completion percentage over the last two games has been over 70 percent and he's averaged just under 200 passing yards a game during that span. In order for Jones to top his season-high number of yards this week, he'll have to throw for more than 217 yards. The way to attack this Jaguars' defense is through the air, as their run defense has allowed the third-fewest yards this season. Jacksonville has allowed three quarterbacks to throw for more than 285 yards this week. Jones will throw for north of 217 yards.

The Jaguars are the best sub-.500 team entering Week 7

John Schmeelk: Fiction – There are two other teams in this conversation with the Jaguars, who are 2-4 but with a +24 point differential - 10 points higher than the Giants (5-1). The Raiders (1-4) only have a -5 point differential with losses to the Chiefs, Titans, and Chargers on their ledger. They are better than a 1-4 team. The other team to throw in the mix is the Saints, though their issues at quarterback and other injuries probably put them third on this list. On a neutral field, the Raiders would be slight favorites against the Jaguars, so go with Las Vegas.

Dan Salomone: Fact – They're the only losing team in the NFL with a positive point differential and incredible lead the AFC South in that department at plus-24. The next closest is the Texans (1-3-1) at minus-13.

Lance Medow: Fact – The Jaguars' record doesn't do justice for the team, considering their four losses have been a result of one-score games and they were either tied or led late in each contest. Unlike the Giants, they just haven't been able to finish games but they've been in every affair and have proven to be a tough out. Much like New York, that's a strong reflection of the new coaching staff led by Doug Pederson. You wouldn't overlook the Saints (2-4), with three of their four losses having been decided by one score. They've also dealt with several injuries to notable players such as Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and Alvin Kamara. They're a much better team than their record shows and you can expect them to regroup as they get healthier.

Matt Citak: Fact – Jacksonville enters this matchup at 2-4, but don't let the record fool you. This is a much-improved team. They have the 15th-best scoring offense and the ninth-best scoring defense, with talented young players on both sides of the ball. Doug Pederson has turned around this team after last year's disastrous season, and they're only going to continue to improve. Keep in mind, they are just a few weeks removed from beating the Los Angeles Chargers, 38-10, in Week 3. Also, there aren't many other appealing options among the sub-.500 teams, so let's give the nod to Jacksonville on this one.


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