The Giants visit the Jaguars (2-3) on Sunday. Jacksonville's three losses are by a total of 22 points – and each was a one-score game.
Here's what I'm seeing on the film and in the stat sheets:
When the Jaguars have the ball…
Numbers to know
6.33: The Jaguars average 6.33 yards per first down play - 5th best in the NFL
The Jaguars have struck a good run-pass balance this season, but they are a run heavy 1st-and-10 team (57.8% - 9th-highest in the NFL). They compliment that run game with a package of quick-release packages at the line of scrimmage and RPO's and option plays that take advantage of Trevor Lawrence's running ability.
357.8: Total yards per game gained by the Jaguars offense – 11th in the NFL
41.1%: Third down conversion rate - 13th in the NFL
54.5%: Red Zone touchdown rate - tied for 18th in the NFL
24.3%: Pressure Rate allowed – 7th best in the NFL
No one on the Jaguars' offensive line had missed a game this year until Ben Bartch hurt his knee in Week 5 and will miss the remainder of the season. Veteran Tyler Shatley has stepped in at left guard and played well. Rookie Luke Fortner is their starter at center with offseason acquisition Brandon Scherff at right guard. Young veterans Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor have been strong at left and right tackle. The Jaguars 4.93% sack rate is ninth-best in the NFL.
Players to know
Trevor Lawrence: Lawrence has taken a step forward in his second year under new head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor. He is completing 65.5% of his passes for 232 yards per game with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Lawrence has not been helped by his wide receivers, who have a 10.3% drop rate, the worst in the NFL. According to PFF, his adjusted completion percentage, which takes drops into account, is 75% and the 9th-best rate in the NFL for quarterbacks with at least 50 dropbacks. (Daniel Jones has the best adjusted completion rate in the league at 81.2%).
Lawrence is getting the ball out of his hands quickly, with an average time to throw of only 2.56 seconds. It is the eighth-fastest time in the league according to Pro Football Focus. Lawrence has been inconsistent on passes thrown more than 20 yards down the field, with a quarterback rating of only 34.0 on those throws. He has struggled against the blitz, with only a 73.5 quarterback rating when opponents send extra pressure after him. Lawrence can also run the ball. He has 81 rushing yards with two touchdowns. He will be used on quarterback sneaks and options plays. According to PFF, Lawrence has eight turnover-worthy plays compared to seven big-time throws, which is not an ideal ratio. He has four lost fumbles, following a rookie year in which he had nine (four lost). He leads the NFL in fumbles lost since 2021.
Travis Ettienne Jr. and James Robinson: The Jaguars have one of the best running back duos in the NFL. Ettienne and Robinson are the only teammates in the NFL to have more than 300 yards rushing yards. The Jaguars average 136.7 rushing yards per game, which ranks ninth in the league. They are ninth in 1st-and-10 run rate (57.8%)
Robinson is averaging just under 14 carries per game and is more of the early-down workhorse, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Coming off an achilles tear late last season, Robinson is still rounding into form and presents a combination of power and elusiveness and has eight runs or 10+ yards, with four going for at least 20. The Jaguars rank third in 20+ yard runs with nine. Ettienne is coming off a season-ending Lisfranc injury that he suffered last preseason, he appears to have regained his speed. He is averaging 5.57 yards per carry and has four runs of 20+ yards, which is ties for fourth (behind Rashaad Penny, Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb). Ettienne also has 13 catches for 146 yards.
Christian Kirk: Kirk signed a lucrative free agent contract this season and leads the Jaguars with 362 receiving yards and a 14.5 yards per catch average. Kirk has lined up 237 times in the slot this season, versus 129 times as an outside wide receiver.
Otherwise, the Jaguars spread the wealth at wide receiver with four players (including Kirk) with at least 18 catches. Zay Jones leads the team with 25 catches, while Evan Engram is third on the team with 24 catches and 208 receiving yards. Veteran Marvin Jones missed last week's game with a hamstring injury and his status will be worth monitoring this week.
Keys for the Giants' defense
* Do not let Jacksonville control the game on the ground with big plays – especially on first down
* Confuse Trevor Lawrence with blitz packages to force some turnovers
* Tackle well against the Jaguars short/quick passing/screen game
View photos from Wednesday's practice as the Giants prepare for their Week 7 matchup against the Jaguars.
When the Giants have the ball…
Numbers to know
71.06: Opposing quarterback rating when the Jaguars blitz
The Jaguars are one of those most effective blitzing teams in the league. They only blitz on 29.6% of their snaps (13th-highest in the league) but they get pressure on 34% of opponent's pass plays, which ranks 12th. The Jaguars only have 10 sacks (27th), but according to PFF, their 31 quarterback hits ranks fifth.
43.4%: Opponent third-down conversion rate – 25th in the NFL
The Jaguars have especially struggled in third-and- medium or long situations. They rank 30th defending third downs of more than six yards (35%) and rank 27th between 4-6 yards (55%).
61.1%: Red zone touchdown efficiency – 23rd in the NFL
132.2: Opponent passer rating on passes that travel 20+ air yards – 31st in the NFL
The Jaguars have struggled on passes down the field this season with a relatively inexperienced secondary. They have allowed 20 passes of 20+ yards this year, which is tied for 21st. They mostly play with a single-high safety.
89.3: Rushing yards allowed per game – 3rd in the NFL
3.57: Rushing yards allowed per play – 3rd in the NFL
4.41: yards allowed per first down play – 2nd in the NFL
These three numbers are related. The Jaguars are excellent against the run, partially because they load the box defensively. According to NextGen stats, the Jaguars have loaded the box on 53.3% of opponent rushes this year, which ranks second in the NFL. Teams are only averaging 3.7 yards per rush against those loaded boxes. They are a difficult team to run against, especially on early downs, with a very talented front.
Players to know
Josh Allen and Travon Walker: The Jaguars' two edge rushers are young and dynamic. Walker is still raw as a pass rusher with only one sack, three quarterback hits and 15 total pressures. He is strong setting edge against the run and will successfully drop into coverage. Josh Allen leads the team with three sacks and 10 quarterback hits. He has 25 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. He has lined up over the right tackle 217 times this season, while he has lined up over the right tackle 118 times.
Devin Lloyd: Lloyd should be in the conversation for defensive rookie of the year. He has been impactful against the run and pass (two interceptions and six passes defended). PFF has tracked him with eight total pressures and he is second on the team with 56 tackles. Foye Oluokun leads the team with 58 tackles and five tackles for loss, but he is dealing with a calf injury that he played with last weekened.
Tyson Campbell: Campbell, a second-round pick in 2021, is the Jaguars' top cornerback. He has allowed 21 catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He has allowed only five plays of 15+ yards and has an interception. Shaquil Griffin is a veteran cornerback playing across from Campbell with Darious Williams playing the slot.
Andre Cisco: A 2021 third-round pick, Cisco plays most of his snaps as a deep safety. At Syracuse, he made big plays and gave up big plays.
Keys for the Giants' offense
* Take deep shots off play-action against single-high coverages
* Pass against stacked boxes on early downs
* Use Saquon Barkley as a target in the passing game