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Week seven of an unexpected and chaotic 2023 NFL Season is set to begin with a matchup between playoff-caliber teams. The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-2) are set to go on the road to take on the New Orleans Saints (3-3). The New Orleans Saints are 5-2 over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars started the season 1-2 before the last three consecutive games, including wins over the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills in London. The Saints have defeated three of the worst teams in the league in the Tennessee Titans, the Carolina Panthers, and the New England Patriots. They have lost two winnable games by one possession at the Green Bay Packers and at the Houston Texans.
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See also how we think about the big TNF matchup between the playoff-caliber teams.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have one of the most balanced offenses in the league, but there is a serious improvement. The Jaguars are ranked 10th in the league in points per game (23.7), 13th in total yards per game (337.3), 12th in passing yards per game (2223.8) and 15th in rushing yards per game (113.5). Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has a great selection of weapons including wide receiver Calvin Ridley in his first full season since 2020.
The New Orleans Saints continue to possess one of the most efficient defenses in the league thanks to the talent spread throughout the three-position group. New Orleans ranks sixth in points allowed per game (16.0) and fifth in total yards allowed per game (278.3). Defensive end Carl Granderson looks to be the new alpha playmaker of the Saints' defense.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Saints have been a disappointment. The Saints possess talent throughout the offense, but the production has been disappointing. New Orleans ranks 24th in points per game (18.2) and 20th in total yards per game (312.5).
Much like the Jaguars' offense, the defense has great talent but has room for serious improvement. Their biggest concern is the lack of efficiency in the pass defense as they rank 31st in passing yards allowed per game (270.3). Josh Allen is playing his best season in his young career by accounting for seven sacks and 11 quarterback hits in only six games.
Derek Carr has played an up-and-down season for the Saints this season. He is coming off his best passing performance as a member of the Saints in losing to the Houston Texans by throwing for 353 yards. With the Saints going against the lackluster pass defense of the Jaguars, Carr could continue his highly productive performance in week seven.
Evan Engram is playing one of his best seasons in the league as he is finally up to his potential in his second year with the Jaguars. Engram has been targeted more than six times in five of the six games played and caught five or more in five games. With the Jaguars needing to make quick plays on offense, Engram may be a reliable target for Trevor Lawrence.
Jacksonville's Josh Allen can make the legitimate that is playing like the best Josh Allen in the league. The edge rusher has been a tremendous force in the Jaguars' pass rush by accounting for seven sacks and 11 quarterback hits. New Orleans has allowed 19 sacks this season.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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