Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles – NFL Week 4 Game Preview

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"Philadelphia Eagles Huddle" by Kevin Burkett is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

It’s a first place showdown that not many would’ve predicted heading into the 2022 season, but one of the marquee games of the week features the Jacksonville Jaguars traveling to Philadelphia to face the Eagles. The Jaguars are coming off an impressive trouncing of the Los Angeles Chargers last week, defeating them 38-10. Philadelphia controlled the game against the Washington Commanders in Week 3, beating their division rivals by a final score of 24-8.

The game presents a few intriguing storylines that we will be keeping our eyes on.

The Return Of Doug Pederson

Despite the success of the two teams, the main headline approaching this matchup will be Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson coming back to a place he is extremely familiar with. He spent five years leading Philadelphia in the same capacity, and was the head coach when the franchise won the Super Bowl in the 2017-2018 season. Even though the team parted ways with Pederson after the 2020 campaign, he finished his tenure with the Eagles as a winner, with a 42-37-1 record in the regular season. The team made the postseason in three of those five years.

It is unclear whether the front office or franchise will play a tribute video for their former championship head coach, but it is sure to be an emotional day.

Rushing To Success

It’s no surprise that the Eagles have featured their ground game on offense considering the sensational mobility of quarterback Jalen Hurts. The former second round pick has rushed for 13 touchdowns over the last two seasons, and puts defenses in a bind as they are unsure just how aggressively to pursue the former Alabama and Oklahoma signal caller.

Philadelphia likely won’t deviate from their winning formula on Sunday, as they are seventh in the NFL in total rushing yards, and lead the league in touchdowns on the ground. It’s going to be interesting to see how they fare against a Jacksonville defense that has been stout against the run in the first three games. There is no team in the league that has allowed fewer yards rushing than the Jaguars, which means fans will get to see the strengths of each team clash against one another on Sunday.

Is Trevor Lawrence Reaching His Potential?

To put it kindly, former first overall pick Trevor Lawrence had a turbulent rookie season. He threw only 12 touchdowns, compared to 17 interceptions, and the narrative was starting to take shape about how he might not fulfill the lofty expectations he had coming out of Clemson.

He wasn’t put in the best position to succeed by last year’s head coach Urban Meyer, who was let go by the franchise before he even finished a full season in the league. It isn’t hyperbole to say that Jacksonville had one of the worst run teams in NFL history in 2021, which would be tough for anyone to overcome.

However, Lawrence has bounced back nicely in his second season. He has dramatically cut down on the turnovers, and is completing over 69 percent of his passes. This efficiency has kept the Jaguars in games, and it’ll be something to watch against an improved Philadelphia defense.