Only thing that we know for sure is that Orlovsky is out, though when asked Marinelli would not comment on whether or not the 4th year QB out of UConn will be placed on IR. He is slated to see another specialist this week.
The Quarterback situation is completely in the air and the Coaching staff is hush hush. They are in a lose/lose situation. They’ve already exposed their own hypocrisy by even hinting that a guy that hasn’t played football in a year, just received the playbook on tuesday and has two practices under his belt is ready to start over a kid that has been here all year. With so little preparation, how can Culpepper perform well?
To further complicate the absolute mess that the coaching staff has made themselves, if Culpepper tanks it and creates 4 or 5 turnovers, they will have no choice but to put in Stanton in. If Stanton looks good, the credibility they perceive that they have is gone. Either way, the boo’ing by the 40-some-thousand people at Ford Field will be horrendous.
The only thing that leaves me wondering about Stanton is his true level of skill. The coaching staff thinks he isn’t ready; The Fans like him because he’s a hometown favorite. To his credit he looked good in the preseason before he was injured. Would this even be a controversy had he went to Texas A&M instead of the Glorious Michigan State Spartans? We’ll have to leave it on the field, if he gets to play we’ll see what happens. Remember, Jeff Garcia was a terrible practice player and yet he proved himself to be nothing short of a clutch guy on several different teams (except YOU KNOW WHERE).
As for the Jaguars, they are in a must win situation. The expectations for them at the beginning at the season were of the Superbowl Variety, especially with Tom Brady going down and the Colts getting off to a slow start. It’s been less than lackluster for the 23rd offensively/defensively ranked Jaguars are this point and the whip cream on top has been losing to the winless Bengals. Could the Lions be the cherry on top?
Odds are, No. The fact that the team is not only entertaining the thought of starting a guy that “Retired” and has participated in all of two practices. The Jags defense is going to have a field day, its going to be a boys night out on the town. If you can put them to use in your fantasy league, expect turnovers. A LOT of them. I’m thinking the over/under on Culpepper picks/give aways/fumbles is 4. Stopping the run shouldn’t be excessively difficult as the Lions haven’t been able to generate yards on the ground all season. Simply put they can’t control possession and take over a game. Hell, even when they do the Lions Joe Barry run, last place defense falls flat on their back. To generate the fall apart, the Jaguars defense needs to take Calvin Johnson, our only viable weapon, and shut him down. If Calvin can’t generate chunk yardage, nothing else the team tries will work.
There is, however, one caveat. John Henderson, a Jaguars Defensive tackle, is suspended/injured after an altercation during the Bengals game. I haven’t really had the opportunity to watch the Jags, thus I’m not exactly sure how key this guy is, still depth is always an issue in pro ball. If this guy is good enough to play in a Professional game and can’t, then at some point a guy that isn’t good enough to play is going to be on the field.
Can Kevin Smith and Rudi Johnson exploit this somehow? Sadly I have little faith in our Offensive line, I find their performance OFFENSIVE (LOL, have I used that one yet this year? I’m so clever). Linebacker Mike Peterson will be playing, I assume the Lions will have to deal with this guy as he’s good enough to have his being cleared to play front page sports news.
In any event, there is one thing that Jaguar and Lions fans can share now: Black Outs. We are now kindred brethren as the Jaguars had more black outs than any other team in the league last year. And now in 2008, the Lions will most undoubtedly share this dubious distinction. This game will be the second black out this year and it looks like there will be many more. At this point, Thanksgiving will be the only game on TV for the rest of the season.
Photos taken from detnews.com, freep.com & ultimatejaguars.com