Statistically Speaking: Saints vs. Jaguars

Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry (24) defends while Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) catches a pass during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry (24) defends while Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) catches a pass during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

The Jacksonville Jaguars return to TIAA Bank Field when they host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, October 13. The game will be broadcast regionally on CBS, locally on WJAX-47. Here are five notable stats and quotes surrounding Sunday’s matchup:

Homecoming Weekend: The Jaguars will commemorate Homecoming Weekend starting Friday night at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville varsity football game where both teams will receive commemorative 25th season footballs, and continuing through Sunday’s game against the Saints. On Saturday, the Fantennial celebration kicks off with the “For the Love of Football Fan Fest” at Daily’s Place, a free-to-attend family festival featuring an autograph signing by Jaguars Legends and three Pop Warner football games. On Sunday, more than 80 Jaguars alumni will be recognized during pregame ceremonies and, at halftime, the team will introduce the Jaguars All-25. Jacksonville will wear teal jerseys and white pants on Sunday, an homage to the inaugural season’s traditional combination in 1995. In the team’s 25-season history, the Jaguars have a 63-46 record in games in which they wear teal jerseys.

Quotable: “I’m excited about this upcoming Homecoming Weekend and 1 p.m. game at The Bank. It’s going to be exciting to see so many former Jaguars players and legends there supporting our team getting a win against the Saints. It’s going to be a great opportunity. Our guys this year have done an unbelievable job of overcoming adversity, fighting through things and are doing an outstanding job of competing every play. It’s going to be exciting to watch them on Sunday with some Jaguars Legends.” – Former Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny

Fournette Fever: In Week 5 at Carolina, RB Leonard Fournette posted 137 scrimmage yards (108 rushing and 29 receiving) after he became the second player in franchise history to total at least 200 rushing yards (225) at Denver in Week 4. Through five games, Fournette has gained 512 rushing yards this season, the most in the AFC and the third-most in the NFL. He has been especially productive in the second half when he has gained a league-leading 389 rushing yards on 55 attempts (7.1 yards per carry). According to SportsRadar360, Fournette’s 401 yards after contact are the most in the NFL with no other player in the NFL gaining more than 300.

Quotable: “For a big back that can run at that pad level, it’s a good thing. He’s going to keep doing a great job of seeing the hole, staying patient. Like I said all the time, the run game isn’t going to be clean all the time. A lot of times, if we have to motion a receiver down there to get an extra guy in the box and they tighten up, you have to make a guy miss a lot of the times. Leonard has done a great job of doing that.” – Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo

Minshew Mania: In his first game since winning Offensive Rookie of the Month, QB Gardner Minshew II threw for a Jaguars rookie-record 374 yards and two TDs for a passer rating of 101.9 in Week 5 at Carolina, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for at least 200 passing yards with a passer rating of at least 95.0 in each of his first five career games. Through five career games, Minshew has completed 110 of 165 passes (66.7 comp. pct.) for 1,279 yards, nine TDs and one INT for a passer rating of 105.6. The rookie signal caller joins Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes as the only players in NFL history to throw for at least 1,200 passing yards and nine TDs with one-or-fewer INTs through his first five career games.

Quotable: “I think [his improvement] is as much off the field as it is on the field. I think he trusts his preparation. I think anytime you go through game week after game week after game week, I think you get into a routine. I see him much more comfortable in his routine throughout the week. On the field, I just think it has more to do with the 10 guys that are around him than it does him. I just think you see the other 10 guys believe. It was kind of an unknown for all of us when he went in there against Kansas City when Nick [Foles] went down on play [No. 11]. I think you just see an organization, not only players and coaches, but I think that you see an organization believe that he’s going to go out there and perform. That is a credit to him.” – Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo

Sophomore Sensation: Second-year WR DJ Chark Jr. set career-highs with eight catches for 164 yards (20.5 rec avg.) and two TDs in Week 5 at Carolina, including a 37-yard TD. The score was Chark’s seventh 30-plus yard reception of the season, and he is one of three players since 1998 (WR Lee Evans in 2008 and WR Randy Moss in 1998) to total at least seven catches of 30-plus yards through the first five weeks of the season. The LSU product joined former WR Jimmy Smith (536 receiving yards and six TDs) as the only players in franchise history to post at least 485 receiving yards and five receiving TDs through the team’s first five games of a season. Sunday’s matchup features the leading receivers in the AFC (Chark, 485) and the NFC (Saints WR Michael Thomas, 543).

Quotable: “DJ Chark [Jr.] has done a great job of not letting the game be too big for him, not letting the game be too fast for him. He’s taken everything in stride and each game he has leveled up ... He definitely has the hot hand right now and there is a connection between him and Gardner [Minshew II]. As long as you can use that connection and make DJ comfortable and be able to move the ball down the field, we want to feed that.” – WR Chris Conley

Saints Connections: Several players and members of the Jaguars coaching staff have notable connections to Louisiana. RB Leonard Fournette (New Orleans), OL Cam Robinson (Monroe) and WR DJ Chark Jr. (Alexandria) are all from the Pelican state and Fournette and Chark both attended LSU. Head Coach Doug Marrone served as the Saints offensive coordinator from 2006-08 and Jaguars Assistant Special Teams Coordinator Mike Mallory was the assistant special teams coach with the Saints when they won Super Bowl XLIV. QB Gardner Minshew II and Saints leading tackler, LB Demario Davis, both attended Brandon High School.

Quotable: “I’m a huge fan of Gardner Minshew. It’s not too often you see two Brandon High School alums playing head to head. It doesn’t happen much. For him to be a starting quarterback in the NFL is huge for the city of Brandon and all of Rankin County. To be a rookie thrown into the fire and to able to get his team to rally around and lead them and put them in position to win games is incredible. Nobody is more happy for him than me.” – LB Demario Davis

Every week during the 2019 season, Jaguars Public Relations Assistant David Wolf will write five key stats with supporting quotes about the Jaguars’ upcoming game. A Chapel Hill, N.C. native, Wolf joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in May 2018.

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