Short week so we do not have to reflect too much on the Raiders game. But the nation is blessed with a chance to watch a couple of four-loss AFC South teams.
This will be the 43 all-time meeting between the two franchises, including postseason and dating back to when the Titans were in Houston and called the Oilers. The Titans lead the series 25-19.
This is the original Jaguars rivalry, as the first regular season game in franchise history was against the Oilers at what was then newly renovated Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
Humble-brag to Titans fans:
The Jaguars have won the last two years on Thursday night’s against the Titans.
While the Jags color rush jerseys are ugly, they at least are not powder blue unitards.
Connections to River City:
Back-to-back weeks with the Jags having to face a former head coach. And you thought Mike Mularkey was bad? Mularkey was Jacksonville’s head coach in 2012 and was fired after going 2-14, the worst record in franchise history.
Sen’Derrick Marks played his first four years in the NFL in Tennessee. He had three sacks as a Titan, while he has compiled 13.5 in three-plus years in Jacksonville.
Titans rookie running back Derrick Henry hails from Yulee. The all-time leading rusher in high school football history and reigning Heisman Trophy winner has managed just 231 yards of total offense thus far in his career and is still in search of his first touchdown as a pro.
What to Watch:
Marcus Mariota is the league’s top quarterback in the red zone, throwing 22 touchdowns and no interceptions thus far this year. On the flip side, he has committed 18 turnovers, including five lost fumbles, in his nine career games at Nissan Stadium. The Jags got pressure on Mariota in the Thursday night win last year, they will need to do it again.
Blake Bortles is completing 61% of his passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns the last two Thursday night matchups against the Titans. Can he get that mojo back?
Trying to Figure Out:
Is this offense as bad as it has played for the last few weeks?
Will the Jaguars be able to rally together after certain players lost their composure last Sunday?
What will the middle of the defensive line look like without Roy Miller, who tore his achilles in the loss to Oakland?
About the Opponent:
The Titans are 3-4 on the year,, and are coming off of a 34-26 loss to the Colts on Sunday. Marcus Mariota has been discussed already, but Demarco Murray was the big offseason acquisition, and is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has scored five times since coming over from Philadelphia.
Titans LT Taylor Lewan vs. Jaguars DE Dante Fowler, Jr. Fowler has had a disappointing first season after coming off of a big camp following an injury that cost him all of his rookie campaign. Pressure has been the difference in this matchup the last couple seasons, with Jacksonville sealing TNF victories with a sack each of the last two years. Fowler needs to line up onsides and affect the quarterback.
This Equals a Win:
The Jags manage 28 points. No matter how they get them, points need to go on the board, and you should feel confident that the defense can hold the Titans under 28.
How to Listen:
Frank Frangie, Tony Boselli and Jeff Lageman will provide the call on 1010XL and 92.5 FM with Rick Ballou working the sidelines. The Sawyer Gas Kickoff Show begins at 3 p.m. and the Publix Tailgate show follows at 5:30 p.m. The simulcast will be on WGNE 99.9 FM.
Where to Watch:
The game will air on NFL Network, with Jim Nantz, Phil Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeems and Tracy Wolfson on the call. It will also be locally on CBS-47.