The Jaguars could begin to close out strong in the final two weeks of 2016 with a victory over the Tennessee Titans (8-6) Saturday. It likely won’t happen but the Music City Miracle did so anything is possible. The Jags (2-12) have fallen in nine consecutive games, which made the team depart with head coach Gus Bradley. Until a new one comes on board, Jacksonville will go with Doug Marrone in the interim.
Will it ever get bad enough in these last two weeks to see – the typically inactive QB – Brandon Allen replace Blake Bortles? This Week 16 game falls on this Saturday, Christmas Eve at 1 p.m. Head to EverBank Field if you would like your discounted Blake Bortles jersey so you don’t have to shop prior to Sunday.
Saturday will be the 44th time Tennessee and Jacksonville kick off. The Jaguars are 19-24 in the series. The first meeting this season was on Oct. 27 when the Titans ran away with a 36-22 victory, which many folks – us included – believe is the most embarrassing loss in Jags’ history. Jax played with almost NO energy.
Humble-brag to Titans fans:
You’re winning with Mike Mularkey and the Jags just fired the head coach that replaced Mularkey nearly four years ago.
Could you imagine the Jags fan-base being 8-6 with two games left? This city would be freaking out, and we would not have to fill space with what-if thoughts.
Need to See:
Really anything better than that first loss to Tennessee would be a win, in our opinion. That was sports torture.
What’s the left guard situation? It has clearly become a draft need for this spring.
We get asked more than anything else – how good is the defense as a whole? Can they make big stops when it counts?
What to Watch:
Jalen Ramsey is becoming known as the front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. His name and play have been a freight train the last half of the season.
Ramsey and Marqise Lee have been the most pleasant surprises. Ramsey we figured would be good but not at this level and so quickly. For Lee, it was a matter of staying healthy. He has done that and then some!
We weren’t going to leave him out. Rookie defensive end Yannick Ngakoue needs 1.0 sack to tie Tony Brackens’ franchise rookie record from 1996. Ngakoue has 6.0 sacks so far.
Trying to Figure Out:
Can this roster win at home? The Jaguars’ last win at EverBank Field was Dec. 13, 2015. It was that 50-burger when the Jags won 51-16 over Indy.
You’re looking to snap a nine-game losing skid. There is enough to figure out, but can interim coach Doug Marrone, at best, earn a spot on the next Jacksonville head coach’s staff. No matter what David Caldwell said, we don’t see him as a real candidate though.
What will the Browns, Niners and Bears do these remaining two weeks? Respectively those three are 0-14, 1-13 and 3-11. For most Jags diehards, looking at draft order has been part of most winters.
About the Opponent:
Tennessee comes off a 19-17 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. For a team that controls their destiny, the Titans will be full throttle. Jacksonville will be challenged by the third-ranked rushing team (nearly 145 per game). The Titans have strung together three victories in a row and had a late bye in Week 13. It looks like an easy guess that the Titans and Colts game will be like Lions-Packers in Week 17 with the division on the line. But does Mularkey dare go for a two-point conversion in back-to-back weeks?
Quarterback Marcus Mariota or running back DeMarco Murray will do some damage this weekend. The second-year QB has been playing well and has his Titans in the playoff conversation, much like Jameis Winston and the Bucs. /smashes table
This Equals a Win:
We really have forgotten what a win feels like. We have become petty, sarcastic and frustrated. Then when you throw in watching the late NFL games, it’s just “why can’t the Jags have/do that?” But it’s the last home game of 2016, and the fan base deserves some kind of joy this holiday season other than a coach’s departure.
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 10 a.m. The simulcast will be on WGNE 99.9 FM.
Where to Watch:
Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein have taken the lead for calling Jags games the last three seasons. Reporting from the sidelines will be Chris Fischer. Jags-Titans will be broadcast regionally on CBS and locally WJAX 47.