free hit counter
2018-12-07
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans
League : NFL

Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction & Preview

Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars 2018-12-07 NFL,

For another look at tonight’s game, check out our latest video:
 
It’s the kickoff game of week 14 of the NFL schedule as a pair of AFC South teams take the field in the Music City. The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the road as they make the trip to face the Tennessee Titans Thursday night. Jacksonville comes in off a 6-0 win over Indianapolis at home Sunday afternoon. Tennessee rallied to down the Jets 26-22 at home late Sunday afternoon to come into this one with some momentum. The Titans own a 27-20 edge in the all-time regular season series and have taken the last three meetings, including a 9-6 win on the road in the first matchup this season on September 23.
A Quick Review of the Season to Date
Jacksonville Jaguars Review
Jacksonville started the season 2-0 and was 3-1 at the quarter pole before things quickly unraveled for them. Three straight double-digit losses, including a 40-7 demolition on the road at Dallas, dropped the team to 3-4. Following those losses, the Jaguars dropped four straight one score games with losses by six points to Philadelphia at home, by three on the road at Indianapolis, by four at home to Pittsburgh and by three at Buffalo. The Pittsburgh loss was especially galling as Jacksonville held a 16-0 lead late in the third quarter before letting it slip away. After the Buffalo game, the team made the move to fire offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. In addition, starting QB Blake Bortles was benched for the rest of the season, turning the reins of the offense over to Cody Kessler, who was 0-8 as a starter in his career. Things didn’t look overly inspiring heading into their week 13 matchup with a Colts team that had won five straight games.
The Jaguars finally saw their defense, which was so dominant last season, return to the form that carried them to the AFC title game last year. Jacksonville pitched a shutout against the Colts and made the two field goals the offense managed to get on the board stand up. The Jaguars were outgained 265-211 in the contest, lost the first down battle 19-11 and saw the Colts control time of possession 30:27 to 29:33 in the contest. Jacksonville forced two turnovers while committing one and stopped Indianapolis on three fourth downs, including a fourth and goal at the 1 in the second quarter.
Tennessee Titans Review
Tennessee started the year with a loss to Miami in a game that was interrupted multiple times by lightning and took what seemed like an eternity to finish. The Titans rebounded by winning their next three games to sit 3-1, much like Jacksonville did. Tennessee would lose their next three, with a pair of one-point losses to Buffalo and the Chargers sandwiched by a blanking by Baltimore where Marcus Mariota was sacked 11 times. Coming out of their bye, the Titans beat Dallas and then embarrassed New England on the road before losing back to back divisional games against Indianapolis and Houston. That left the Titans at 5-6 heading into last week’s game against the Jets.
Tennessee battled back from a 16-0 first-half deficit against the Jets to get a much-needed win. With the victory, the Titans returned to the .500 mark on the season and remained one game behind the Ravens for the final playoff spot in the AFC. Tennessee would need to have things break their way but they’re still in the hunt with four games to play. The Titans were still down nine entering the fourth quarter but went on three scoring drives, including the game-winning touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis with 36 seconds to play. Tennessee owned a 403-280 edge in total offense and had 22 first downs to the Jets’ 15. Both teams turned the ball over once and the Jets controlled the clock 33:22 to 26:38 yet it was the Titans that got the win.

Jacksonville Jaguars Offense vs. Tennessee Titans Defense

Running the Ball: Who Has the Edge?
Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense
Jacksonville is in the middle of the pack as far as calling run plays go as they enter this game 17th in the league in rushing percentage at 41.28 percent on the year. The Jaguars have cracked the century mark on the ground in half of their 12 games this season, with a season-high 226 yards in the loss against Buffalo two weeks ago. That came one week after Jacksonville punished Pittsburgh with 179 rushing yards in the game they ended up giving away late. Prior to those two games, the Jaguars had been held to 65, 70, 70 and 91 yards on the ground. Last week, despite the win, Jacksonville had their struggles in the ground game as they ran the ball 27 times for a total of 79 yards. The Jaguars have run for 100 or more yards just twice in their last seven games after hitting the mark in four of their first five.
 
T.J. Yeldon leads the Jaguars with 100 carries for 401 yards plus a score on the ground. Leonard Fournette has 90 carries for 314 yards plus four scores but missed several weeks with a hamstring injury. Quarterback Blake Bortles is second on the team with 325 rushing yards and a touchdown this season. Carlos Hyde has added 40 carries for 129 yards since coming over in a deal with the Browns earlier this season. Jacksonville has only six runs that have covered at least 20 yards this season with Bortles having three of them. The Jaguars have moved the chains 68 times via the ground game this season.
Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense
Tennessee has taken their lumps on the ground as eight of their 12 opponents have cracked the century mark against them this season. The Titans have given up at least 148 yards on the ground on three occasions with the Texans’ 281 yard total back in week 12 their worst number this year. Tennessee had a six-week stretch where they didn’t allow more than 3.8 yards per carry, including two games in that stretch where they allowed less than three yards an attempt. The last couple of weeks has been a struggles as the Texans averaged 8.3 yards per carry, including a 97 yard touchdown run by Lamar Miller. Last week, the Jets ran the ball 33 times for 156 yards.
Wesley Woodyard is the team’s leading tackler as he has racked up 78 tackles (49 solo) with one tackle for loss, one pass defense and a fumble recovery. Linebacker Jayon Smith contributes 71 tackles (48 solo) to go with four tackles for loss, two pass defenses and a forced fumble. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey has 50 tackles (33 solo), eight tackles for loss and two forced fumbles on the ledger. Harold Landry (33 tackles, two tackles for loss, pass defense, forced fumble) and Brian Orakpo (27 tackles, four tackles for loss, three pass defenses, forced fumble, fumble recovery) also make stops in the front seven. All told, the Titans have recorded 35 tackles for loss on the season while opposing teams have picked up first downs on the ground 76 times this season.
Who Has the Edge?
This one is going to be a test for the Titans as their run defense hasn’t been all that great this season. We’ve seen the Jaguars recommit to the run in the last few weeks as it was clear that Bortles wasn’t getting things done through the air. Factor in that Fournette will be back for this one after he missed last game with a suspension for his part in an altercation in Buffalo and Jacksonville will pound the ball some more. Kessler isn’t going to win this game for the Jaguars with his arm so it will take a lot of moving the ball on the ground for Jacksonville to have any success. You have to give the edge to the visitors in this department.
Advantage: Jacksonville Jaguars
Aerial Assault: Who Has the Upper Hand?
Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense
Jacksonville hasn’t had a ton of success in the passing game, be it due to injuries in the receiving corps, the inconsistency of quarterback play, good defensive schemes or any other idea you want to throw out there. Jacksonville has had four 300 yard passing games this season, including a game where Bortles threw for 430 yards against the Chiefs. The problem for the Jaguars is that they are just 2-2 in those games. Jacksonville also has been big-play dependent in those big passing games as they had a touchdown pass of at least 61 yards in three of their four biggest passing games. On the flip side, they’ve finished with under 200 net passing yards seven times, including each of the last three weeks. In that three week span, the Jaguars have thrown for 104, 127 and 150 yards.
 
Blake Bortles has completed 223 of 369 passes for 2,572 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Cody Kessler is 39 of 54 for 306 yards with one touchdown and one interception while taking seven sacks. In the passing game, Dede Westbrook has reeled in 46 passes for 553 yards and four scores. Yeldon (team-high 53 receptions, 472 yards, four TD), Keelan Cole (31 grabs, 391 yards, TD) and Donte Moncrief (37 receptions, 557 yards, three TD) are also valuable options in the passing game. Jacksonville has 36 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season with Westbrook leading the way with 12. Yeldon and Moncrief each have six as other big play options.
Tennessee Titans Passing Defense
Tennessee has been fairly good against the pass this season, probably because they’ve been hurt in the ground game. The Titans have given up at least 300 yards in the air three times this season with the Eagles’ 348 mark in week four the most they allowed. Tennessee gave up two 300 yard games in the opening four weeks and just one since: that came when Philip Rivers went for 306 in week 7. Since then, Andrew Luck’s 295 yard day in week 11 proved to be the high water mark. The Titans have given up 210 yards to Houston and just 128 yards through the air to the Jets in the last two weeks as they’ve managed to make the passing game a little more of a challenge.
 
Jayon Brown leads the team with six sacks from his linebacker spot while Casey is right behind him with 5.5 sacks. Woodyard has 3.5 sacks while Landry and Kamalei Correa (18 tackles, two tackles for loss) each have 2.5 sacks on the board this season. In the secondary, Kevin Byard (63 tackles, one tackle for loss, four pass defenses), Malcolm Butler (52 tackles, sack, two tackles for loss, seven pass defenses, forced fumble) and Adoree’ Jackson (52 tackles, tackle for loss, six pass defenses) each have two interceptions to tie for the team lead. Kenny Vaccaro (43 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, two pass defenses) has the other interception. The team has 37 pass defenses and seven picks to their credit this season.
Who Has the Edge?
This one is pretty one-sided when you get right down to it. Tennessee has been very good against the pass this season despite the lack of a consistent pass rush and the fact that they don’t generate a ton of interceptions. Jacksonville is become a more run-oriented offense and is trying to minimize mistakes in the passing game. One can look no further than last week to see how that works. Kessler completed 75 percent of his throws but they totaled just 150 yards and several of them were dump-off passes to Yeldon. Until the Jaguars show a willingness to try and stretch the field, this leans toward the Titans.
Advantage: Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans Offense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Defense

Who Has the Edge in the Ground Game?
Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense
Tennessee has cracked the century mark nine times in their 12 games this season on the ground. Some of that can be tempered by the fact that they reached exactly 100 yards twice and ran for 105 in the game against Houston in week 12. The Titans actually run the ball at the fourth-highest percentage in the league at 46.78 percent. The problem for Tennessee is that they need more production in the ground game in order to have sustained success. The Titans have been held under four yards per carry in five games this season, which has impacted their ability to move the sticks on the ground. Last week against the Jets, Tennessee ran the ball 22 times for 130 yards for a season-best 5.9 yard per carry average.
 
Derrick Henry leads the team with 128 carries for 474 yards plus five scores while Dion Lewis has 135 carries for 464 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Marcus Mariota adds 326 yards and two scores on the ground himself this season. Corey Davis has seen the ball a few times lately on endarounds and jet sweeps: he has four carries for 54 yards. All told, the Titans have six runs that have gone for 20 yards with Mariota leading the way with three. Lewis and Henry have combined for two such runs in 263 carries. Tennessee has moved the chains 70 times via the ground game this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense
Jacksonville has given up more than 100 yards on the ground seven times so far this season though they’ve been much better of late. The Jaguars gave up at least 100 yards in six of their first eight games on the season but they’ve allowed an opponent to hit that mark just once in the last four games. That came when Buffalo ran for 167 yards two weeks ago with 99 of those yards coming from quarterback Josh Allen. The Jaguars have slowed teams of late with the run: last week, they allowed Indianapolis just 16 rushing attempts for 41 yards. That marked the third time they limited an opposing team to under three yards a carry this season.Twitter Ads info and privacy
 
 
Telvin Smith is the team’s leading tackler as he has racked up 101 (75 solo) on the season to go along with four tackles for loss, a pass defense, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Myles Jack has 70 tackles (49 solo) with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery while Calais Campbell contributes 53 tackles (38 solo) plus two pass defenses. Marcell Dareus (29 tackles, two tackles for loss, forced fumble), Malik Jackson (25 tackles, four tackles for loss, pass defense) and Yannick Ngakoue (19 tackles, three tackles for loss) are additional forces to be reckoned with on the Jaguars’ defense. Jacksonville has totaled 35 tackles for loss as a team this season.
Who Has the Edge?
Jacksonville has held their own against the run this season but the fact remains that they are susceptible to mobile quarterbacks. Allen really hurt the Jaguars with his feet as his maneuverability allowed him to escape the rush for a long touchdown pass early in the game. He also had big plays in the fourth quarter that helped the Bills come up with the victory over Jacksonville. Mariota has that kind of ability as well. The fact that he can move in the pocket and out of it helps keep the Jaguars honest and gives the slimmest of edges to Tennessee in this department.
Advantage: Tennessee Titans
Who Has the Upper Hand in the Passing Attack?
Tennessee Titans Passing Offense
Tennessee’s passing offense has been up and down this season. Mariota missing time with injuries didn’t help as Blaine Gabbert looked, well, like Blaine Gabbert, which means you’d rather have someone else on the field if there were meaningful snaps to be taken. The loss of tight end Delanie Walker was a major factor as well. As it stands, the Titans have thrown for 300 yards just twice this season: they had 344 yards against the Eagles in week 4 and 303 in week 12 against Houston. Last week against the Jets, they hit 20 of 35 passes for 282 yards. One thing that has been a concern is pass protection as the Titans have allowed at least two sacks in each of their last 10 games. They’ll have to protect better against the Jaguars’ pass rush.
 
Marcus Mariota has completed 188 of 274 passes for 2,168 yards with 11 touchdowns against seven interceptions while adding 326 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Blaine Gabbert has hit 36 of 61 passes for 360 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. In the passing game, Corey Davisleads the way with 52 receptions for 744 yards plus four scores. Lewis has 45 receptions for 309 yards plus a score while Taywan Taylor (24 grabs, 318 yards, TD). Tajae Sharpe (25 catches, 310 yards, two TD) and Jonnu Smith (20 grabs, 258 yards, three TD) are other valuable targets in the passing game. The Titans have 33 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards with Davis accounting for 15 of them. No one else on the team has more than three such plays.
Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense
Jacksonville has a ferocious pass rush when they’re playing decent defense and the Colts were reminded of how that can be last week. The Jaguars have recorded multiple sacks in eight of their 12 games this season and were only held off the stat sheet twice. Those two games were both losses, as they failed to sack Luck in the first meeting with the Colts or Allen in their loss to the Bills. Jacksonville has allowed just two QBs to throw for more than 300 yards against them this season: Patrick Mahomes threw for 313 in week 5 and Ben Roethlisberger went for 314 in week 11. In the first meeting this season, the Jaguars held Mariota to just 108 yards through the air and sacked him three times.
 
Campbell and Ngakoue lead the team with seven sacks apiece on the year. The problem for the Jaguars is that there’s no other disruptive force in the pass rush. The next leading sack man for Jacksonville is Dante Fowler Jr., who had two sacks before being dealt to the Rams. He’s added two in four games for Los Angeles. Jalen Ramsey (48 tackles, tackle for loss, 10 pass defenses) leads the team with three picks. Smith, Jack (who returned his for a 32 yard pick six), Tashaun Gipson (43 tackles, seven pass defenses), A.J. Bouye (43 tackles, eight pass defenses), Barry Church (38 tackles, sack, two tackles for loss, two pass defenses) and D.J. Hayden (28 tackles, sack, tackle for loss, four pass defenses) each have an interception as well. All told, the Jaguars have 40 pass defenses and nine interceptions on the year. Jacksonville has given up 31 pass plays of at least 20 yards this season.
Who Has the Edge?
Tennessee hasn’t generated much of a vertical passing game this season as their season long play through the air came on a fake punt where the pass was thrown by a defensive back to another defensive back. It’s a safe bet that neither will see the field in an offensive passing situation in this one. Jacksonville has been good at shutting down the aerial assault of opposing teams this season. Unless Mariota can find a way to stretch the field and get Davis involved, it’s going to be a tough challenge for the Titans through the air. This will be a big test for Jack Conklin, Taylor Lewan and the rest of the offensive line. Given Jacksonville’s success at stopping the pass and the Titans’ lack of an aerial assault, you have to lean toward the Jags here.
Advantage: Jacksonville Jaguars

Special Teams, Coaching, & Intangibles

Special Teams
Jacksonville Jaguars
Josh Lambo has hit 18 of 19 extra point attempts and 19 of 21 field goal tries this season with a long of 57. Jaydon Mickens is the team’s leading kick returner as he has six returns for a 24.8 yard average with a long of 31. DJ Chark has six returns with a 24.3 yard average and a long of 47. All told, the Jaguars average 19.9 yards per kick return with a long of 47 on their 21 kickoff returns. In the punt return game, Mickens has a 4.9 yard average on 12 returns with a long of 16. Westbrook has a 15-yard return average with a long of 25. As a team, the Jaguars average 8.5 yards on their 22 punt returns this year.
Logan Cooke has punted the ball 62 times for Jacksonville this season. His gross punting average of 43.9 yards per kick is tied for 27th in the league. Cooke’s 42.4 yard net punting average puts him 11th in the league. He has dropped 26 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line (fifth) but has suffered seven touchbacks, which is the second-most in the league. Kick coverage has been decent for the Jaguars: they allow 17.2 yards per return on 15 kickoff returns with a long of 30. On punt returns, they allow an average of just four yards a return on 23 runbacks with a long of 10. Football Outsiders ranks the Jaguars as the sixth-best special teams unit in the league.
Tennessee Titans
Ryan Succop has booted 20 of 21 extra point attempts and 21 of 24 field goal tries with a long of 54 this season. Darius Jennings is the team’s leading kick returner: he averages 34.8 yards per return on his 15 runbacks, including a 92-yard score against the Dolphins in week 1. In the punt return game, Adoree’ Jackson has 11 returns with a 9.6 yard average and a long of 26. Nick Williams averages 11.8 yards on four returns with a long of 38 while the departed Rishard Matthews averaged 9.5 yards on his four returns on with a long of 18. All told, the Titans average 9.6 yards a return on their 20 runbacks this season on punts.
Brett Kern has booted the ball 57 times for Tennessee this season. He enters this game fourth in the league with a 47.4 yard gross average but ranks tied for 16th in net average at 41.4 yards per kick. Kern has dropped 23 punts inside the 20-yard line (tied for 7th) with three touchbacks but has had a punt blocked. The kick coverage teams for Tennessee have struggled this season. The Titans allow 31.5 yards per kick return on 15 runbacks with a 102-yard touchdown in the mix. On punt returns, Tennessee allows 10.9 yards per return on 27 returns with a long of 51. Football Outsiders has the Titans ranked as the 13th best special teams unit on the year.
Who Has the Edge?
Both kickers have been extremely proficient at doing their jobs this season. Lambo has hit four of his five attempts from beyond 50 yards while Succop has drilled three of four. The return game goes to Tennessee thanks to the explosiveness of Jennings in the kick return game when he gets an opportunity. Kick coverage leans toward the Jaguars as they don’t give up much in the way of explosive plays in the return game. That’s something the Titans have struggled with this season. Tennessee has also had a punt blocked this season. All things considered, there are pluses and minuses for both teams in this category, making it a wash.
Advantage: Push
Coaching
Jacksonville Jaguars
Doug Marrone is his second full year coaching Jacksonville: he coached the final two games of the 2016 season after Gus Bradley was fired. In his career with the Jaguars, he is 15-15 as the head coach. Marrone did lead the Jaguars to the AFC South title last season: Jacksonville beat Buffalo and Pittsburgh before falling to New England in the AFC Championship Game. This season, things haven’t gone nearly as well and one has to wonder how warm the seat is for Marrone. The team has been undisciplined and commits way too many stupid penalties that have inevitably cost them games this season.Twitter Ads info and privacy
 
 
Prior to coming to Jacksonville, Marrone spent two seasons as the head coach of the Bills. He was 15-17 with Buffalo, going 6-10 in 2013 before a 9-7 season in 2014. Marrone opted out of his deal after that season, taking a $4 million buyout. He then ended up as the assistant head coach/offensive line coach with Jacksonville in 2015-2016 before taking over the reins. Marrone was also the offensive coordinator for the Saints from 2006-08 before taking the head coaching job at Syracuse in 2010.
Tennessee Titans
Mike Vrabel has done a solid job in his first season as a head coach in the NFL with the Titans. He’s battled through injuries to key personnel, not to mention the ups and downs that a team has during the course of the season. The fact that the team is still in playoff contention given the problems they’ve faced is a testament to his leadership. Vrabel was the defensive coordinator for the Texans last season before taking this, his first head coaching job. He had been the linebackers coach for Houston from 2014-16 and spent 2011-13 with Ohio State, first coaching linebackers and then the defensive lineTwitter Ads info and privacy
 
 
It’s hard to overlook the fact that Vrabel had a long NFL career. He spent 14 years in the league with the Steelers, Patriots and Chiefs, winning three Super Bowl rings during his career. Vrabel was a favorite of Bill Belichick and likely soaked up knowledge from the Hoodie and used it as his playing career wound down and his coaching career began. There aren’t many guys in the league who would be better to learn from in the current era than Belichick, as we’ve seen quite a few former assistants and players go on to success.
Who Has the Edge?
Marrone had a near storybook first season as head coach with Jacksonville in 2017 but reality has set back in this season and it’s been harsh. Perhaps it’s karmic comeuppance for the way he bailed on the Bills after Ralph Wilson passed away or maybe it’s because he’s simply not as good a coach as people may have though last year. Vrabel is in his first year as a head coach but the fact remains that Tennessee has played tough despite all the issues they’ve had. That’s a team that wants to succeed for their coach. You can’t say that about Jacksonville, who seems to be playing for themselves. The Titans have more stability and that gives them the edge here.
Advantage: Tennessee Titans
Intangibles
Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars enter this game with the third-worst scoring offense this season as they average 16.9 points per game. The Jaguars are 24th in total offense with 335.2 yards per contest and stand 29th in yards per play with an average of 5.2 yards a snap. Jacksonville is 5th in scoring defense as they allow 20.3 points per game. On the season, the team is 3rd in total defense by allowing 315.6 yards per game and 4th in yards per play allowed as they give up 5.2 yards per play on average. Jacksonville is a dismal 30th in the league in giveaway/takeaway with a -10 margin this season.
The Jaguars are just 27th in the league in scoring touchdowns in the red zone as they cash in 48.15 percent of their chances. Defensively, Jacksonville has been decent as they are 11th in red zone defense by allowing 54.55 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Jaguars are near the top of the pack in third down conversions, ranking 9th by converting 43 percent of their third down situations in addition to six of 12 fourth downs. Jacksonville’s defense is 6th in those situations as they hold the opposition to just 36.3 percent success on their third downs. The Jaguars are 12th in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 50.89 percent of the time this season.
Tennessee Titans
The Titans enter this game with the fifth-worst scoring offense this season as they average 18.4 points per game. The Titans are 28th in total offense with 310.2 yards per contest and stand 27th in yards per play with an average of 5.2 yards a snap. Tennessee is 6th in scoring defense as they allow 20.4 points per game. On the season, the team is 9th in total defense by allowing 3












Your feedback is greatly appreciated!