Titans (1-1) vs Jaguars (0-2)
Game Time: 8:20EST
Line (Titans -1.5)
Location: EverBank Field Jacksonville, FL
One of the most bitter rivalries in all of the NFL returns this Thursday. The suddenly reeling Titans visit AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars with significant playoff implications on the line.
What Will the Titans Offense Be?
After embarrassing the Browns on their home debut, the Titans failed to build on their momentum at home against the Colts. Marcus Mariota followed up a good performance against the Browns with an inconsistent jumble of a game against the Colts, headlined with a dreadful fourth quarter.
The clock is ticking for Mariota to prove he is the franchise guy for the Titans. A strong performance against the Jaguars would go a long way towards righting this suddenly sinking ship.
A striking lack of consistent play making and shaky chemistry with wide receivers have left the future of this talented Titans team in question. Fingers are being pointed everywhere. Most of the blame is being placed on Mariota. Mariota is going against one of the top defenses in the NFL headlined by a vicious pass rush and supplemented by an even more dangerous secondary.
Both of these do not play in Mariota’s strengths. A once electrifying play maker, Mariota appears to be a shell of his former self. Fortunately, the Jaguars are still haunted by the memory of what running back Derrick Henry did to them last year.
Henry finally had his big breakout game against the Jaguars last season, including his iconic 99 yard touchdown run. The Jaguars will surely be looking for revenge. This brings up the big question. How do the Titans win this game?
The Titans win this game if…
Henry is efficient on the ground. Henry doesn’t need to run for 238 yards and four touchdowns again for the Titans to pull this one out. The Titans defense is young, talented, and scary. The gap is closing between the Titans and Jaguars. If the Titans can contain Gardner Minshew and his mustache, the Titans can escape with a win.
If Mariota can effectively sustain drives through the air, the Titans will outlast the Jaguars. Mariota needs to get over his apparent confidence issues and try to drive the ball downfield. The defense is good enough to make up for possible mistakes that can be made by taking chances. Mariota needs to break out of his shell for the Titans to go from pretty good to great.
The time is now Mariota. All eyes are on you. It’s time to rise up… for the boys.