Thursday Night Football Preview - Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Thursday, December 6, 2018
The Tennessee Titans are looking to grab the sixth and final AFC playoff spot when they host the Jaguars tonight. There are three other teams in the mix and all are a game behind Baltimore- a tea that currently claims that coveted final spot.
At 8-8 the Jaguars playoff hopes are pretty slim, and at this point there’s more of a finish at .500 and cal it a season feel than anything else.
The Titans do have some history on their side, having won their last five out of six meetings with the Jaguars. Some key players to look out for in today’s matchup will be Ereck Flowers, Patrick Omameh and backup centre Tyler Shatley, a trio that are only starting because of injuries to other players. Omameh and Flowers will have the lovely task of taking on tackle and very large 305 pound man Jurrell Casey.
The Jaguars need to have a defensive performance like they had last week against the Colts, and with that the Titans needs to stay balanced on offense and find any chance to get up early in the game. These two met in week three, with the Titans playing solid defense, and were able to keep Leonard Fournette to less than 100-yards rushing, while Ryan Succop made three of four field goal attempts in the 9-6 win.
Cody Kessler will also have to be huge for the Jags, and with Fournette back from suspension, he will more than likely be the offenses most targeted player. Jacksonville also has the sixth best defense as per Pro Football Focus, and will have to rely on rushers Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. Campbell is one of four players in the NFL with 50 tackles and seven plus sacks, while Ngakoue is currently tied for second in the NFL in QB hits with 25, trailing Aaron Donald.
The Titans rank fifth in the league against the pass and all of the major statistical categories (points per game, total yards per game, passing yards per game, red zone percentage) so they have that in their favour also. Home field advantage is also another plus for the Titans who are 10-3 since the start of 2017, the sixth-best mark in the league, and they're 7-2 against Jacksonville at home since 2009.