The Jacksonville Jaguars come out of their bye week to face one of the more intriguing teams in the league in the Tennessee Titans. Starting quarterback Jake Locker appears to be much improved in his third year and the Titans are 4-2 this season in games he’s started.
The Jaguars head into Tennessee even more shorthanded than they were previously after star wide receiver Justin Blackmon was suspended indefinitely. Chad Henne is going to rely heavily on Cecil Shorts as he has all season and the Jaguars need a big game from the second year wideout to have a chance.
Here are my predictions for the Jaguars as they come off a bye and face their longtime rivals:
Denard Robinson will rush for +50 yards: FACT
With nothing to lose the rest of this season, head coach Gus Bradley has decided to give rookie running back Denard Robinson more chances. Promoting Robinson to second in the depth chart behind Maurice Jones-Drew may be ceremonious, but the coaching staff seems intent on developing Robinson and getting him comfortable at his new position. Robinson has shown good vision and burst in his limited attempts and will have a small breakout game against Tennessee.
Jake Locker will rush for a touchdown: FACT
The Jaguars’ defense had a heck of time trying to stop Colin Kaepernick in London two weeks ago and they really haven’t had any answers for mobile quarterbacks. Jake Locker has been very good running the ball, especially on broken plays. His mobility will give the Jaguar defense trouble in the red zone and will likely lead to a touchdown.
Chris Johnson will have +100 yards rushing: FICTION
The Jaguars have had their troubles stopping physical running backs this year, but Chris Johnson has not looked the least bit threatening this season. Johnson’s numbers are strikingly similar to Maurice Jones-Drew’s except in the yards after contact category, where Johnson ranks third worst in the league with only an average of 1.7 yards after contact per rush.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to have to look like a completely different team coming off of the bye to have any chance of winning this game. The Titans are good enough on offense and solid enough on defense to run away with this one, as many other teams have this season against the Jaguars.
Prediction: Titans 30 – Jaguars 17
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89