The Jacksonville Jaguars had a busy two weeks all around with players getting released, placed on injured reserve, and announcing retirement. Longtime defensive end Jeremy Mincey was released before the game against the Buffalo Bills after he failed to fit into the new defensive scheme. Brad Meester – the longest tenured player in franchise history – announced his impending retirement after the season. The Jaguars had three starters go on injured reserve in the form of linebacker Russell Allen, wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, and guard Will Rackley.
With all the turnover going on in the Jaguars roster, some young players are going to have to step up if they want to win either or both of these last two games.Here are my predictions for the Jaguars as they face the Titans this Sunday:
Ace Sanders will have a touchdown: FACT
Rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders has seen his role expanded more and more every week, culminating in his first career touchdown against Buffalo last week. After struggling with drops early in the season, Sanders has not dropped a pass since week 4. He’s been utilized in the slot and on the outside in bubble screens with varying success and he should see the ball plenty in the last two games with Cecil Shorts out. Jedd Fisch will find a way to get him the ball in the red zone and score.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will throw for 300+ yards: FICTION
The young Jacksonville secondary has played well for most of the second half of the season, but they gave up a lot of yards in the second half last week to E.J. Manuel. Ryan Fitzpatrick had no trouble moving the ball down the field against Jacksonville when he came in for Jake Locker in week 10, and he threw for 402 yards against a stout Cardinals defense last week. Gus Bradley and the coaching staff will be prepared for Fitzpatrick this week and hold him in check.
Ryan Davis will have a sack: FACT
Ryan Davis has provided a sorely needed pass rush since being called up to the active roster in week 11. In 75 snaps, Davis has delivered 2 sacks, 3 QB hits, and 5 QB hurries. He doesn’t jump off the tape athletically, but he seems to find a way to get involved in most plays and disrupt in some way. He can prove his worth over these last weeks and show the front office that he deserves a shot on this roster in 2014.
The Jaguars are going to be missing a lot of key starters this week and it doesn’t bode well for their chances. Mike Munchak and his staff are essentially playing for their jobs in the last two weeks and will be ready to go come Sunday.
Prediction: Titans 31 – Jaguars 23
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89