What Must Be Done To Be Successful Week 2
The Jaguars now head home for another divisional matchup in the second week of the season. Sitting at 1-0 for the first time since 2011 the Jaguars must prove that week 1 was not a fluke. However the opposite case can be made for the Titans as they are a high octane offense with a mediocre defense and a lot of expectations this year. This will likely be a test for the home team’s defense as they will be challenged by Marcus Mariota, a far superior quarterback than Houston’s Tom Savage. Mariota, unlike either of Houston’s quarterbacks, is known for his mobility and speed from behind the center. Last season at home the Jaguars ended both Mariota’s season and Tennessee’s best chances at a playoff berth. Surely the Titans have plenty to play for after losing week 1 and this is a statement game for both teams. For the Jaguars to find success they must contain Mariota and limit the running back duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry on the ground. This offensive line is one of the best units in the league and should pose to be one of the Jaguars defensive line’s biggest threats.
If the Jaguars can use a similar gameplan on offense then they should find more trips to the red zone as the Titans have an aging defense that shouldn’t pressure Bortles as much as the Texans did (or tried to). Utilizing the presence of a run threat Head Coach Doug Marrone should try to incorporate more play action this week and keep the defense on its toes. With Robinson out of the lineup for the year look for undrafted rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole to lineup outside for a potential deep shot a few times. A big key to this team’s success offensively will be having a wide receiver to fill Robinson’s void, the most likely player to do so is Allen Hurns. If Hurns is unable to find strides this season it likely could cause some concern for Bortles to be successful. Even with a new found run game on Fournette’s shoulders, some sort of pass game will have to be present.
Impacts of Winning Week 2
With two division games back to back the Jaguars have a chance to not only go 2-0 for the first time in eleven years, but have a two game lead in the division. A win against the Titans solidifies the fact that week one was real and the Jaguars are here to contend. Looking at the other three teams, the Jaguars have the least amount to lose and the most to prove. The Indianapolis Colts are in a standstill until at least Andrew luck returns, but even so remain as the team with the worst defense in the AFC South. The Houston Texans may be in for a rough stretch after some key losses week one and the fact that their offensive line once again proved they cannot give anyone in the backfield much of a chance to succeed. The Texans are forced into starting Deshaun Watson which will help him in the long run, however the coaching staff is putting him in a tough spot to excel launching him into the role sooner than planned. Lastly the Titans have been touted all off-season as the division favorite by almost all experts. With that sort of pressure to succeed it may eventually lead to their downfall. Of course the Titans should still remain as the Jaguars biggest threat for an AFC South crown, defenses win championships and that is the side of the ball that the Titans have struggled with. Just last weekend alone they gave up 360 yards total to Oakland’s offense, one that should be noted as quite explosive.
Backtracking to what does a win week 2 do for the Jaguars? The Jaguars were given the 2nd easiest schedule according to several outlets such as CBS Sports and ESPN. Thirteen of their future games are against teams that did not make the playoffs last season. Also of the remaining fifteen games only three of those teams won week one (Rams, Ravens, and Steelers). With a win week 2 it sets the Jaguars up for potentially a great season. It would appear the toughest wave of games would be weeks one through five as they face two division opponents (Texans and Titans), two opponents with a week one win (Steelers and Ravens), and have to hit the road against a Jets team that should be more than underwhelming this season. If the Jaguars can keep their defense healthy and run the ball as well as they did this last weekend then success should be in their future. The cards may have finally fallen right with Coach Marrone behind the helm and a likeable schedule, beating the Titans will be a clear sign that this team is finally heading in the right direction.