The Tennessee Titans are looking to sweep the Jaguars for the second straight season. Jacksonville has other ideas on Thursday night.
Someone jokingly told me prior to the Jacksonville Jaguars victory over the Indianapolis Colts the last time this team won a football game was against the New York Jets and a game caller on television by Jeff Fisher. Now with the seven-game losing streak broken and the Jaguars facing Fisher’s former team once again, can Jacksonville get a much needed victory to establish mommentum?
This is one of those games that should be sloppy, ugly and a battle in the trenches. it could also determine the fate of Tennessee, a team very much in the playoff hunt. The Jaguars have not been eliminated from the postseason yet, but it would take near perfection for this franchise to play into the new year.
Of course, this is the NFL and stranger things have happened. Just ask Morten Andersen.
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The Jacksonville defense carried this team on its back to a victory last week. It is expected to be the same kind of evening, with a complete effort on that side of the ball needed for victory.
Like the last game, a 9-6 win for the Titans, it could be one of those cases where the team who scores last wins the game.
Here are three players to watch for the Jaguars on Thursday night.
Tyler Shatley – Centers don’t usually make this kind of list, but the backup center replacing Brandon Linder has a tall task tonight in facing Jurrell Casey on the interior. Tyler Shatley has his work cut out for him.
Casey will be taking aim at Cody Kessler this time around, and could have easy pickings to the quarterback if the offensive line cannot halt him at the line of scrimmage. In 12 games this season, Casey had 5.5 sacks.
The Jaguars will need both their guards to help on the inside and plug the middle of the Titans pass rush.
Leonard Fournette – Believe it or not, Leonard Fournette will start this game the healthiest player on the field and the running back with the freshest legs. Hopefully, that means the Jaguars run game will be featured early and often.
With the rash of injuries (I am being generous here) on the offensive line, the team has done a better job of run blocking than protecting the passer. The big, physical Fournette should finally break the 100-yard bearer on the ground this week.
"“I’m just trying to get out there and win the game,” Fournette said via Jaguars.com. “That’s the main goal. I’m not really on whether I’m well-rested for not.”"
Taven Bryan – Yes, you read this correctly. If you did not know, Taven Bryan has been playing better of late and seeing more time on the field. Despite the personal foul call last week, the past two weeks have been the best he has played all season.
The Jaguars need more of that kind of effort out of their first round draft pick.
With the Titans using a running tandem of Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis, the run defense will be a critical part of the game plan tonight. Bryan plays better inside. This could be his signature game of the season.