Three Titans to Watch: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
The Jacksonville Jaguars play the Tennessee Titans in a match that has the potential to define both team’s seasons. If the Titans are to make a push toward the playoffs they need to win this prime-time matchup, these are three players who could swing the result in Tennessee’s favor. Jacksonville hopes to play the spolier tonight.
For the first time in a long while, the Jacksonville Jaguars go into a game with some momentum behind them. Having finally won after losing seven straight, the Jaguars new offensive play-caller Scott Milanovich (and replacement quarterback Cody Kessler) can enjoy the luxury of a returning Leonard Fournette to help balance things on offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Jaguars defense are looking to keep the same intensity coming into this week after the re-emerging of the vaunted ‘Sacksonville’ defense which has now shutout the Colts in consecutive seasons. Neither team enjoyed any end-zone action in Sunday’s victory as the Jaguars won the contest 6-0 for only Jacksonville’s seventh shutout win in their history – and second against the Colts in two years.
Coordinator Todd Wash will be hoping that he can keep the Tennessee Titans out of the end-zone for the second straight game, as the earlier meeting between the Jaguars and Titans ended in a 9-6 loss for Jacksonville.
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That being said, Tennessee will be confident heading into this game that they can build a winning run to keep their playoff hopes alive as the regular season begins to draw to a close, here are three Titans who could influence the outcome of Jacksonville vs Tennessee.
Here are three players the Jaguars must keep an eye on during the game.
Kevin Byard, Safety – Although he hasn’t quite maintained the form of his all-pro season in 2017, Byard remains one of the top-tier safeties in the Nationall Football League. Graded as a top fifteen safety by PFF with a grade of 79.1 – which is also the highest grade of anybody in their starting lineup on either side of the ball.
While Kevin Byard has suffered a drop in his interception tally throughout the season, (recording eight last year and only two so far in 2018) he has still featured heavily in their pass-defense and has improved as a run stopper, becoming on of the more well-rounded young safeties in football.
With the Jaguars likely spending a lot of their energy trying to establish the run game on offense – in order to keep Kessler settled and the defense off the field, Byard’s presence in and around the line of scrimmage is something that the Jaguars will have to be careful of as Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel may look to use his safeties to bolster a run defense that currently ranks just inside the top 20.
Corey Davis, Wide Receiver – Corey Davis didn’t enjoy the best start to an NFL career, having only played in eleven games as a rookie and failing to score a touchdown.
2018 however has felt like the emergence of one of the more promising young wide receivers in football, Davis is on pace for just shy of 1000 yards receiving, 70 catches and eight touchdowns. A mark that most teams would be extremely happy with out of their second-year corner. This one will be interesting because the Titans don’t have many bona fide threats out wide and so we could see a battle between Davis and Jaguars star corner Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey is having difficulty with his knee, which very nearly sidelined him for last weekends game against the Colts and it will be interesting to see how coming off a short week with a lingering knock will effect his ability to match up.
It didn’t seem to hamper him on Sunday and I’m sure it won’t stop him from letting his mouthpiece hang as usual but two games in quick succession might see Ramsey at less than 100% this week- something Mariota and Davis may look to exploit.
Harold Landry, EDGE – The Jaguars have had a catalogue of issues on the offensive line this year, from an array of injuries to the sub-par play of some of the more starters.
Jermey Parnell was unable to finish the game on Sunday which could lead to some question marks around his health at right tackle, therefore the Titans’ pass-rushers could have some success in today’s game.
Harold Landry was a prospect who screamed athleticism and potential coming out of college but didn’t possess an elite set of pass-rushing moves.
Something which may not hamper him against a tackle like Parnell who finds most of his success against bull-rushers, is if Landry is able to utilise his athletic ability and arm length he should be able to disrupt Kessler in passing situations (and you can expect plenty of third downs in this one).