The Jaguars must put the turmoil aside for now as they prepare for an absolute must-win game against the Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars high hopes for a return to their 2017 glory days took another huge hit after Sunday’s game. Their (arguably) best player, Jalen Ramsey, demanded a trade which just added to the disastrous start to the season.
However, there are games to play and a season to salvage, so let’s look at our opponent the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans are currently 1-1 and are a game ahead of the Jaguars in the standings. Their 2018 season record was 9-7 and they ended the season an unimpressive third in the AFC South. They had three Pro Bowl players, offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, and punter Brett Kern.
The Titans have won six of the last seven games against the Jaguars. Tennessee is favored to defeat the home team.
Per Crissy Froyd, “Despite the loss (of their home opener) the Titans appear to be a better team overall. It was poor execution, missed opportunities, and playing too much conservative football that caused the Titans to lose. So it’s not exactly shocking that the Titans are considered favorites by a point spread of (-1.5) on the road against a Jacksonville team yet to win a game this season.”
There is no question that the Jaguars have had issues to start the 2019 season, but the Titans have issues of their own. The most critical question is quarterback Marcus Mariota. He has never lived up to his high draft status and this could be his last year as in Tennessee. There are other rumblings including complaints about the coaching.
NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus ranked the Titans 18th in his most recent power poll.
“The Titans reverted back to their old ways in a home opener loss to the Colts,” he writes. The culprit was an ineffectual offense unable to make a big play when it mattered.”
So the Jaguars and the Titans are both in a must-win mode this week. Both teams have restless fan bases and frustrated writers. Each team’s coach are on the hot seat. The defenses of both teams played decently last week but the offenses continue to have problems scoring points.
As we know winning changes everything.
The biggest question is “How can the Jaguars defeat the Titans?” To start the run game must improve. The offensive line needs to open holes for the running backs. The coaching staff can substitute another runner in if one is not performing well.
Next, quarterback Gardner Minshew must continue to play well. The coaching staff must open up the playbook and give him more opportunities to throw the ball downfield. This will spread out the Titans defense. The defense needs to play the way it played last Sunday against Houston.
Despite the turmoil and issues, this is a game that the Jaguars are capable of winning.