The Jaguars cannot afford to lose their third AFC South divisional game in a row on Sunday to Tennessee.
I spoke at length this past week with a fellow sportswriter who covers the Jaguars about the problems that still exist with this team. even if my impression of the roster is a little more optimistic than some of the national analysts.
Jacksonville is a team in need of a win on Sunday to keep whatever slim playoff hope they have alive. Facing the Tennessee Titans, a team we all know will use the running game to try to wear Jacksonville’s defense down for four quarters, isn’t the best opponent for this to happen.
Playing on the road in a crucial AFC South matchup isn’t the best situation, either. This team could easily be 6-4 right now if the deck of cards was reshuffled. But the last two losses, to Houston and Indianapolis, have exposed this team and a run defense that is porous as a wet paper towel.
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No matter how much defensive coordinator Todd Wash talks about playing better and working to fix mistakes on his side of the football, you still get the feeling the Jaguars playoff hopes will disappear after this week. I told the sportswriter I thought the Jaguars would come out and played inspired football, hopefully pulling out the victory.
For the record, I picked Jacksonville to win, 22-20.
The staff here at Black and Teal once again offer their own thoughts on the game in Nashville and make their own predictions about Sunday’s game.
Lorenzino Estrada – Coming off an incredibly low to the season, Jacksonville will have a chance to right the ship and (barely) keep their already slim playoff hopes alive. I believe Nick Foles will have a good game after shaking off the rust in his first game back from his collarbone injury.
Fans were too quick and absurd in casting Foles aside. The Jaguars’ defensive line will shine in pass-rushing but will give up plenty on the ground. Expect for Leonard Fournette to get many more carries. Jaguars 24-16.
Jess Overby – The Jaguars defense is embarrassed, they’re proud, and this week they’ll be focused. After back-to-back games getting pushed around and gashed for huge rushing yards, they play tremendously well this week and hold the Titans to less than 115 yards rushing.
The question is whether the offense can improve enough to get into the end zone and put up some points. The Titans are at home, on national TV, and don’t want to lose to the Jaguars twice in one year. This one will be a nail-bitter. Final score 16-13 with the Jaguars prevailing.
Kathy Clark – The Jaguars play their old foe the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have a different quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. They are one spot ahead of the Jaguars in the AFC South and are coming off a bye week. I am not on the Jaguars bandwagon this week. Titans 30. Jaguars 17
Anthony Robertson – With the Jags, it’s feast or famine when looking at success against the Titans. Last time they faced Jacksonville, the defense dominated. The time before that the Titans ran all over us. This week I am going to assume that was an anomaly because our run defense has been atrocious in a lot of games. Hopefully, Nick Foles and the offense can get something together and improve off last week’s struggles. I’m a bit pessimistic. Titans 27 Jaguars 17.