The Jaguars must put Week 1 behind them and prepare for the division rival Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars started the 2020 season with a bang by surprising just about everyone and defeating the Indianapolis Colts. The time for celebration is over and it’s time to look ahead to yet another AFC South matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
Playing on the road against the Titans is never easy. The Jaguars have lost six straight games to their division rival, and eight of the last nine on the Titans home field. History is not on the Jags side but this is a new season and a very different team.
To start, the Jaguars must slow down the Titans’ running game. Notice “slow down” not stop. The Titans field arguably the best running back in the NFL in Derrick Henry. He had an off week in game one (well, an off week for Henry) with 31 carries for 116 yards.
The Jaguars had great difficulty stopping the run in 2019, but only allowed 88 rushing yards in Week 1 against the Colts The run defense improved as the game went into the second half, as noted in BigCatCountry.com.
“In the first half of the game, the Jaguars’ defense gave up 17 points and allowed 4.8 yards per carry on 10 rushes. In the second half, the Jaguars’ defense allowed just three points, while giving up only 3.3 yards per carry. The glimpses were evident. In the past, the Jaguars would have given up the fourth-and-1 situation near the goal line which caused Indianapolis to turn the ball over during the first quarter, but several factors allowed them to stuff it, seemingly with ease.“.
The Jacksonville defense allowed 357 passing yards with an average gain of 7.6 yards and 17 first downs. Sounds ominous but the Colts only converted four of their 12 first downs via the pass. In addition, the Jaguars had one sack, two interceptions, and allowed only on touchdown pass.
Obviously there were too many passing yards allowed and Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill is eager to prove that he can follow last season’s success with another impressive campaign.
The Jaguars offense was efficient and best of all a winner last week. Gardner Minshew distributed the ball well among his receivers and passed for an impressive three touchdowns. The team net passing yards were 150 for 6.3 yards per completion. This was good but a higher average per completion will, hopefully, come as the unit plays together longer.
New running back James Robinson started well and should continue to impress in the future. The Jaguars run game achieved 4 yards per carry. A good start, but the Tennessee defense will probably be much more difficult to run against than the Colts were.
In the final analysis, the Jaguars can defeat the Titans if they can slow down Derrick Henry, allow fewer yards passing, and increase their offensive production by improving the yards per pass completion. The Titans may have the history but the Jaguars are at the beginning of a new era and won’t look back.