The Jacksonville Jaguars have been wildly inconsistent this season. After a 2-1 start, they rode a five-game losing streak before they beat the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 9. They then went on to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs and upset the Baltimore Ravens before collapsing to the Detroit Lions.
All things considered, the Jags have shown they can keep up with some of the best teams. But they’ve also proven that they’ve still got a long way to go before they fully turn the corner. Next on their schedule is a Tennessee Titans team that is coming off a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and it will be interesting to see why the version of the Jaguars will show up.
Will it be the team that managed to pull off a comeback against the Ravens? Or will it be the one that was embarrassed by the Detroit Lions? With that in mind, here are three keys to victory in Week 14.
3. The Jaguars must get RB Travis Etienne involved vs. the Titans
Running back Travis Etienne went on a hot streak from Weeks 5 to 9, toting the rock 86 times for 536 yards with four touchdowns and an average of 6.23 per carry. However, he hasn’t been nearly as productive in the last three games, tallying just 26 rushes for 102 yards with a 3.92-yard average per carry.
Sure, Etienne suffered a foot injury against the Ravens and missed most of the contest but the coaching staff hasn’t been able to establish the run in recent weeks, arguably the team’s biggest strength on offense, leading to extra pressure on Lawrence to perform.
Against the Lions, the Jaguars fell behind early, which made it difficult to get the running game going, and managed to get just 14 first downs. Etienne seems to be healthy, so the Jags should have no trouble getting him involved against Tennessee.
The Titans won’t make it easy though. Their defense ranks third in the league in rushing yards allow and is the best when it comes to giving up a touchdown on the ground with just five for the year. But even if running the ball doesn’t pay off for the Jaguars early, they can’t afford to abandon it.