It’s Titans week! The Jacksonville Jaguars look to get back on track and put themselves in the clear driver’s seat of the AFC South as they host the struggling Tennessee Titans. Tennessee always plays the Jags well, but this does feel like the most lop-sided matchup in favor of the Jaguars in quite some time.
Both teams enter the game with their share of injuries. The Jaguars, for their part, will be without return specialist Jamal Agnew and cornerback Tyson Campbell. On the other hand, there's a chance wide receiver Zay Jones makes his long-awaited return.
Meanwhile, the Titans have already ruled out wide receiver Treylon Burks, starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, and left tackle Andre Dillard.
Jaguars Offensive Matchup vs. The Titans in Week 11
It is no surprise to anyone that the Jaguars offense has struggled. However, this game can provide a spark in a big way. With Sean Murphy-Bunting unable to go, and Zay Jones potentially back, Trevor Lawrence could be primed for a big day.
Not only are the Titans giving up 9.0 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, but they have also been susceptible to the deep pass, especially after trading safety Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Titans, as they always seem to be, are a decent run-stopping team. Fifth-year linebacker out of FAU, Azeez Al-Shaair, ranks sixth in the NFL in tackles per game. Tight Evan Engram had a great game (11 catches, 162 yards, two touchdowns) in the Week 13 matchup last season, so it will be interesting to see if Mike Vrabel pays extra attention to him.
While not one pass rusher stands out in terms of production, the Titans have three players (Denico Autry, Harold Landry, and Jeffery Simmons) who have 4.5 sacks or more.
Jaguars Defensive Matchup vs. the Titans in Week 11
The Jaguars will face their third rookie quarterback of the season. While Will Levis did impress in his first game, he struggled last week against a subpar Buccaneers defense and now may be without his primary weapon, Treylon Burks.
If Andre Dillard can’t go, this will provide a prime matchup for outside linebacker Josh Allen to exploit. I would also expect fewer blitzes from Rayshawn Jenkins or Trey Herndon this game, given the success they had in the week 18 matchup of last year. Instead, I would expect playing a similar style to the Falcons game, loading the box, and allowing short completions while waiting to pounce on an error.
Derrick Henry is still Derick Henry. He has not had the explosive runs of past years and the offensive line play has been down, but he is still dangerous. As is the case with most run-first teams, if the Jaguars can build a first-half lead, as they have in most games this year, the Titans may get antsy and move away from the run game.
Keep an eye out for the statistical recap next week and Go Jags!