Cleat Geeks

Thursday Night Preview: Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Finally! The HIGHLY anticipated Thursday Night Football match-up between the Titans and the Jaguars! Of course I am kidding, but this is what we’re stuck with this week. This will be the 42nd meeting between these AFC South rivals; Titans lead the all-time series 23-18.

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The 2-7 Titans come into this matchup led by interim Head Coach Mike Mularkey and rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. The rookie has missed two games this season due to injury, but has played pretty solid Tennessee+Titans+v+Kansas+City+Chiefs+c_gLEF2A6Jalwhen he has been in there. He has completed 65.6% of his passes and averaged about 256 passing yards per game. His favorite target so far has been tight end Delanie Walker. He is on track to have a career year. If Walker continues his current pace, he will finish the season with 952 yards on 84 catches. Kendall Wright is the number two pass-catcher on the Titans, but he will be inactive again Thursday due to a knee injury. In his absence, rookie receiver Dorial Green-Beckham’s role has continued to grow each week. He will look to take advantage of a good matchup in this game. The running back position has been a mess for the Titans this season, but they have finally chosen second-year back Antonio Andrews to be their starter. He is not the fastest guy you’ll see out there, but his powerful running style has earned him the starting duties for the foreseeable future. The Titans defense has been decent so far this season, and has gotten to the quarterback in recent weeks, but has taken a huge hit with the loss cornerback Jason McCourty for the rest of the season. The remaining secondary will have to pick up the slack on Thursday as they face the improved passing attack of the Jaguars.

Coming off a big win in Baltimore last week, the Jaguars enter the game 3-6 and look to have back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2013 season. Blake Bortles is at quarterback for them, and he is finally looking like a leader going forward for the Jaguars. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in all but two games so far and has eight more passing touchdowns than he had all of last season. The play of his two leading receivers, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, has really helped him out so far. Both of their stats look very similar with both having 40+ catches and seven touchdowns, but Robinson has 61 more yards. Hurns is currently on a crazy streak by scoring a touchdown in each of the last seven games. Their big off-season acquisition, tight end Julius Thomas, has had a poor season so far. He has reached 30+ receiving yards only once, and that was also the only game he scored. The Jaguars struggled at the running back position in recent years, but they seem to have their starter going forward with rookie T.J. Yeldon. He will be considered questionable on Thursday night with a foot injury. If he is unable to go, Robinson and Gerhart will be the two splitting carries in the backfield.

 

Fantasy:

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There are not many fantasy options on the Titans team. Mariota should have another good game since the Jaguars given up 270+ passing yards in all but two games this season. I think Mariota will be able to get that amount while throwing a couple touchdowns and an interception. His main passing options will be Delanie Walker, Dorial Green-Beckham, Harry Douglas, and Dexter McCluster. Andrews will be an alright option at running back, and I think he will get 50-75 yards with a good chance at a touchdown.

The Jaguars will look to continue their passing attack with Jason McCourty out. Bortles should be able to get 275-300 yards with a couple touchdowns and probably an interception. Bortles has struggled some and made bad decisions under pressure, but he should get more comfortable throughout the game and find the open guys. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns should both be in for solid games. Titans have only given up only one 100 yard receiving game this year, but I think Robinson has a great chance to make it two. Both guys should see 7-10 targets, and both always have a high percentage of scoring a touchdown. Julius Thomas has been bad this season, but if you are in need of a tight end this week, he could be a sneaky streamer. The Titans have given up the eighth-most points to tight ends this season, and I think Thomas will get 6-9 targets. We will see what he does with them. Yeldon is a big question mark to play as of now. I’ll just give my opinion assuming he plays. Yeldon will obviously not be 100%, and his matchup against the Titans is a bad one. The Titans are the third-best against running backs in terms of fantasy points allowed, so I would rank Yeldon as a low-end RB2 this week. If he is out, I would prefer Robinson to Gerhart since the Titans do give up some yards to faster, receiving backs.

 

Prediction:

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I think this game will come down to two things: how well the Jaguars manage the pass rush, and how well the Titans run the ball. Since Jacksonville seems to be healthier, and they are the home team, I will be the Jaguars with beat the Titans 26-20.

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