The battle of the bottom feeders kicks off Week 11 of the season as the Tennessee Titans pay a visit to division rival Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite their losing records with the Titans at 2-7 and the Jaguars at 3-6, both teams are just out of reach of winning the AFC South, the weakest division in the NFL. The point spread is currently favoring Jacksonville at -3 to win at home on Thursday Night Football.
Thursday Night Football: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
Point Spread: Jaguars -3 Over/under: 43 Date: Thursday, November 19, 8:25pm ET Location:Everbank Field, Jacksonville, FL
It’s been an up and down year for rookie Marcus Mariota, but it’s a promising start to what the Titans hope is a very successful career. Mariota is averaging about 237 yards through the air per game and has good chemistry with tight end Delanie Walker. Against the Jaguars 24th ranked secondary, it could be a big game for Tennessee. They’ll need a huge day through the air as they’ve had issues picking up much of anything on the ground.
The Jaguars have given up 28 sacks on quarterback Blake Bortles, giving Titans sack leader Wesley Woodyard an opportunity to add to his four on the season. Putting pressure on Bortles may be the best way to stop Jacksonville’s offense. Bortles has managed to spread the ball around, with Allen Robinson piling up 758 yards passing and Allen Hurns managing 697 yards. Taking away their ability to stretch the field will go a long way for +3 underdog Tennessee’s defense.
Bortles looks much more comfortable in his second year as the starter in Jacksonville, but still has a ways to go. He’s been able to throw 19 touchdowns, but has also thrown 11 interceptions and has had trouble staying upright. They’ll need some high-percentage quick throws to get the offense moving and back the safeties up enough to let T.J. Yeldon break a few big runs. Without the offensive line giving Bortles the time, it may be difficult to move the ball at all.
The -3 favored Titans offense is better than their bottom-of-the-league ranking, meaning the Jaguars need to force them into mistakes and hit Mariota early. Jacksonville hasn’t been too good at getting to the quarterback this season, which has resulted in a stretched secondary that is giving up a good amount of yardage through the air. Facing an anemic Titans running game makes getting pressure on the quarterback that much more important.
Thursday Night Football Prediction
The Titans have been inconsistent, ranging from contender to awful. When they’re bad, they’re bad; but when they’re on, they look like a good team. For the Jaguars, they’ve consistently been below average and while home field advantage likely tips the scales in their favor, the Titans might have enough to get a road win.