Thursday Night Football: Week 3 Preview

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

TIAA Bank Field

Jacksonville, FL

Betting

The Titans are currently the favorite to win tonight’s game as they currently sit -135 on the Moneyline and only -2.0 on the spread. A low-scoring game is expected as the over/under currently is at 38.5 (-110). To summarize, the sportsbook, Bovada believes that the Titans will win tonight’s game by at least 2 points and the total points scored is going to be 38 or 39.

Injuries

We already know that Nick Foles will be out for a while for Jacksonville so another start for Gardner Minshew will take place. Besides Foles, the only other Jaguars offensive player that is out is 3rd string TE, Josh Oliver. Where the Jags are hurting is on the defensive side of the ball as D.J. Alexander is ruled out and both A.J. Bouye and Josh Robinson are questionable. This is coming off of the news that Jalen Ramsey has demanded a trade from the team so the cornerback position is really thinning quickly. Luckily for the Jags, the Titans passing game is not that great.

On the Titans side of things, the major injuries are to starting RG Kevin Pamphile and veteran linebacker Wesley Woodyard. The Pamphile injury is huge because the Jags defensive line is one of the best in the league. If Woodyard were to miss tonight’s game, Leonard Fournette could have an excellent chance to run off the right tackle for extra yards.

Jaguars Offense vs. Titans Defense

Through the first 2 weeks of the season, the Jaguars offense is slightly below-average in both passing yards and rushing yards per game. The Jags want to be a running team that chews up the clock and lets their defense do the dirty work. Minshew has been effective in throwing the ball to the duo of Chris Conley and DJ Chark. Hopefully the most talented receiver, Dede Westbrook will start seeing some balls thrown his way because this Jags team has been playing from behind quite a bit. That being said, Fournette rarely leaves the field and Jags will continue to feed him the rock.

The Titans have given up the 2nd-fewest passing yards per game through the first 2 weeks of the season. This will bode well for them as they face a Jags passing attack that is less than desirable. The starting defensive backs, (Malcolm Butler, Kevin Byard, Kenny Vaccaro, and Logan Ryan) are elite but the youth in the front-7 is what harms this defense. The Titans are in the bottom third of the entire league in stopping the run. So the weakness of the Titans is the strength of the Jags, not good.

Titans Offense vs. Jaguars Defense

The Titans want to give the ball to contract-year starting RB, Derrick Henry, at least 20 times a game. This offense is centered around him with Marcus Mariota and the passing attack playing second fiddle. Sitting at 27th out of 32 teams in passing yards per game, and 11th in rushing yards per game, the Titans willing be running into the highly talented front-7 of the Jags early and often. Tennessee will need to try to attack the hurting secondary of the Jags by featuring Corey Davis and A.J. Brown more than usual. Also, Delanie Walker will get his fair share of targets like always.

I could sit here and write the names of each impact player on this Jags defense, but we don’t have all day! Oddly enough, even with all the talent, the Jags defense sits in the middle of the pack when it comes to yards allowed per game in both passing and rushing. I have a feeling that this is because of the poor offense that they have which forces the defense on to the field more than they want. The fact of the matter is, as detailed in the injury section, the Titans cannot pass the ball well which works in favor of how this Jags defense is built. If Jalen Ramsey plays the entire game, he will intercept at least 1 pass from Mariota tonight.

Prediction

Jaguars: 14

Titans: 17

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: Derrick Henry

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: James O’Shaughnessy

Conclusion

What do you think of tonight’s AFC South battle? Who will win tonight’s game and what will the score be? Let me know in the comments below!

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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