Titans Jaguars week two preview
This is the first of two divisional matchups between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The two teams know each other so well. There is always this illusion that things will be different each time, but it never happens. The Titans run well on the Jaguars while the Jaguars can throw deep all day on the Titans.
Last Christmas Eve, the Jaguars opened up the game with an aerial attack and jumped to a 10-0 lead. That lead about took away the Titans rushing attack that had run for 196 yards in the first matchup.
In 2016, the Jaguars drafted an outstanding rookie cornerback in Jalen Ramsey. The Titans drafted Adoree Jackson in the first round of the 2017 draft.
Blake Bortles may have had a poor season in 2016, but he threw for more than 300 yards each time he faced the Titans. Titans fans should consider him an all pro until he plays poorly against the Titans.
Allen Robinson has been called a “Titans killer” on social media. He gives the Titans secondary fits and has been fantastic. Robinson had roughly 25 percent of his yardage against the Titans last year. He only had 883 yards receiving but 217 of them were against the Titans.
The Jaguars best receiver suffered a torn ACL during their week one game against the Houston Texans. But one reason the Titans drafted Jackson was surely to shut down Robinson. Jackson will have to wait til 2018 to see how he fares against ARob.
The Jaguars are at a disadvantage without Robinson. Wide receivers Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee have to step up for them. Logan Ryan held Seth Roberts to one catch last week. Coach Mike Mularkey stated that they feel he is best over the slot. The Jaguars backups will not find success in the slot. They have to overcome the loss of Robinson with Hurns and Lee.
Rookie Leonard Fournette was a prized runner coming out of college. He ran for 100 yards against a very good Texans defense. The Titans have to shore up their defensive line and be ready for this gifted runner. Free agent Sylvester Williams has struggled at nose tackle in week one and the preseason. These are the types of games that the Titans are going to need him to be a venerable plug up the middle. Coach Mularkey seemed to indicate that Daquan Jones could be the Titans new starting nose tackle. The same would hold true for Jones. One website listed Avery Williamson and Wesley Woodyard as having eight missed tackles last week. That can’t happen against Fournette. This is a grave concern heading into this week’s matchup.
The Jaguars team twitter account changed their handle to “Sacksonville.” They sacked the Texans quarterbacks ten times during their week one game. The Titans have one of the best lines in football. This should neutralize the Jaguars pass rushers. After Marcus Mariota broke his leg against the Jaguars last season, the Titans should be a bit more concerned than usual about keeping him upright this week. Jack Conklin and Taylor Lewan should provide enough protection against “Sacksonville.”
With both teams seemingly capable of running very well against the other, the advantage should be given to the Titans passing game. Corey Davis showed out during his first game and already seems to have a bright future in this league. The Jaguars defense is going to have their work cut out for them as they try to stop all of the options Mariota has to throw to in the passing game.
The Titans must overcome the loss of Johnathan Cyprien. The former Jaguar was signed to play strong safety due to his exceptional run support. He played mostly in an outfielder free safety role last week. Kevin Byard has been a strong safety and was to be converted to free safety this offseason. However, during preseason and week one, he didn’t play deep much at all. DaNorris Searcy has been mentioned by Mularkey as Cyprien’s replacement, but he is a strong safety with a similar makeup to Cyprien wherein he is not the best at the outfielder role. Without Robinson, this is less of a concern, but the Titans are still weak deep if they don’t play Byard at free safety. The Jaguars Blake Bortles is sure to test the Titans deep even without Robinson.