Tennessee Titans (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEN -2/JAC +2
Over/Under Total: 43
The Tennessee Titans come to the Sunshine State on Sunday for an AFC South battle against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Tennessee a team on the rise after a 9-win season and Jacksonville looking so good in week one, this game has a little more heat surrounding it than has recently been the case with both teams in losing form for a number of seasons. Tennessee fell to a really good Oakland team on Sunday when a bad 4th-quarter cost them a win. Jacksonville, however, was impressive in handing the home Houston Texans a 29-7 beating.
A opening-week loss might ring louder than any other week, but we should be careful to not take the week one loss and hold it against the Titans too much. They were right in that game against one of the conferences leading contenders, until losing touch a bit late. They competed with the Raiders in every category other than the one this Raiders team has masteredthe ability to close games strongly on a consistent basis. They look for better against a Jacksonville team they beat soundly at home last season.
Marcus Mariota was decent in week one with 256 yards through the air. His toolbox should be deeper this season, especially when receivers like Corey Davis and Eric Decker are completely healthy. Delanie Walker is still a handful at tight end. And Rishard Matthews will thrive in this offense. They will also look to run the ball better with DeMarco Murray and a very capable backup in Derrick Henry. The line had their hands full at times against Oakland, but theyre still a good unit that is an asset to this offense.
The Tennessee Titans defense really didnt get after it and were at times dominated by a good Oakland O-line. Wesley Woodyard and Derrick Morgan had sacks in a two-play window, with the pass-rush otherwise very negligible against Oakland. This season, they look to continue being stout, with maybe a little extra dash of playmaking. CB Adoree Jackson had some good moments as their rookie corner and along with free agent signing Logan Ryan, they could be good. At the same time, this isnt the kind of defense that will typically win games. They can just do well enough to help the offense do its thing.
The Jaguars had a great debut for new coach Doug Marrone. Every season in recent memory, there are good reasons to project a Jacksonville upturn and it might actually happen this season. They may have found their RB of the future in Leonard Fournette, who ran for 100 yards in his first NFL game. And a lot of the moves made on defense over the last few years on defense look to have taken hold.
The Jacksonville offense has long been an underachieving unit. At the same time, its been a long time since they had an impactful back and Fournette could change that. Chris Ivory is also a useful weapon in the backfield. The receiving corps suffered a bad loss with Allen Robinson leaving the game and placed on IR. That leaves Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, tight ends Marcedes Lewis and James OShaughnessy, and whatever youngster they might have who is ready to rise to the top. It would also help if they could get a little better out of Blake Bortles in a season where he needs to prove his worth as an NFL starter.
Most impressive on Sunday was the Jacksonville defense. Not only were they stout against the pass and run, but their playmaking ability was off-the-charts. The team had ten sacks on the day. The front, bolstered by the arrival of Calais Campbell, looks pretty tough. Campbell delivered in his first game as a Jaguar with 4 sacks. Nimble DE Dante Fowler recovered a fumble for a 53-yard TD with a sack. At the other end, Yannick Ngakoue registered a pair of sacks. In the secondary, they kept Houston in check and had some big plays, like Teshaun Gipson returning a pick 67 yards. No defense played better in week one and if they can maintain that kind of play or even come close, this D could be special. Again, week 1 is still just a one-week window.
When a team like the Titans struggle for a handful of years and finally get a taste of success, they wont relinquish it easily. An 0-2 start would hurt even more for team like Tennessee that worked so hard to get on the winning track. At the same time, its been a long time since the Jaguars faithful had much to be excited about and they should be fired-up for this home opener after such a big week one performance. Were taking the Jaguars.
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