Tennessee at Jacksonville
Time: NOON EST, CBS
Spread: TEN -9
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Tennessee Titans will host the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars as 9-point favorites at Noon (EST) on CBS. The over-under is set at 52 total points according to NFL oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
TEN News & Notes:
The Tennessee Titans have won three of its last five overall.
The Titans have largely gone away from the pass-heavy offense it employed during the (failure) tenure of Marcus Mariota. While the Titans managed just 239 passing yards per game, it ranks No. 4 in the NFL in rushing— accounting for 150.2 yards per game. Even with the lack of play diversification, the Titans rank No. 3 in scoring at 29.9 points per game. While the defense has been less than outstanding, it is managing to limit opponents to 27.2 points per game, which works out to a +2.2 point differential for Tennessee. The Titans are 8-4 overall.
While the yardage may not be overly impressive, the accuracy and lack of mistakes from Ryan Tannehill have been plenty impressive. He has thrown at a 65 percent clip and has 26 TD passes with just five interceptions. He has also been sacked just 18 times in 12 games, showing that the OL has provided him with the protection to make good decisions, while also providing many great holes for the Titans’ backfield to exploit. That improvement on the line is one of the biggest factors in the Titans’ turnaround in the last two seasons.
In terms of the rush game, it would not be incorrect to assign most of the improvement to the tremendous season Derrick Henry is having. He has rushed for 1,317 yards at a 4.9 yard-per-carry average, and he has 12 of the Titans’ 16 rushing touchdowns. He has also rushed for 67 first downs and he has just one fumble (lost).
The Titans really could not ask for more from its No. 1 back. Jeremy McNichols has been effective in fewer touches, with just 36 rushes on the year but a 5.4 yard-per-carry average. Tannehill, too, has been a good rush threat with his 5.1 yards-per-carry on 30 attempts this season.
The Titans have five receiving options with at least 23 receptions this season. Corey Davis leads the team in yardage (801). AJ Brown leads in TDs with eight, and he has 725 yards on 44 catches.
The overall work of the receivers has been great, but some of that success must be attributed to the attention that Henry draws from opposing defensive backs. The Titans average 12.2 yards per reception, and it has scored 26 touchdowns via the pass, compared to just 16 rushing TDs.
JAX news & notes:
The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a rough time this season, going just 1-11, sitting deep in its division cellar.
Jacksonville won its season opener and has lost 11 straight since. The 27-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts feels like an anomaly in a season that has been nothing but losses.
Of course, Jacksonville lingers at the bottom or in the bottom-third, of nearly every team metric. No 20 in passing yards and No. 22 in rushing, its third-to-worst offense is no surprise.
Adding to that, its defense is also a bottom-three unit. Being one of the worst on both ends of the football is how nearly every game comes up an “L.” The point differential is -10.8.
Many are sympathetic to the cause that sees Gardner Minshew heading this offense. But he has been more mediocre this season, and the breakout signs he showed last season have mostly stayed there, in the last season. Minshew is completing 65.9 percent of his looks with a decent passer rating of 94.4, but he has five interceptions and only 13 touchdowns, and he has been sacked over three times per game for 126 lost yards this season.
Last week, the Jaguars started Mike Glennon. Glennon completed 28 of 42 for 280 yards with a touchdown, but he also threw two picks and was sacked twice for 14 total yards lost.
James Robinson has been a bright spot in the backfield with his 4.6 yards-per-carry and seven rushing touchdowns, and even Minshew has shown more promise rushing the ball, with 122 yards on just 25 carries.
But the overall situation is Jacksonville lacking playmakers on both ends of the football. Robinson can’t be faulted, and Minshew has his moments, but the overall picture is not good. It remains to be seen if Jacksonville goes back to Minshew this week or if it opts to start Glennon again. It is not as though either QB has done well.