Tennessee at Jacksonville
Time: NOON (CT)
Spread: JAX -10.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-0 after defeating the New England Patriots last week 31-20. It stays at home again in Week 3 to host the Tennessee Titans, who will again be starting Blaine Gabbert instead of Marcus Mariota.
Gabbert is a former Jaguar, but Jacksonville will be the favored team in this affair with NFL Oddsmakers setting the line 10.5-points in favor the Jags, with an over/under of 40 points. The game will air at Noon (CT) on CBS.
The Jaguars are finally starting to see what it hoped for from Blake Bortles when it drafted him following his illustrious career at UCF. Bortles threw 29 of 45 for completion for 376 yards and four TDs with just one interception and no sacks at all in Week 2, and he has been on an upward swing this season. Keelan Cole caught seven of his eight targeted passes for 116 yards and a touchdown, and Dede Westbrook caught another four for 82 yards and a TD.
Bortles was also better than usual with his own rush attack, pushing six carries for 35 yards to help TJ Yeldon as the No. 1 back rushed for 58 yards on 10 carries. Jacksonville rushed just 24 times in the game, but it averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry, and it helped mix up the often-successful pass plays Bortles and company were running on the usually strong Patriots’ defense.
Moreover, Jacksonville did its own part in limiting Tom Brady, including sacking the legend twice for a total loss of 14 yards, while also keeping New England to just 3.4 yards-per-carry in its 24 attempts to rush the ball. Jacksonville also forced a Brady fumble, and it got great special teams’ play from Jaydon Mickens. Mickens returned a kick for 26 yards and had a 16-yard punt return. With Jacksonville seeming to click in all units, can it improve to 3-0 against its former quarterback this week?
The Tennessee Titans evened its record at 1-1 after a Week 2 win over the Houston Texans. Week 1 was a 20-27 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Apparently, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Blaine Gabbert will continue to start at quarterback for the Titans, leaving talented youngster Marcus Mariota to watch the Titans again from the sidelines.
Gabbert has thrown 24 of 42 for completion this season (57.1 percent) with 234 passing yards through two weeks, with a touchdown and an interception to his credit. Mariota has thrown just 16 passes as he continues to recover from his elbow injury and he is listed officially as questionable for this game, at any rate. He is still, certainly, the future of the Titans.
Tennessee has received strong play from running back Dion Lewis. Lewis has carried 30 times for 117 yards and a TD, averaging 58.5 yards per game. Derrick Henry has rushed 28 times but managed only 82 yards, good for just 2.9 yards-per-carry, and his longest rush of the season has been just nine-yards thus far.
Gabbert has attempted just two rushes, while Mariota has attempted three in his limited snaps. Mariota certainly makes the Titans more interesting to watch, but while wins are the objective the Titans will be patient with its future and run Gabbert out this week in hopes of securing a tough victory on the road against a Jacksonville team that only seems to be getting better.