Titans look for for sweep of Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

FILE – In this Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Nashville, Tenn. Vrabel’s debut as an NFL head coach came in the league’s longest game because of lightning delays, and now he’s guiding the Tennessee Titans through the league’s first COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After a crushing loss to the Cleveland Browns the Tennessee Titans (8-4) look for a bounce back week in Jacksonville Sunday against the struggling Jaguars (1-11).

The Jags have lost eleven straight games, a streak that started in week two of the NFL season with a 33-30 loss in Nashville. There seems little doubt that it will be a big day for the Titans offense, the question is will the Titans defense be able to do enough?

The Jaguars are surrendering a whopping 29.3 points per game this season and the Titans are scoring 29.9, good for third best in the NFL.  Common sense says Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, AJ Brown and Corey Davis all should enjoy another big day. 

Henry leads the NFL rushing for 1,317 yards, has rushed for over 100 yards in all five road games this season and his last eight road games overall.  Henry is also coming off of a season low 15 rushing attempts against the Browns, all of these things point towards a high volume day against a Jaguar defense that is the third worst in the NFL against the run.

NFL’s Worst Run Defenses :

32. Dallas Cowboys – 167.8 Yards Per Game

31. Houston Texans – 150.9 Yards Per Game

30. Jacksonville Jaguars – 136.9 Yards Per Game

Here is the really bad news for the Jaguars, they are almost as bad against the pass as they are against the run.

NFL’s Worst Pass Defenses:

32. Seattle Seahawks – 309.8 Yards Per Game

31. New York Jets – 291.0 Yards Per Game

30. Atlanta Falcons – 285.3 Yards Per Game

29. Jacksonville Jaguars – 279.1 Yards Per Game

Brown and Davis have developed into a dynamic duo with both on pace to have 1,000 yard seasons despite each of them missing two games, Brown to injury, Davis to Covid-19.  Davis leads the Titans with 53 receptions for 801 yards and he also has 4 touchdowns.  Brown has 44 receptions for 725 yards and a team leading 8 touchdown catches.  Davis is also coming off of one of the biggest days of his career with 11 catches for 181 yards against Cleveland. 

The Titans offense also gets back tight end Jonnu Smith last week after he missed the Brown’s game with a knee injury. The Titans defense is another story.  While they have had a handful of decent performances against the Colts, Bills and Ravens they have given up at least 30 points in six of their ten games and have struggled mightily against the pass.  They are 28th overall, just ahead of Jacksonville giving up over 274 yards per game.

The big problem for the Titans has been a complete inability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.  The Titans have only 14 sacks all season, that is second worst in the NFL and it should be no surprise that stat is accompanied by an NFL worst 27 touchdown passes allowed.
If they can not put any pressure on Mike Glennon he will have a big day with a crop of young receivers that is making plays.

DJ Chark and Keelan Cole both have over 40 receptions for over 500 yards while 6-6 rookie Collin Johnson is coming with 4 receptions in each of his last two games. Meanwhile, rookie running back James Robinson has been a problem for everyone all season.  Robinson is third in the NFL rushing for 968 yards and 7 touchdowns, that includes a big performance in Nashville that saw him go for 102 yards rushing while averaging a lofty 6.4 yards per carry.

The Titans have made it no secret they respect all of the Jags young weapons, but it is Robinson that clearly has their attention in this one.  For the Titans to have success against Glennon on third down, they must stay on schedule against Robinson on first and second downs.  

With their pathetic pass rush the Titans defense has failed miserably on third down this season giving up first downs 53.5% percent of the time. That remains the big question for the Titans in this one, can they get enough pressure on Glennon and get just enough stops to allow their offense to take over this game.

Tennessee enters a solid 7.5 point favorite to win their ninth game of the season, if they do it will be their 5th straight season with at least nine wins. 

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