NFL Thursday Night Preview: Jacksonville vs. Tennessee

jacksonville-jaguars-v-tennessee-titansThursday night, the Tennessee Titans will get a chance to enjoy a night game, since in recent times they haven’t had many chances, but they’ll get that chance against the Jacksonville Jaguars as the only match on tap on NFL’s Thursday night football.

It won’t be the exciting matchup that every NFL fans wants to see, but in actuality, both teams are still in the playoff race because the AFC South has is a terribly performing division this season.

Both teams want to win this game because they have a lot to gain by winning it. Since no one in the AFC South has been able to run away with it.

The Titans have had a pretty bad record, but even despite their 2-7 record, they unbelievably still have a chance to compete for a division crown. They want a win over a division opponent and they will enter their third game under an interim head coach Mike Mularkey, who will want to try build up his reputation if he wants to remain the head coach nex year.

“I just want these guys to win,” Mularkey told media pregame. “That’s important to me. It has nothing to do with who we’re playing. It’s just a matter of winning.”

The Titans will play at home but that doesn’t mean anything. This franchise hasn’t won a single game at home in over a calendar year. They only have two wins, but if they can beat the Jaguars on Thursday night, they’ll only be one win behind the Colts and Texans in their division.

For a rookie QB, Marcus Mariota has looked pretty good, with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. But unfortunately, he’s hasn’t gotten much help. The Titans’ running game ranks 24th overall in yards and 20th in totals scored in the league.

The real advantage the Titans will have over the Jaguars is their defense. Their running defense is very good, and Wesley Woodyard leads a young and impressive linebacker unit. The Titans’ linebackers need to stay focused and very aware at all times because of the possible threat the Jaguars pose with theur spread option plays.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are at an underwhelming 3-6, and normally such a unsuccessful team wouldn’t get much attention, but the Jaguars aren’t out of this playoff race just yet, and that’s just bizarre.

They got one of their most recent wins over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and now has them just one win back in the AFC South division behind the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans.

The Jaguars reallt don’t have a lot to brag about this season, but they have won two of their last three games so if they can win tonight that will be a streak. They haven’t won a divisional game yet, and if they’re going to win the AFC South, this game becomes a must win for them.

Defensively, the Jaguars have nowhere to go except up as they rank 30th in points allowed, and their secondary has been just as terrible.

“This is professional sports; there’s a lot of luck involved,” Jags tight end Julius Thomas said. “Unfortunately this year, we’ve had some balls bounce away from us. To have some things go our way is great. It’s hard to get wins in this league, so we’ll take them however they come.”

The bright point is that their running back T.J. Yeldon, is having a very productive rookie season, but unfortunately he is questionable to play Thursday night due to a foot injury. A big let down has been, Denard Robinson. He hasn’t contributed to the offense this season. Last year Robinson ran the ball 135 times, but he only has 15 carries this season.

Jacksonville will have to put on their gold jerseys and get their offense going to be able to win back-to-back games for the first time since December 2013. This game can seriously go any way and so it’s a tossup. Neither of the two teams have looked impressive so far this season. Both teams have a lot of flaws, so it will come down to who wants it more. Maybe the Titans can actually reward their fans and end a one year drought, to gift their fans a home victory.

Our Pick: Titans over Jaguars, 28-14