I am not the National Football League schedule-maker. I do not know the National Football League schedule-maker. Therefore, do not be upset with me because this is the match-up I have to discuss for you today. In fact, you should not just dismiss this game altogether.
For most football fans, they are poo-pooing this game tonight from merely a viewing standpoint and who could argue with them? These are two of the worst teams in the NFL after-all. However, those of us who may throw the occasional dollar at a few NFL games each week cannot just wave our hand at this game. Often, it is contests like this one that give us the best chance to call ourselves “winners.”
Tennessee (+3) at Jacksonville (O/U 40) – The Tennessee Titans invade Jacksonville for this Thursday night match-up between two teams who are both 2-12 on the current season. In essence, this game and the final one next week are about draft positioning. While no one wants to talk about those things or even admit that teams are thinking this way, the truth is that are.
In Northeast Florida, the Jaguars have their quarterback for the future in Blake Bortles. While has struggled, I think much of that is due to the lack of real weapons around him, He will get at least one more year before anyone can fairly judge his NFL career.
In Nashville, the Titans are going to find themselves in an interesting position draft-wise. Do they feel Zach Mettenberger is the QB of the near future or do they believe they need to consider taking one in the coming draft?
Both teams have significant issues well beyond the quarterback position though and that explains why both have come up empty so often this season.
Earlier this season when the two teams met in Nashville, the Titans hung on for a 16-14 win. Bortles played fairly well throwing for one touchdown and one pick but he was sacked six times. Under center for Tennessee was Charlie Whitehurst who managed a good game didn’t do anything to lose by any stretch.
The Jags were finding some success running the ball a few weeks back behind Denard Robinson but he’s out for the season. His departure left Blake Bortles as the team’s leading rusher.
Both teams will feature defenses that can get after the other team’s passer and they will also look to force turnovers as well. This game could very well come down to special teams where solid kicking and a return here or there to flip field position in one team’s favor.
Key Injuries: JAX QB Blake Bortles QUEST/Foot, TEN OT Taylor Lewan Did not practice yesterday with a foot injury.
Trends: Tennessee is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games on the road… The total has gone UNDER in six of Jacksonville’s last seven games with the Titans at home… The Titans are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games at Jacksonville… The total has gone UNDER in four of the Jags’ last six games at home.
The Pick: With Bortles less than 100% I like the Titans getting the points and take the UNDER.