Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars Lines - Free NFL Pick ATS
Tennessee got a dramatic 19-17 victory over Kansas City last week on a 53-yard FG by PK Ryan Succop as time expired. It was their 7th victory in their past 10 games. Jacksonville suffered their 9th-straight loss last Sunday, a 21-20 defeat to Houston. The in-season 9-game losing streak is the longest in franchise history and HC Gus Bradley was fired immediately after the game. The Titans won the Week 8 matchup 36-22.
The Titans continue to roll and their running game is a big part of their success. RB DeMarco Murray has rushed for 1,224 yards (4.6 ypc average) and scored 9 TDs on the ground. Rookie RB Derrick Henry has really started to come on of late and helps keep Murray from getting tired late in games. He has totaled 412 yards (4.5 ypc) and scored 4 times. Tennessee is really focused on running the ball and rarely abandons it. The Jaguars allow 3.8 ypc and 110.8 ypg on the ground and while they may give the Titans some trouble early in the game, I expect Murray and Henry to have productive games. QB Marcus Mariota has failed to throw a TD pass in the past 2 games (both wins) but is still having a big year (25-9 TD/INT ratio). WR Rishard Matthews has been hot lately (TD or 100 yards receiving in 6 of past 7 games) and will get several looks again this week. TE Delanie Walker leads the team with 57 receptions while rookie WR Tajae Sharpe has contributed 38. Murray is a true dual threat and has added 50 receptions and 3 TD catches. The Jags have limited opponents to only 210.6 ypg through the air but have picked off only 5 passes. Mariota has been sacked 21 times while the Jacksonville defense has produced 26 sacks. I expect him to have time to find his receivers and his scrambling/running ability (58-346-2) is a real asset.
The Jaguars’ offense has been dragged down by the regression in QB Blake Bortles play. He had a decent QB rating of 88.2 in 2015 but only 75.8 in 2016. He has thrown 16 interceptions (3 returned for TDs) and lost 4 fumbles. Bradley’s unwavering affinity for Bortles played a role in his firing. Bortles has been easily rattled this season and will get a strong outside push from OLBs Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan (20 combined sacks) this week. Jacksonville has surrendered 30 sacks on the year and a lot of pressures. WRs Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns (check status) both had huge 2015 campaigns but haven’t been factors this year. WR Marqise Lee has finally blossomed but didn’t even have a target last week (he did return a kickoff 100 yards for a TD). Tennessee’s pass defense has been suspect in 2016 (266.6 ypg) but they don’t face a big threat this week (222.1 passing ypg by Jags). RBs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory are both averaging less than 4.0 ypc and Jacksonville averages only 97.5 ypg on the ground. This offense has scored 22 points or less in each of their last 9 games, all losses.
Public Money Consensus
In this weeks NFL matchup between Jacksonville and Tennessee the public is heavily pitting their bets on the Titans covering the 5 point spread with over 80%. The over/under bettors are pretty much split on this match going over the 43.5 point total.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans Prediction
This game features 2 teams going in wildly different directions. Tennessee needs to win this game to set up a division-clinching battle with Houston next week. The Jaguars have 2 wins all year and will draft in the Top 5 again next year. The Titans’ run game is strong and while Mariota hasn’t been great the past 2 weeks, he’s been good enough to get wins. Doug Marrone is the interim head coach for Jacksonville and it’s not likely he can right the ship in the next 2 weeks. Look for Tennessee to be productive in the run game and for the defense to force Bortles into mistakes. The Jaguars have an edge in this series in recent years but I expect that trend to falter this week.
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