NFC South Rivals Battle Again With Playoff Implications
Thursday Night Football is upon us again and it will kick off Week 14 of the NFL season. The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans meet at Nissan Stadium. This game will have major implications on the AFC South and the playoff race.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network.
LINE: Titans -45; O/U: 37.
The Titans were 15 minutes away from a third consecutive loss. It would have all but wiped out their postseason hopes. A dramatic fourth-quarter comeback on Sunday has the team back in contention. The Titans will look to sweep the Jaguars for the second straight season when they battle in Nashville.
Tennessee erased an early 16-point deficit in Sunday’s 26-22 victory over the New York Jets. They are among four teams trailing the Baltimore Ravens by one game for the sixth and final playoff slot in the AFC.
“When you’re playing on Monday night and Thursday night, you’re playing good football and getting more TV games,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said. “We have to take advantage of those and worry about us, not any of those other teams in the hunt.”
The Jaguars showed they haven’t given up on the season. They halted a seven-game losing streak by pitching a shutout in a 6-0 win over the red-hot Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
The 4-8 Jaguars only loss in September was a 9-6 setback to the visiting Titans in Week 3. That was without star running back Leonard Fournette. He also sat out Sunday’s victory while serving a one-game suspension for fighting.
Quarterback Cody Kessler took over for a benched Blake Bortles. He posted his first win in nine NFL starts by throwing for 150 yards and completing 18 of 24 against Indianapolis.
The running game managed only 79 yards in the absence of Fournette, who rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns in his previous two games. Fournette has 197 yards from scrimmage and a TD in two matchups against the Titans.
The Jaguars held Tennessee to 233 yards of total offense in the first matchup. They blanked an Indy offense that averaged more then 34 points in its previous five games.
The 6-6 Titans have an ailing Marcus Mariota. He came off the bench to lift Tennessee over Jacksonville in Week 3. He produced another comeback last week by leading the Titans to 13 points in the fourth quarter. The comeback included a winning touchdown pass with 36 seconds left. Mariota has eight TD passes and two interceptions in seven games versus the Jaguars.
Wide receiver Taywan Taylor provided a spark to the offense Sunday. He returned from a three-game absence with three receptions for 104 yards. Every one of them was in the fourth quarter.
The Titans rank in the top 10 in total and passing yards allowed but give up 119.8 on the ground. Tennessee has limited Jacksonville to 32 points while winning the past three meetings.
PREDICTION: Jaguars 17, Titans 13
NFL Betting Odds & Trends
|The Jaguars are 1-5-2 ATS in its last 8 games|
|Jacksonville is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Jacksonville’s last 6 games|
|The Jaguars are 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road|
|Jacksonville is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games on the road|
|The Jaguars are 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Tennessee|
|Jacksonville is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing Tennessee|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Jacksonville’s last 6 games when playing Tennessee|
|The Jaguars are 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Tennessee|
|The Jaguars are 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Tennessee|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Jacksonville’s last 7 games when playing on the road against Tennessee|
|The Titans are 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games at home|
|Tennessee is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tennessee’s last 6 games at home|
|The Titans are 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Jacksonville|
|Tennessee is 5-9-2 ATS in its last 16 games when playing Jacksonville|
|The Titans are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Jacksonville|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tennessee’s last 6 games when playing Jacksonville|
|The Titans are 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Jacksonville|
|The total has gone OVER in 5 of Tennessee’s last 7 games when playing at home against Jacksonville|
Jacksonville home to Washington Sunday, December 16
Tennessee at New York Sunday, December 16
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