Just when you thought the Jags could have turned corner after two wins in London and then Chicago, they laid an egg Sunday at home with the Raiders.
Now on a short week, they have traveled to Nashville to play Marcus Mariota and the Titans on Thursday Night Football.
Here are some quick things to know for tonight:
Jaguars on Offense
As we wrote this week, QB Blake Bortles is struggling and may have to see a voodoo witch doctor soon, if he doesn’t snap out of it. Bortles has thrown a pick in five of the six Jacksonville games this season. So, let’s start there. No int’s tonight to help the cause.
Some of that is predicated on the Jaguars inability to run the football. Just 72 yards from the running backs at home against a bad Oakland defense is not a good sign. They are averaging an anemic 76.7 rush yards per game on the season and only 3.7 yards per carry. Both of those are in the bottom five of the entire NFL. Not what you know want to be known for as an offense.
Jaguars must stop Mariota
The Titans QB is coming into his own with his arm and legs. Over the last three games, he’s got eight TD’s passing and only one INT and his QBR is a gaudy 113.1. And Mariota is getting to use his wheels some, as well, which is bad news for the Jags. For they already gave up a spectacular 87 yard TD run last season in Nashville that was the third longest in NFL QB rushing history. It will be a priority to contain Mariota, especially with Demarco Murray running well this season, when Tennessee goes often to the “Read Option.”
Uh-Oh, it’s the Boss
Finally, Jaguars Owner Shad Khan came to the team meeting and spoke to the players on Monday. No matter what anyone says, that’s not good with a team that is struggling. Even though the reports are that he was positive and re-affirming belief in head coach Gus Bradley and re-assuring the players, tonight is important.
Khan craves for his Jags to be relevant, and they don’t often play in stand alone prime time situations. They haven’t been on Sunday or Monday Night football in over seven seasons.
But between the London win, which was early start and most of the football fans around the country that were awake tuned in for at least part of it and now tonight, they get a chance to show something.
Khan’s hoping they show that they are ready to play, stop the Titans and perhaps pull a good upset on the road.
If it’s the opposite……….