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Jacksonville Jaguars

Gameday – Jaguars hope to regain momentum vs Titans

Roy Cummings

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Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

What: Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5) vs. Tennessee Tians (8-7)

Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tn.

When: 4:25 p.m.

Latest line/Over-under: Jaguars +2.5/41.5

 Why you should watch

There’s a lot at stake in this game, particularly for the Titans, who can secure a wild card berth with a victory. There’s a little something at stake for the Jaguars, too. Though they’ve already won the AFC South title and can finish no better than third in the AFC playoff seeding, they really need to bounce back from a poor showing a week ago at San Francisco. It’s bad enough that the Jaguars lost last week, 44-33. What’s worse is that they lost their composure along the way, taking three unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness penalties on a day in which teammates had to step in and keep Alvin Colvin and Malik Jackson from tangling with one another. The Jaguars haven’t faced a lot of adversity this year, but if that’s how they’re going to handle it when they do their Cinderella season is going to end ugly and sooner than they’d hoped.

There’s a lot at stake in this game, particularly for the Titans, who can secure a wild card berth with a victory. There’s a little something at stake for the Jaguars, too. Though they’ve already won the AFC South title and can finish no better than third in the AFC playoff seeding, they really need to bounce back from a poor showing a week ago at San Francisco. It’s bad enough that the Jaguars lost last week, 44-33. What’s worse is that they lost their composure along the way, taking three unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness penalties on a day in which teammates had to step in and keep Alvin Colvin and Malik Jackson from tangling with one another. The Jaguars haven’t faced a lot of adversity this year, but if that’s how they’re going to handle it when they do their Cinderella season is going to end ugly and sooner than they’d hoped.

Key on: Jaguars WR Allen Hurns

 Hurns will make his return today after missing the previous six games with an ankle injury he suffered during the Jaguars overtime victory over the Chargers on Nov. 12. Given all the injuries their receivers have suffered this year, Hurns is probably the Jaguars best pass catcher and he needs to get back into shape and into a groove with quarterback Blake Bortles in a hurry. The Jags have been leaning on the likes of Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook of late and that’s fine, because all have stepped up in a big way. But if they Jaguars are going to make a long playoff run they’re going to need their best available players playing their best football. How Hurns looks today could be an indication of how he’ll play once the playoffs start.

 Statistically speaking

Quarterback Blake Bortles has been one of the true stars of the Jaguars Cinderella-like season, but it’s possible he’s already turned back into a pumpkin. From Weeks 13-15, no quarterback in the league had a better passer rating while working out of a clean pocket that Bortles, who racked up an incredible 137.2 mark during that span. A week ago, however, Bortles was only half that good, producing a clean-pocket rating of 74.3, according to Pro Football Focus. One big reason for that low number: Bortles threw all his season-high three interceptions last week from a clean pocket, which is a bad sign. The Jaguars are obviously hoping this was just one bad game that Bortles will bounce back from today, but if he doesn’t it could be a sign of danger ahead.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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