The Week 3 NFL schedule begins in Jacksonville this week at TIAA Bank Field. The Tennessee Titans will be in town for a Thursday night showdown against the Jaguars. It may not look like much of a game, but this is an important game for the Titans. If they want to be taken seriously, they cannot go losing to the Jaguars here.
The Titans caught the attention of people when they blew the Cleveland Browns out by a score of 43-13 in Week 1 on the road. However, a loss against the Colts at home last week immediately makes people think that it was a fluke. Maybe it wasn’t so much the Titans, but the Browns playing an awful game?
We’re not going to find out if the Titans are actually for real until at least the middle of October. They can be a Jekyll and Hyde team that it may not even be completely clear until later than that. The Titans have talent on this roster. But the inconsistent play of Marcus Mariota really hurts them at times. I believe if they had a legitimate quarterback, they wouldn’t be suffering from being so topsy-turvy.
Mariota did suffer a minor injury last week, but practiced on Tuesday and is expected to play. His quad was wrapped, though, so he may not be operating at 100% on Thursday night. The Jaguars will once again go with rookie Gardner Minshew as their starting quarterback. They have no other choice with the injury to Nick Foles. Foles is looking to return around Week 11, but they’re not going to rush him back after just having plates and screws inserted into his collarbone.
The former Washington State Cougar, Minshew, got his first NFL start a week ago. Despite a 13-12 loss, Minshew impressed his coaching staff with a decent performance. He showcased a lot of confidence, which is one of the most important things for a young rookie. It’s especially impressive because Minshew is a guy who came from a Mike Leach offense in college.
Going from the air raid to pro-style can be difficult on young players, but Minshew looked fine out there. That doesn’t guarantee a repeat performance over even better this week against the Titans, though. The Titans are likely going to bring more pressure at him than the Texans could. Don’t expect a thriller with lots of points in this one, but we likely see a close contest. Head below for our free Titans vs. Jaguars pick in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football.
Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Week 3 Betting Odds:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Titans vs. Jaguars Pick:
The Titans lost a close one by a score of 19-17 in Week 2. Jacoby Brissett went into Nissan Stadium and put a damper on the hype in Nashville following the beatdown they gave the Browns in Week 1. Brissett threw for 146 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception. Not many yards, but he converted for scores when the opportunities were presented.
Jordan Wilkins led the Colts with 82 yards on the ground. Mariota really helped the Colts out in that one. He failed to flip the field and put some long drives together to put the Colts in difficult spots. Brissett was able to throw for 3 touchdowns on just 146 yards because the Titans were handing out free field possession.
Mariota ended the day with just 154 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Henry led the Titans with 81 yards and a score. The game really could have gone either way. No one excelled offensively and everything was pretty well even between teams. The Colts were able to make one or two more plays than the Titans, though. Defensively the Titans were excellent again. They were propelled by defense against the Browns as well.
Tennessee are likely to give Minshew some issues here. Everyone is high on Minshew, but he faces a stiffer test on Thursday night. The Titans are 2nd in the league in Week 1 and 2 after allowing just 182.5 yards passing per game. Expect the Jaguars to lean on Leonard Fournette often in this game. Minshew showed some promise, but we have to keep in mind that there is a lot for him to learn still. Look for the Titans to give him a lesson in ball protection and reading defenses in this matchup.
There is a bit of turmoil in the Jaguars’ locker room after Jalen Ramsey was seen arguing on the sideline with head coach Doug Marrone. That does nothing for team morale, and while we don’t see it, there is a lot more behind the scenes going on that we aren’t privy to. Reports have the Jaguars in the market for a trade involving Ramsey.
Minkah Fitzpatrick got his wish with the Dolphins and Ramsey is likely next. The Jaguars are 21st in the league with 377 yards allowed per game in two games. On a short week and some distractions in the locker room, Mariota and the Titans should be able to use that just enough to catch some breakdowns defensively. This looks like a 21-17 or 23-14 win in favor of the Titans on Thursday night to get Week 3 of the NFL underway.