Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans: Thursday night NFL live on Sky Sports
Watch live on Sky Sports Action & Main Event from 12.30am Friday
Last Updated: 07/12/18 8:55am
The Jacksonville Jaguars and playoff-chasing Tennessee Titans meet in an AFC South matchup on Thursday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 12.30am. Here's what you can expect...
The Jaguars (4-8) have arguably been the biggest disappointment of the 2018 NFL season, going from an AFC Championship team last year - one that was a whisker away from beating the Patriots and reaching the Super Bowl - to a dysfunctional, ill-disciplined unit that has slipped to the bottom of the South division. That said, the Jags corrected their seven-game losing skid with a 6-0 shutout of the playoff-chasing Colts on Sunday, showing that their defense is still stellar when it wants to be. Can they put another dent in a divisional playoff contender on Thursday night?
Play the NFL Challenge
Follow all the excitement of the 2018 season by playing the NFL Challenge, with weekly prizes and the chance to win a pair of season tickets to the 2019 games in London.
The Titans (6-6) have yet to make their mind up over what type of team they are in 2018. Are they more the one which beat the 9-3 Texans in Week Two, downed the defending-champion Eagles a fortnight later, won on a Monday night in Dallas and handed out a 34-10 hammering to New England? Or, are they more that has lost to the Dolphins, Bills and was shutout by the Ravens? The visit of an ever-so-slightly improved Jacksonville team will give us a better idea of their postseason credentials.
The Titans have the chance to sweep the Jaguars for the second-straight season. The games between these two are normally closely fought, however, with eight of the last 11 games decided by one score (eight points or fewer).
Leonard Fournette vs Titans run defense: The Jaguars running back returns following his one-game suspension for his involvement in a mass brawl during their Week 12 defeat to Buffalo. If he can keep himself out of trouble - easier said than done - he is the best player out on the field, as his two touchdowns against the Bills proved before his ejection.
Fournette has missed a further five games to injury this season and the Jaguars aren't the same team without him, averaging only 82.3 yards per game compared to 151.8 with him in the lineup. It's a favourable matchup too against the 19th ranked Titans rush defense. Fournette just needs to ensure it's his football that does the talking.
Ones to watch
As well as Fournette, there's intrigue at quarterback. Titans QB Marcus Mariota is primarily to blame for Tennessee's fluctuating form, as he too is plagued by inconsistencies at the quarterback position. He has, however, played better in recent weeks barring a measly 85-yard Week 11 aberration in defeat to the Colts - the three games in which he has registered a QB rating of 100+ have all come in the past five weeks.
As for Jacksonville's quarterback situation, well, it's a mess. Blake Bortles has finally paid the price for his continued struggles, replaced by the hardly inspired choice of former Browns quarterback - (so you know he's good...) - Cody Kessler. One to watch for all the wrong reasons. Having said that, Kessler at least didn't throw an interception (but he did lose one fumble) in his 150-yard, TD-less display in last weekend's win over Indianapolis.
As well as the two QBs, the Jags defense proved it can still be elite with their shutout of the Colts. Jalen Ramsey has two interceptions in the last three games, Calais Campbell is one of only four players with 50 tackles and seven or more sacks on the season, and Yannick Ngakoue is second to only Rams defender Aaron Donald with his 25 quarterback hits.
Watch the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 12.30am on Friday morning.