By: Jawuan Williams
Well… the time has finally come. The Titans are in a win or go home scenario this week as they travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars for a primetime matchup Saturday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CDT.
Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Jaguars own an 8-8 record and lead the 7-9 Titans by one game in the AFC South. Their current edge is due in part to their 36-22 victory over the Titans on December 11th in the first of two annual head-to-head clashes. The Titans can still win the AFC South division title and playoff berth with an outright win. However, the Jaguars can win the division title with either a win or a tie.
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Game Time: 7:15 p.m. CDT
Location: TIAA Bank Filed
TV: WKRN News 2
TV Broadcast Crew: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Lisa Salters
Radio: Titans Radio, 104-5 The Zone
Radio Broadcast Crew: Mike Keith, Dave McGinnis, Amie Wells, Rhett Bryan
Line: JAX -6.5
The Titans are entering week 18 on a 6 game losing streak. A large reason is because of injuries. Luckily, starters such as Derrick Henry, Jefferey Simmons, Denico Autry, and Amani Hooker have all been participating in practice this week, which means they will likely be available in the season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Due to quarterback Ryan Tannerhill being place on injured reserve on December 29th, and inconsistencies with rookie quarterback Malik Willis, Joshua Dobbs recorded his first NFL start last Thursday vs the Cowboys after only being signed to the Titans for eight days. Dobbs was previously on the Detroit Lions practice squad. Dobbs completed 20 of 39 passes versus the Cowboys for 232 yards and his first career touchdown pass, a seven-yard strike to wide receiver Robert Woods on Thursday Night Football.
A win by the Jaguars this week would give them their first playoff berth since winning the AFC South division in 2017. It would also give head coach Doug Pederson’s club five consecutive victories and seven wins in a nine-game stretch to close out the regular season.
Even with a loss to the Titans, the Jaguars could still make it to the postseason as a Wild Card. To do so, they would need a New England loss vs Buffalo, a Miami loss vs the Jets and a Pittsburgh loss vs Cleveland.
Keys To The AFC Title
1. Let the Bodies hit the field-
The Titans head into a winner-take-all week 18 matchup healthier than they have been in weeks, despite having half of their roster on injured reserve. They will need big contributions from starters like Jeffrey Simmons, Derrick Henry, Kristian Fulton, and others that are returning from injuries if they want to extend their season at least another week.
2. FEED THE KING!!!
Derrick Henry should be the most motivated man on the planet right now, as he returns home to the Duval County area from an injury and is expected to carry the load for this team to get into the playoffs. Henry was listed on the injury report the last couple of weeks with a hip issue, but has been a full participant at practice the last few days and is expected to play this Saturday.
Titans QB and former Tennessee star Joshua Dobbs played well enough in a losing effort against the Cowboys to earn a start in the regular season finale. Coach Mike Vrabel praised his calm demeanor when running the offense, and hopes he can be a steady presence for a team that is still fighting for a spot in the playoffs.