While no one can say it was a shoot out, the Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars game definitely had some drama.
The Titans won the coin toss and deferred to the Jaguars who got the ball first. After several snaps, Tennessee linebacker Wesley Woodyard sacked the Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and the Titans were looking good. They prevented Jacksonville from scoring on their opening drive. It was the start fans were looking for.
QB Blaine Gabbert was in for the Titans at the start of the game with QB Marcus Mariota on the sidelines dealing with a lingering elbow injury from the first game of the the season. However, Mariota being sidelined didn’t last long.
After Gabbert was sacked during the first quarter and placed under concussion protocol, Mariota was back in action, sporting a two fingered glove that was presumably to assist with the numbness he has been having in his fingers.
A game where no touchdowns are scored is not the most exciting thing to watch, but here is a little bit of social media coverage to spice up the game review a bit.
After seeing the Jacksonville Jaguars during practices, a scrimmage, and a pre-season game, there are a few observations that can be made.
I have no idea how they’ll do, but they won’t be beaten due to being out of shape. Head coach Doug Marrone is a taskmaster and until you’ve been under a Jacksonville sun at noon, you can’t imagine the heat these guys practice in. To his credit, Marrone and all the coaches wear black shirts.
Blake Bortles is, and most likely, will always be an inconsistent quarterback. Andy Dalton comes to mind. However, his lows were better than Dalton’s and he’s had more highs. It’s clear that he feels relaxed and loose. When he makes mistakes they appear more testing boundaries over making dumb mistakes. FYI, the guy is an athlete. After going two and half hours in the heat of the day, the team does wind sprints and he’s the first one every time. This guy will be a threat with RPO’s.
The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to make moves. Their signings and releases freed up cap space and improved the roster in a few places.
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief was an uptick for them over WR Allen Robinson because his contract is less and is a “Prove It” one. He signed a one-year, $9.6 million, fully-guaranteed contract that also contains another $2 million in incentives.
In a move that shouldn’t have shocked anyone, the Jaguars offered quarterback Blake Bortles a three-year, $54 million deal, 26.5 guaranteed. Additional incentives are included making it worth up to $66.5M. More details will be released soon.
Bortles was the Jaguars 1st pick of the 2014 draft. He went third overall, behind Houston Texans defensive end Jadevion Clowney and Detroit Lions tackle Greg Robinson.
Some people think the Jacksonville Jaguars flipped their team in one season. Wrong. When Shad Khan hired General Manager Dave Caldwell, he began four year long journey.
Caldwell drafted Blake Bortles, then went about the next three years drafting talent while removing older players with big contracts. In 2015 Bortles threw 35 touchdowns, but a ton of interceptions and the defense wasn’t good.
In 2016, the defense started taking hold, but Bortles was playing with two dislocated shoulders and a bum wrist. Doug Marrone, who had been hired that season to fix the OL, was moved up to head coach when Gus Bradley was fired.
The New England Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick, don’t lose in the postseason in Foxborough. This record has a chance to be broken when Belichick meets up against his old nemesis, Tom Coughlin.
Teams, coaches, and players try to outsmart Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. This won’t be one of those games. Doug Marrone and Coughlin believe in beating you with talent, playing simple, but effective smash mouth football.
The game will hinge, not on quarterback Blake Bortles, but on Jacksonville’s front five: defensive end Calais Campbell, outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue, defensive tackles Malik Jackson, and Marcell Dareus and OLB Dante Fowler. Brady will run if he has to, he will rush a yard or two on a QB sneak, but mostly he stays in the pocket and it’s up to those men listed above to push the pocket, snap after snap. Then hit him. And again. #Sacksonville doesn’t even need to sack him, just abuse him.
During the 4th quarter in Heinz Stadium, chants of, DUUUUVAAAAL could be heard unabated in the AFC Divisional playoff game. While the score seems as if it was a close contest, not even Pittsburgh Steelers fans believed it as the camera showed large sections of empty yellow seats.
From their touchdown drive on their first possession to a game-sealing field goal kick by kicker Josh Lambo, the Jacksonville Jaguars shocked Steelers Nation. The Jags weren’t pretty and once again, lost most stats like first downs 22-28, yards 378-544, yards per play 6.2-7.0 and total plays, 61-78.
Jacksonville did win the stats that matter: third downs 8-14-57% 7-16-44%, 4th down 100% and 5 compared to 3 red zone trips with scores.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, a hard-luck team for a decade, are readying for round two in Pittsburgh. On their last outing, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger turned the ball over five times. The final score was 30-9. Can they do it, again? Be the upset winner in these playoffs?
Steelers fans will be quick to point out that the interceptions were flukes, and despite the Jags getting the ball back so many times, they didn’t put up many points. They’ll say the game was close until the second half. Finally, they’ll say that minus an 80 yard bust out touchdown, running backLeonard Fournette was kept under 100 yards.
These two teams haven’t been to a playoff game in so long, kids have been born and are in high school. For a Jags home playoff game? They graduated. Two teams new to the playoff with quarterbacks who also haven’t been in one. It’s going to be either a mess or a sign of good times ahead for the under 30 guys.
Head coach Doug Marrone is coaching his old team. That should make a difference, but teams change a lot in a couple years. What will definitely have an effect, is the fact that running back LeSean McCoy is far from 100%. That hurts not only their run game but their passing ability. He’s their second-leading pass catcher. They’re losing a day of practice and the Jags don’t have to change a thing.
I’m sure the Bills Mafia will be out in full force based on how quickly the seats sold out. They are ending their own playoff drought and are overwhelmingly and understandably excited about this game. However, Jacksonville is pretty stoked as well. It’s going to be a loud game. Believe it or not, Jaguar fans have caused delay of game calls due to the noise. Two of my sons will be there, as long-suffering fans who’ve been to a lot losing games, they’re beyond excited. And they’re raucous like their mama!