Week 2 Tale Of The Tape: Tennessee Titans At Jacksonville Jaguars
- QuarterbackMarcus Mariota is one of the great young talents in the NFL, and he is on track to become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The Titans have high hopes of winning the AFC South this year and Mariota is the key to those chances. In addition to his outstanding physical skills and passing accuracy, he is one of the smartest leaders in the league, and that’s a huge advantage.The Jaguars are not thrilled with Blake Bortles, but he is the starting quarterback and should remain in that position for the first half of the season. Even if Bortles does not perform at a high level, head coach Doug Marrone does not have much to turn to in backup Chad Henne. Bortles has worked hard to improve and get back to the form he had in 2015 when he threw 35 TD passes.
- OffenseThe Titans have the running game with DeMarco Murray to support Mariota’s growth and development. They are also hoping to get a lift from backup running back Derrick Henry, who has the power to become an offensive focal point. Rookie Corey Davis is expected to become a big-play wideout for the Titans, while Delanie Walker is a solid receiver who can make big plays in traffic.The Jaguars are hoping that Leonard Fournette is a game-changing running back and that he doles out more punishment than he takes. He moves into the starting lineup, and the best-case scenario is a running back who can approach 1,200 yards in his rookie season. Wideout Allen Robinson has a torn ACL, so that means the Jaguars will depend on Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns for big catches.
- DefenseThe Titans have quite a bit of work to do if they are going to become a championship-level defensive team, but they did make progress last year as they developed one of the best run defenses in the league. They need to do a better job against the pass, and the secondary seems to lack difference makers and good cover men. DE Jurrell Casey is a star who is peaking.The Titans have quite a bit of work to do if they are going to become a championship-level defensive team, but they did make progress last year as they developed one of the best run defenses in the league. They need to do a better job against the pass, and the secondary seems to lack difference makers and good cover men. DE Jurrell Casey is a star who is peaking.
- Special TeamsThe Titans have a chance to be a much-improved team in the return game thanks to rookie Adoree Jackson, who showed explosiveness and big-play ability during his college career at USC. The duo of PK Ryan Succop and P Brett Kern should be dependableLook for major improvement in special-teams play from the Jaguars in the Tom Coughlin regime. The taciturn general manager will not allow this area to get by with a mediocre performance. Jason Myers is a decent kicker who is looking to improve after making 27-of-34 FG attempts in 2016
The edge at quarterback and in the other offensive skill positions should put this game in the win category for the Titans, but going on the road could prove to be a major difficulty for this emerging team.