In the 2018 season, the Tennessee Titans can be summarized with one word; inconsistent. Before the seasons started, fans expected them to come out and make a run for the top spot in the AFC South. Hearts have been broken with the loss of Delanie Walker and the unforeseen departure of Rishard Matthews, both of which were leading contributors to this team in 2017. The good news is, the Titans have maintained a hold on the Jacksonville Jaguars since it’s been over 700 days since the Jaguars beat the Titans at home or on the road.
However, the week 14 matchup against the Duval Donkeys is one that could derail the Titans hopes for post season play. Last week the Jags shut out a team in the Colts that decimated the Titans just weeks ago. The matchups at defensive back will make this week a difficult one for Corey Davis, Tajae Sharpe, Taywan Taylor, and Darius Jennings. Leonard Fournette is scheduled to be back from injury, and seeing how the Texans ran wild on the Titans on MNF, I wouldn’t bet my paycheck on the rushing defense to be ready and able to shut him down.
The Titans defense once held a top 2 spot for points allowed in the league but has since given up an average of 31 points in the last three weeks. The Offensive line is leaking and changes have come, but on a short week, the concerns linger as Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, and Yannick Ngakoue will be lining up to take down the precious franchise QB to be. Sure, ESPN has given a 63% favorite to the Titans in this home matchup, but don’t allow the talking heads to convince you the Titans are the better team.
Last week, Head Coach Mike Vrabel’s message to the team was, “when we don’t beat the Titans, we have a chance.” This is fitting since Titans fans found themselves during the first have of the Jets game screaming, “Oh, this is so Titans it hurts!” For the Titans, establishing an identity is still on the “to-do” list. With a lacking run game, a QB who can’t step into passes cause his offensive line is getting pushed in his lap, corner backs that have been better known for getting scorched than shutting down passes. If this team is going to get hot, they’ve got to find a spark themselves.
The Titans organization is offering deals on this home game, which is no shock for fans. Sure, they want more butts in the seats, but they know damn well that the team has not put a product on the field that fans want to see in person. The woes of this season are what Titans fans nightmares are made of. The Titans are still a team that gets zero respect and shoot themselves in the foot so much they should be called Barney Fife. It will be a tall task for the Two-Tone Blue to come out take a positive step, otherwise, they can call the 2018 season may have been a fantastic waste.
In my opinion, this week comes down to one player; Derrick Henry. We’ve seen his carries increase and the hope is that since the benching of Quinton Spain, the offensive line and begin to run the ball with some authority. The use of the Wildcat has been a fan favorite, but more importantly it has been highly effective. Henry is still a diamond in the rough on a team tattered with under performance, but if I am Matt LaFluer, it’s time to double down on 22 to give the Jaguars nightmares. Titan Up!