Week 14 TNF Capper Court: Thursday Vs. Jags, Remember The Titans!

nfl week 14 jaguars titans

SBR Staff

Monday, December 3, 2018 3:03 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 3, 2018 3:03 PM UTC

Welcome to the "Capper Court," where five of SBR's NFL handicappers will provide their opinions on Thursday night and Sunday night NFL games. The majority rules! It's Jaguars-Titans on TNF in Week 14. 

Jacksonville (4-8 SU, 4-6-2 ATS) at Tennessee (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS)Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox)Free Majority Pick: Titans -4.5 Opening LineBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Matthew Jordan:

This has been the most offensive season in NFL history, but someone apparently forgot to tell the Jacksonville Jaguars that. They have played four games scoring seven points or fewer. They are 1-3 in them. One was Week 3 vs. the Titans, which was a painful-to-watch 9-6 Tennessee win – all field goals. Ryan Succop’s 38-yarder with just over four minutes left was the difference. Marcus Mariota didn’t start that game due to an ankle injury but relieved Blaine Gabbert and led three scoring drives. Total combined yards: 465. The Jaguars didn’t have an injured Leonard Fournette then and Blake Bortles was still the starting QB. He was predictably bad.

Fournette was suspended for Week 14 and the Jaguars played another game without any touchdowns as they ended the Colts’ five-game winning streak in a 6-0 snoozer. Total yards: 476. That’s the Jacksonville defense was saw last year. With Bortles benched, Cody Kessler got the start and was meh, going 18 of 24 for 150 yards for his first career win in his ninth start (previous eight with Browns). The Titans were on a short week and a bit flat in Week 14 but rallied past the Jets 26-22 to keep their wild-card hopes alive. Tennessee may need to win out to return to the playoffs. The Titans’ remaining schedule is pretty easy, and we think they win by a TD here in another low-scoring “classic.” Jags have covered just one of past six in the series.

Swinging Johnson:

Whoever said "Defense wins championships,” never got a load of this 2018 Jacksonville offense. Well, the good news is that they snapped their seven-game skid but the bad news is that they could muster only six points against a less than stellar Indianapolis defense in Week 14. There is no doubt that more than a few of the playoff contending teams would switch defenses in a heartbeat with the Jaguars but that’s not how it works. Cody Kessler got the start in the 6-0 victory over Indianapolis but he wasn’t exactly the bolt of lightning that the Jags were hoping for in replacement of the benched Blake Bortles. Instead, he was cautious and lucky as he recovered his own fumble and saw an errant pass dropped by the Colts’ defense.

The Titans rallied from a 16-point deficit to steal a 26-22 win over the Jets on Sunday. Marcus Mariota had a pair of touchdown passes and one interception in a game that can be described as uneven at best. But speaking of defense, the Titans have a stout unit of their own that rivals Jacksonville’s and is actually allowing nearly two points per game less than the Jags at 20.3 per game, good for sixth in the league. Tennessee entered Week 13 as the least penalized team in the league but was flagged eight times for 75 yards. These AFC South rivals met earlier in the season with Tennessee taking home a 9-6 win in hostile territory. It was a defensive battle as expected and this should be another similar offensive struggle. But we know that Tennessee, unlike Jacksonville, at least has the capacity to put points on the board when Mariota is healthy. The oddsmakers are making it easy for me to lay the relatively small number on the better team that just happens to be at home. Back the Titans here.

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Malcolm Butler (@Mac_BZ) seals the deal. #TitanUp pic.twitter.com/cqjasJ6HpS

— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 3, 2018
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Doug Upstone:

Last week AFC rivals Jacksonville and Tennessee more survived themselves than anything in posting victories. In this matchup, the final result may be more of the same. After an impressive defensive outing by the Jaguars in shutting out Indianapolis, the term "Sacksonville" returned and the talk was about the team wanting to finish .500.(4-8 at present) After an embarrassing loss at Houston, Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel's call for his team to start fast against the New York Jets went unheard and they trailed 16-0.

But Marcus Mariota is developing a knack of finding ways to bring his team back and they came from behind for a 26-22 triumph. Tennessee won the earlier matchup in non-classic form by a 9-6 score as 10-point road underdogs. The Titans are favored this time being at home and where they seem to have the biggest edge in a return match is at the quarterback position with Mariota going up against Cody Kessler. The Jaguars only had 211 yards of offense in defeating the Colts, and though Leonard Fournette should be back they have not won or covered a spread away from home since Week 1. Take Tennessee.

Kevin Stott:

Jacksonville has reverted to the 2014-16 Jaguars, benching QB Bortles (6 TDs/7 INTs) for Kessler after an ugly 7-game losing streak — not a good thing for The Future with these Titans playing such good D (18.9 ppg, #2), Luck and the Colts getting their groove back in Naptown and the Texans on a nice, Confidence-building roll (W7) behind Watson. On Thursday nights, Tennessee is 3-8 SU but 4-2 ATS while Jacksonville is 4-6 SU, 0-2 ATS on the Road and 1-5 ATS as underdogs. After winning 9-6 in the Sunshine State in Week 3 as 10-point dogs, the Titties are now 5-1 ATS L5 vs Jacksonville and 3-0 ATS the L3 at Nissan Stadium losing by 5, 14 and 3.

With Bortles off, the OC fired, Fournette frustrated and the Offense the third-worst in TO Differential (-12) and the Defense down some (22.1 ppg, T-8), backing the team with a least a momentary dream (Wild Card) at Home, sweet Home seems smart with the hosts possibly shining under the primetime spotlight. Expect the Jaguars to make it hard on the Titans for a while but to eventually succumb to their own ineptitude in Dollywood.

Rainman:

Jacksonville will play with backup quarterback Cody Kessler, an O-line with an injured left tackle, left guard and center, and a receiving crew that leads the league in drops. Kessler lacks the mobility of former starter Blake Bortles to avoid an opposing pass rush. Running back Leonard Fournette does return from suspension to face Tennessee for the first time this year. In two games against them last year, he averaged 3.6 YPC in a 15-10 loss and 2.9 YPC in a 37-16 loss. The Titans' front seven is healthy and will be ready for him. Tennessee matches up well against Kessler because its statistical strength as a pass defense is in limiting the short passing game. Kessler is a prototypical game manager who doesn’t push the ball downfield and he’ll struggle against tight coverage.

Jacksonville does have a good defense, but Tennessee’s offense has the edge with the mobility of its quarterback. Jacksonville allowed the Cowboys' Dak Prescott to run for 82 yards, Josh Allen to run for 99, and so on. Marcus Mariota was injury-ridden in Tennessee’s 9-6 win in Jacksonville, but still ran for 51. Tennessee has covered three in a row against Jax.

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