This weeks Thursday Night contest features a pair of teams with 2-12 records. The Jacksonville Jaguars and The Tennessee Titans face off in a matchup that can be viewed in several ways. The competitors on both teams roster and coaching staffs will be playing to win the game, however it would not be a surprise if both front offices were rooting for a loss for their team as it would give them a higher pick in the 2015 NFL draft. The Titans have struggled mightily for most of the season and recently lost rookie starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger for the season. Veteran Charlie Whitehurst got the start vs. the Jets last week and was ineffective overall going 10/24 for 203 yards with no touchdowns. He was eventually replaced by former first round pick Jake Locker who was more efficient while going 6/11 passing for 57 yards in the teams eventual 16-11 loss. Veteran running back Sean Greene had a tough day with 16 carries for only 50 yards. Nate Washington and Delani Walker were the only productive players on the offense, combining for 10 catches for 195 yards. They managed to stay in the game and had a chance to win late in the second half when they got the ball down to the Jets 22 yard line. Unfortunately for Titans fans that followed with a sack and three incompletions to continue what has been a rough season for the Titans.
The Jaguars went on the road to play the Baltimore Ravens last week and held a slim 12-10 lead at the half. The second half went much differently as the Ravens turned their defensive intensity up and did not allow Jaguars to move the ball at all in the second half while sacking Jaguars rookie starting quarterback Blake Bortles 8 times while shutting out the Jaguars in the second half in the 20-12 Raven win. Bortles finished 21/37 for 210 yards with an interception in what was a rough day for the rookie. Running back Toby Gerhart had 13 carries for 54 yards. Receivers Cecil Shorts and Allen Hurns combined for 12 catches but were unable to find the end zone. However none of that mattered for much as all 12 of their points came on 4 Josh Scobee field goals.
A big deciding factor in this game will be the health of Bortles who is questionable to start after suffering a foot injury in last week’s game. Veteran Chad Henne would likely get the start in his place. The key for the Jaguars will be to try to establish their running game since the Titans have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. The Titans will be hoping to get wide receiver Kendall Wright back after he missed the last 2 games with a hand injury. It will be interesting to see if both teams play with intensity or if the front office has any say in perhaps not exactly playing to win
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