Titans vs. Jaguars 2014 picks and predictions: Jacksonville favored in battle of 2-win teams
The final Thursday night game of the season features two teams with a combined four wins.
In the last Thursday night game of the year, the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Tennessee Titans in a matchup that almost no one is looking forward to. Even so, these two AFC South teams have quietly developed one of the NFL’s most competitive rivalries. In six of their past seven meetings, the margin of victory has been six points or fewer. There’s no love lost between the Jags and Titans, and despite their pitiful records, it’s poised to be a hard-hitting, trash-talking affair.
The 2-11 Jags are in the midst of a rebuilding project that’s finally starting to show glimmers of hope for a brighter future. Last week in a 20-12 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville actually led in the third quarter on the road, and had chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter before ultimately running out of gas.
This week will be the first primetime game for rookie quarterback Blake Bortles — if, that is, he’s cleared to play. Bortles sprained his foot against the Ravens and was listed as questionable this week, but he expects to be ready to go Thursday night. The third overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft has had an up-and-down rookie campaign, but he continues to show potential as a starting quarterback.
The Titans, also 2-11, are trying to lay a stronger foundation for the offseason as well. However, they do not appear to have a quarterback who is ready to become a franchise signal caller. Rookie Zach Mettenberger has had his moments, but he sat out last week against the New York Jets with a shoulder injury. Jake Locker got the start in his place, but he suffered a dislocated shoulder and is out for the rest of the year, most likely ending his career in Tennessee. That leaves veteran journeyman Charlie Whitehurst in line for the start. Whitehurst came in against the Jets and threw for 203 yards, but only completed 10 of 24 passes for zero touchdowns.
So, what are the experts saying about the matchup of two-win teams with uncertainty surrounding both quarterback situations?
The crew at CBS Sports is in agreement, with all eight picking the Jags to win this one.
Here at SB Nation, everyone sided with Jacksonville. Well, except for PFT Commenter, who, like most NFL fans, let out an “ugh” when this game appeared on the schedule.
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