Jaguars players to watch
Leonard Fournette, RB
The Jags can’t depend on their rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew to win this game all by himself, so it’s imperative Jacksonville gets Fournette going in this game. So far, it’s been tough sledding for Fournette, who has 28 carries for just 113 yards and no touchdowns through two games.
Fournette has been active in the passing game, though. The LSU product has caught eight passes for 68 yards thus far and needs to be accounted for through the air. If the Titans can bottle him up on the ground, this game will be a lot easier to win with the Jags offense becoming one-dimensional.
Myles Jack, LB
If the Jaguars are going to really stifle the Titans through the air, they have to stop Delanie Walker. Linebacker Myles Jack will be tasked with doing just that.
Through two games, Walker has been the Titans’ best, most consistent pass-catcher, and he remains Mariota’s favorite target. With Walker being in top form after missing all but one game in 2018, Jack is going to have his hands full.
Jacksonville needs to keep Walker at bay and force Mariota to get his wideouts involved, which is something he hasn’t done to this point in the season. Jack’s play on Walker will be crucial for the Jaguars.
The scariest part about this game for the Titans offense is the level of talent the Jags have in their pass-rush. Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell and Josh Allen could all create nightmares for a Titans O-line that has struggled in the first two weeks.
What’s even worse is that all three of those players haven’t notched a sack yet, so they’re due for one in Week 3. The Titans won’t be able to get anything going offensively if these three are consistently in the backfield from the first snap.
Gardner Minshew, QB
We already spoke about how important Fournette is to the Jags’ success on Thursday night. Well, Minshew might have to carry the Jags on his back if his running back get can’t anything going on the ground.
Minshew has the impossible task of replacing a highly-paid, Super Bowl-winning starting quarterback in Nick Foles, who suffered a broken clavicle in Week 1 and will be out until at least Week 11.
Can Minshew do enough to put the Jags over the top if his defense can put up the kind of performance it did against the Texans in Week 2? It’ll be a tough bell to answer with how good this Titans defense is, but Minshew would have gotten the job done if the Jags converted their two-point attempt at the end of the game in Week 2.