If there’s one thing I enjoy in football, it’s divisional match ups. It has the ability to throw everything you know about stats, logic, and talent out the window and focus soley on playing the game. Take for instance the match up between the (4-6) Titans and the (1-8) Jaguars.
Last week, the Jaguars gave the AFC leading Houston Texans all they could handle and then some in an over time heart breaker where they showed a lot of positive on offense. When 2nd year quarterback Blaine Gabbert went out, journeyman Chad Hennse took over and had a monster game against a top ranked Texans defense and lit them up for 300+ and 4 touchdowns. Rookie Justin Blackmon, as predicted here, had a big game and the Jags were able to control much of the game.
Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t stop Matt Schaub who went off for 527 yards and Andre Johnson, who received for 278 and two touchdowns, including the dagger that sealed it in overtime.
Meanwhile, the Titans are coming off a bye and have quarterback Jake Locker at full health, and Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson looking like his old self again. After a very slow start, Johnson is having a nice statistical season rushing for 862 yards and 4 TD’s. Fantasy owners get frustrated with the guy, but you cannot deny his production when he’s right.
With Kenny Britt healthy, get him into your line ups this weekend!
I think there is a big over reaction to what Jacksonville did last week against Houston carrying over in this game. I don’t expect much from Jalen Parmele, who will be the starter for the Jags today at running back. Unless he is the second coming, expect the gunslinger that is Chad Henne to throw the ball around the yard against a Titans defense 266 yards/game through the air and ranking 31st overall in points allowed with 31 pts/game.
Let’s face it, Chad Henne is an upgrade over Blaine Gabbert, and I expect them to move the ball and score some points. Unfortunately, I don’t think their defense can cover, or stop anybody right now, which will ultimately be the difference in this one.
The Titans will come out strong off their bye week, and look to build off their shellacking of Miami two weeks ago where they pounded the Dolphins 37-3. This Titans team does have offensive talent, and that should be the difference in this one. Remember, at (4-6) the Titans are not that far out of the playoff picture, and they were expected to challenge Houston for a top the AFC South. That hasn’t happened, but with a win, they will be a game behind Indianapolis for the wild card in a crowded AFC playoff hunt.
For the Titans offense, they will need Kenny Britt to return to his old self. He only has 1 touchdown this year, and I expect that to change this week as I will go on a limb and say that he finds the end zone and puts up a day that he is more than capable of having. Look for Jared Cook to also score this week too, as he has built a nice rapport with Jake Locker, when Locker has been healthy this year.
The Titans will roll in this one, complete over reaction to what Henne can do.
Fantasy: Jake Locker, Kenny Britt, Justin Blackmon, Jared Cook, Chris Johnson
Be careful – Jalen Parmele, Cecil Shorts, Chad Henne