The Jaguars O-Line vs the Titans D-Line
The Titans have a ferocious defensive line. On the edge they have one of the best tandems in football at the moment, with Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo, who have combined for 19.5 sacks on the year. In the middle they have one of the best defensive tackles in all of football Jurell Casey, who has three sacks of his own in 2016. They've been wreaking havoc as of late and are giving up just over 90 yards per game on the ground, good enough for seventh best in the NFL. The Titans front is not for the faint of heart and the Jaguars are dealing with an injury epdidemic at left guard and an inconsistencies at every other position on the line, save Brandon Linder at center. A.J. Cann, Jermey Parnell, and even Kelvin Beachum have all been underwhelming in 2016, but the rock of this O-line, Brandon Linder, will need to be at his best for the Jaguars to have any chance to keep Blake Bortles clean and establish some semblance of an effective ground attack.
Blake Bortles vs Blake Bortles
Every game, every snap, every throw, is now an audition for Blake Bortles. He'll be trying to hold on to his job this offseason when the Jaguars bring in a new coach, and likely some competition at QB. While Bortles has shown flashes of his 2015 self, he's been mostly terrible in 2016 and put up perhaps the worst game of his career last week against the Texans. He was 12/28 passing for 92 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. Bortles has a shoulder injury and there is no real way to know how much that is affecting him or the Jaguars game plan each and every week, but it seriously appears that Blake Bortles will have to do a 180 to get back to even being a respectable quarterback in this league.
Doug Marrone vs Mike Mularkey
Mike Mularkey has been on quite a run as of late and has taken a particular liking to beating the Jaguars, a team he coached for just one season before getting the axe. Gus Bradley, who the Jaguars fired this past Sunday, was routinely outschemed and out witted by opposing coaches and was unable or unwilling to make necessary adjustments. Doug Marrone is a well respected guy and has his fair share of coaching experience. He'll need to be a better game maanger, tactician, and risk taker than was his predecessor for the Jaguars to avoid going winless in the city of Jacksonville for the first time in team history. The Titans are playing for everything, while the Jaguars seemingly have nothing to play for. Will the interim head coach Doug Marrone be able to out coach Mike Mularkey and get his guys to buy in on Christmas Eve? If so, the Titans will be in for quite the battle.
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