Titans-Jaguars Preview: Who Should Be Looked On to Step Up With AJ Brown Out of The Lineup? – BlackSportsOnline
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Titans-Jaguars Preview: Who Should Be Looked On to Step Up With AJ Brown Out of The Lineup?

With their week one win now in the rearview mirror, the Tennessee Titans now turn their attention towards getting a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Instead of the regular Titans-Jaguars meetings full of dullness and a potential to bore you to sleep, this upcoming meeting has a little more intrigue than the previous ones.

For starters, the Titans are have the chance to start out the season 2-0, something the franchise hasn’t done since 2008. If you can remember correctly, 2008 was the last time this organization won a division title and hosted a playoff game. Any correlation between that 2008 team and the 2020 team? I wouldn’t know, I’m just throwing stats out there to get you all giddy.

Moving over to the Jaguars’s side, this team pulled off arguably the most significant upset of week one, taking down the Indianapolis Colts in the only game of week one that had fans attending. Gardner Minshew looked fantastic, DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr. wreaked havoc in the Indianapolis’s secondary, and a couple pieces on that defense flashed some nice promise.

I’m not saying this game will be difficult for the Titans, all I’m saying is this Jaguars team has some unpredictability that can lead to potential surprises.

Well, enough of the intro, let’s get into the really good stuff.

1. Can The Titans Shake Off The Rust & Put In a Complete Performance?

A lot of the talk after the Titans’s week one win against Denver surrounded the frustrating display of placekicking from Stephen Gostkowski. While it was fair to criticize the pitiful play from the new Titans kicker, I think some of your attention should’ve been directed towards the inconsistency the Titans had on both sides of the ball.

Well, instead of inconsistency, let’s just call it rust.

Let’s be real, every single team around the league came into week one fighting through the rather underrated lack of a normal off-season. There was no on field work until late July, which affected the early integration of rookies and newly signed veterans. Not only that, players and coaches were locked out of their own facilities for a period of time, causing teams around the league to rely on remote meetings between position groups and full teams. To make matters even worse, there was no pre-season, so players didn’t get the chance to ramp up their preparation for the season.

All of that might sound boring and uninteresting to you since it doesn’t affect you personally, but those sort of setbacks can really limit what a team can accomplish in the off-season.

In the case of the Titans, I believe that long layoff with no true pre-season affected the Titans big time in week one. Blocking assignments were all over the place, playcalls were out of sync, simple mistakes were repeatedly made on defense, it was just a sore sight to witness.

But there’s no time to dwindle over the past, the only thing the Titans can do is play through it and attempt to regain the form that accompanied them on their run to the AFC title game in 2019.

Luckily for them, this team is full of experienced veterans and a coaching staff that absolutely knows how to get their guys ready for a game.

I wouldn’t be too worried for right now, but I’d closely monitor how the Titans start off games from this point on.

2. Who Picks Up The Slack With AJ Brown Out?

Unfortunately for the Titans, AJ Brown is going to miss some time with a bone bruise in his knee. It’s a disappointing piece of news for an offense that can put up a lot of points with Brown on the field and at his best. However, questions about Brown’s long term health aren’t the main priority right now though. In fact, we should be asking who’s ready to step up to replace his production.

Corey Davis immediately comes to mind as a candidate, followed by the likes of Adam Humphries and Jonnu Smith. These 3 guys can give opposing defenses a lot of headaches, and they’ll be leaned on to cause those headaches come tomorrow afternoon.

The passing game isn’t the only facet that should be looked at though. The run game has to find consistency early, and maintain it to alleviate as much pressure off the unit as possible. We all know the drill, if you can impose your will on a defense as an offense, you’ve already won a key battle en route to a potential hard fought victory.

Derrick Henry is an expert at that specific facet, and he’s particularly exceptional at it when he plays against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Get the run game going, make play action success a priority, and you’ll be driving home as members of a 2-0 football team.

3. Can A Banged Up Secondary & Still Improving Pass Rush Get It Done?

The hype surrounding this Titans defense was clear heading into week one. Jadeveon Clowney was the main reason for that, but he didn’t look his sharpest as a pass rusher on Monday night.

I mean, that was one of the knocks on Clowney anyways. He doesn’t have the bend, or the flexibility to cause extensive trouble as a pass rusher. He does have that quick first step though, which came in handy for this Titans run defense. The Broncos didn’t really find their footing in the run game, and that can blamed on the disruptive play from Clowney and his interior defensive line teammate Jeffery Simmons.

Speaking of Simmons, he was outstanding in week one. While it wasn’t flashy, his performance really soothed the minds of some who were still concerned about the interior defensive line after the Jurrell Casey trade.

Both of these big names should look to have a big game on Sunday, especially since the Jaguars’s offensive line isn’t the most skilled of all.

Moving over to the secondary, injuries have really killed any chance for momentum early in the year, specifically at corner. The Titans will be without standout corner Adoree Jackson for at least the next 2 games, combine that with Malcolm Butler continuing to battle a quad injury, and this corner group could look awfully young tomorrow.

Rookie corner Chris Jackson got the starting nod at corner last week, but he didn’t look all that impressive throughout the game. I’m not slighting the guy, he just ran into some normal rookie struggles, and he struggled to handle receivers who can get off the line quick with lateral quickness. Which doesn’t bode well since the Jaguars possess one of those receivers with that skillset in DJ Chark.

Kristian Fulton looked like a true rookie as well on Monday night, but I think he’ll look better as time goes on.

If Malcolm Butler can’t go tomorrow afternoon, the 2 previously mentioned young corners will be thrown into the fire against a couple of Jaguars receivers that can make some plays.

DJ Chark who I just mentioned, and Laviska Shenault Jr., who looked electric when he got the ball in his hands.

Either way, it’ll be an intriguing matchup to chart throughout the game.


Titans- 27

Jaguars- 16