Week 17 is simple for the Tennessee Titans. Win, and they’re in. They will be hosting AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars. Tennessee will hope to repeat the beatdown they issued in Week 2 when the two teams faced off in Jacksonville. Let’s take a look at some key points surrounding this game.
What will the Jags do?
With a playoff spot clinched and the AFC South locked up, many are wondering if the Jaguars will rest some of their starters this week.
Lot of people presuming #Jaguars will rest and not try to win. (That doesn’t guarantee a #Titans win btw.) Young teams usually aren’t good at turning it on and off. Could well play to win. We will see.
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) December 25, 2017
This is interesting because the Jags really have nothing to lose from this game. The only benefit from defeating the Titans this week is potentially knocking them out of playoff contention, so they do not have to play them in the wild card round.
The #Jaguars are in an interesting spot in Week 17.
The Titans are in the sixth seed, if the Jaguars beat them, they are probably out of the playoffs.
If the Titans beat JAX, they are likely to face each other in the wild-card round the next week.
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) December 25, 2017
It would seem smart for the Coach Doug Marrone to rest his starters in preparation for the playoffs, but if there is bad blood between these rivals, look for Marrone to go head-first at Tennessee to eliminate them and avoid a wild-card weekend matchup.
Demarco Murray Limited Sunday
Titans running back Demarco Murray suffered a knee injury in last Sunday’s 27-23 loss to the Rams, leaving him either unlikely to play or limited vs. the Jaguars.
Certainly, no one ever wishes injury on an athlete, especially such a talent as Murray. However, Titans fans have been so anxious for Derrick Henry to carry the ball more than he has recently, and it seems he is going to get the full workload against the Jags Sunday.
Henry had his 2nd most carries all year when the Titans played the Jags in Week 2, and he fared well with 92 yards and a touchdown to go with a receiving touchdown.
Here is a short breakdown of Henry vs. Murray this season.
– 5.1 Under Center YPC
– 36% of carries gain 5+ yards
– 10th-best Missed Tackle Rate
– 36% snaps in 2017
– 3.6 Under Center YPC
– 27% of carries gain 5+ yards
– 26th-of-50 in Missed Tackle Rate
– 68% snaps in 2017
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) December 18, 2017
Understandably, Titans fans should be upset Henry has not been getting the rock very often in the past few games.
What if the Titans Lose?
There is not a single Titans fan who wants to see their team lose for the fourth straight time and more than likely miss the playoffs, but there is some good news. The Titans can lose this Sunday and still obtain a playoff berth.
#Titans clinch a playoff berth with:
TEN win OR
TEN tie + BUF loss or tie + LAC loss or tie OR
BUF loss + LAC loss
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) December 26, 2017
As you can see, the Bills and Chargers will have to lose for the Titans to still get in. An 8-8 season would be terribly disappointing considering the expectations for this year, but the playoffs are the playoffs. Everything resets when they begin. Kickoff for this Sunday is 3:25 Central in Nashville.