Back at it again for TNF, and we have another rip-roaring matchup of AFC South teams, Tennessee and Jacksonville.
The commercials for this game have been simply hilarious. Pretending there is some fierce rivalry between the Jags and Titans, two mediocre franchises, will never cease to amaze me. I swear we get this game on TNF every year. Two teams that started the season with relatively high expectations will be looking to get back on track with a short week divisional game.
Tennessee is coming off a loss to Indianapolis, a game that they could’ve lost by much more considering the best kicker of all time missed two extra points and another field goal attempt.
One would have to say that Tennessee has over performed to this point, with the 30 point thrashing of Cleveland in Week 1, which is an early candidate for the “what the fuck happened there?” game of the year.
Early season metrics do not like this team whatsoever. Forced turnovers are largely random, especially fumbles, and Tennessee has converted just 15% of their 3rd downs offensively through 2 games. The Titans are +0.2 net YPP, but like I stated earlier, the first season against the Browns I imagine will be looked at as an outlier.
Jacksonville is also coming off a loss, an excruciating one at that, that saw them come an inch away from converting a 2PA that would’ve upset Houston in the final minute of the game. It’s already been a bizarre year for the Jags, in a preseason that saw the franchise have hopes of returning to the AFC playoffs after having the season from hell last year. They finally think they have their franchise guy in Big Dick Nick, and he’s out for the season almost immediately.
Fast forward a whole week, and all-world corner Jalen Ramsey has demanded a trade. He has stated that he will play hard for the organization and for his teammates for “as long as he is a Jag” but that has to be a distraction to the rest of the team.
If there’s any positive to take away from the Jags first two games, it’s the revelation that is Gardner Minshew. The Stache has been something of a cult favorite the last two weeks for those who aren’t familiar with Pac 12 after dark. He’s been solid for a rookie in guiding the team through dire straits, having to play two playoff teams in back to back weeks to start his career. He’s led the Jax offense to 6.6 YPP good for a +0.5 net YPP. The downfall has been converting in the red zone. Jacksonville has converted just 40% of the time through the first two games after entering the red zone, something that will absolutely have to improve tonight against a stingy Tennessee defense.
It took five slates but we finally got a baby sweep there, with both bets cashing in the first half. I also noticed that I was pulling a big scumbag move and not tracking the YTD so I went back and tallied up this enormous run we’ve been on since Week 1’s MNF doubleheader. Tonight I’m riding the Minshew to glory, Jags catching points at home against a team I consider to be very lackluster. Jax has played KC and HOU very tough, and arguably should have won last week as well.
Jags +7.5 and under 44.5 -102
Season Record: 4-3 +0.1x