6 Things to Watch for the Titans in Sunday’s Game vs the Jaguars

Six Things to Watch for the Titans in Sunday's Game vs the Jaguars
Photo from Titans

NASHVILLE – The Titans face the Jaguars on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Here’s a look at six things to watch in the contest:

1Derrick Henry Farewell?

Titans running back Derrick Henry was named to his fourth Pro Bowl this week, when he also celebrated his 30th birthday. Since being drafted by the Titans, Henry has turned into the face of the franchise for his work on and off the field. By reaching the 1,000-yard mark in 2023 for the fifth time in his career, Henry proved he’s still capable of producing. But with an expiring contract, Henry is set to become a free agent in the offseason. Henry tackled questions about his future this week, but right now, what’s ahead for the team and Henry remains unclear. Seeing No.22 come out of the tunnel Sunday should generate an appreciative ovation, whether it’s for the last time as a Titan or not.

2QB Situation

Questions about which quarterback lines up in front of Henry on Sunday also currently linger, but there’s a real chance it’s Henry’s long-time sidekick, veteran Ryan Tannehill. Rookie Will Levis is on the Injury Report this week after suffering a right foot injury against the Texans on Sunday, and he’s not 100 percent. Levis has been limited in practices this week, while Tannehill has worked in full. Titans Coach Mike Vrabel is expected to provide an update on Levis after Friday’s session, so stay tuned. I’ll update this section later. I thought Tannehill, who also has an expiring contract, performed pretty well while stepping in for Levis in Houston, but the Titans need to be better around him.

3Protect the QB

The Titans have allowed 62 quarterback sacks as a team, which has made life more difficult for every Titans quarterback that’s taken a snap this season. A unit that’s been inconsistent all season needs to settle in and play well on Sunday, because the Jaguars will be coming. Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen is third in the NFL with 16.5 sacks in 2023, which is a single-season Jaguars record. Allen is coming off a three-sack game in Week 17. Running the football with some success would help here as well.

4Titans Pass Rush

The Titans aren’t the only ones with question marks at quarterback. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence didn’t play last week because of a shoulder injury, and he’s been limited in practices this week. Jaguars Coach Doug Pederson said on Friday Lawrence will likely be a game-time decision. C.J. Beathard, a local product who starred at BGA, is preparing as a starter himself. No matter who lines up at quarterback, the Titans need to get after the guy with the football. How’s this for a stat: The Titans are the only team in the NFL this season with multiple players with double-digits sacks, as Denico Autry has 11.5, and Harold Landry has 10.5. This is the first time the franchise has had multiple players with double-digit sacks in a season since the Oilers did it from 1991-1993.

5Folk Franchise Record

The Titans want touchdowns, not field goals, of course. But Titans kicker Nick Folk has a chance to set a franchise record this season. In his first year in Tennessee, Folk has made 29 of his 30 field goal attempts. His 96.7 percent accuracy ranks second in the NFL behind only Dallas Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey, who is a perfect 35-of-35 in 2023. Folk’s current percentage would qualify as the best of his career, and he would tie for the 14th-best single-season mark in NFL history.

6Importance on Week 18

In the grand scheme of things, this game means more to the Jaguars than the Titans, who were eliminated from the playoffs with the Week 15 loss. The Titans are underdogs for the 14th time in 17 games this season, as the Jaguars are favored by 3.5 points. So, what’s there to play for now? Well, we touched on the uncertainty on the future for Henry and Tannehill earlier. This much is certain: This will be the final game for a large number of Titans, as this long and frustrating season comes to an end. As for the Jaguars, they’d win the AFC South with a win, and the Titans sure don’t want them celebrating on their field. Plus, as Mike Vrabel said earlier this week, the Titans want to win because “it (expletive) sucks to lose.”

Source: TennesseeTitans.com
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