Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 9, 2022

Jags at Titans: What to watch

The Titans – battered and beaten by upper-echelon teams the past two weeks – should get a reprieve of sorts when the Jacksonville Jaguars come calling at Nissan Stadium.

At times, the Jaguars have looked better than their usual also-ran selves. At other times, like Sunday vs. the Lions, they were terrible. Nonetheless, the Titans can’t afford to take any team for granted right now.

First down

Get Derrick Henry going. Henry has just 68 yards rushing combined in the past two games. Historically, he’s had some of his best games against his hometown team, the Jags. While the Titans suspect offensive line can’t be counted on like in the past, they still need to open holes for Henry, because the offense needs to run through him to get back on track.

Second down

Run the passing game through Chig Okonkwo. Okonkwo has done nothing but make big plays in his rookie season with the limited chances he has been given. Even in the debacle in Philadelphia, the rookie tight end provided a bright spot with a 41-yard catch-and-run. With Treylon Burks’ situation unsettled because of a concussion, Okonkwo must get more touches to give the passing game a chance to make some sort of explosive play.

Third down

Block somebody. The Titans offensive line was, in a word, atrocious against the Eagles. Left tackle Dennis Daley and left guard Aaron Brewer both struggled, as did right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere at times against the Eagles pass rush. This group has to hold up better in order that the first and second downs above even have a chance to come to fruition.

Fourth down

Find the pass rush. The Titans defense is at its best when the pass rush is affecting the opposing quarterback. That didn’t happen enough the past two games. Bud Dupree being back helps, but the Titans are missing Denico Autry and Jeffery Simmons’ ankle injury is keeping him from playing at his usual level. Some others have to step up and help out here in the interim.

-- Terry McCormick