Like every other year since 2011, when Jack Del Rio was canned midseason, the Jaguars are a horrible football team. But 2016 was supposed to be different; the organization spent the offseason acquiring young, fast defensive playmakers, and franchise quarterback Blake Bortles is now in his third year in the league.
Yet here we are, six games into it, and the Jags are who we thought they were. They were outflanked at home by Jack Del Rio’s Raiders on Sunday, 33-16, and Bortles finished 23 of 43 for 246 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions in one of his worst performances this season. The 24-year-old quarterback now has as many picks as TDs — nine — and is completing fewer than 60 percent of his throws. Hardly what the team had in mind for the guy they drafted third overall in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Titans have had their own run of terrible football. The good news: They actually went 9-7 as recently as 2011. The bad news: They combined for five wins in 2014 and 2015. And it was that 2-14 effort in 2014 that put them in position to draft Marcus Mariota who, like Bortles, has shown glimpses of promise, but continues to struggle with consistency.
So, on paper, Thursday’s matchup is a battle of two young, franchise quarterbacks. The reality, however, is that neither player is close to where they — or their teams — want them to be. Still, the winner will be, at worst, a game behind the division-leading Texans and given how truly awful Houston has looked this season, that means the AFC South remains wide open.
You can watch all the action live on NFL Network:
How to watch
- What: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
- When: Thursday, Oct. 27, 8:25 p.m. ET
- Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
- TV: NFL Network
- Play-by-play: Jim Nantz
- Color analyst: Phil Simms
- Sideline reporter: Tracy Wolfson
- Streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile app
- Sunday Ticket: DirecTV
- Online: NFL Game Pass (available to watch online after midnight)
- Odds: The Titans are currently a -3.5 favorite, according to Bovada.
- SportsLine: Titans minus 3.5
When the Jags face the Titans — Fun (and not so fun) facts
- Mariota rushed for career-high 112 yards (incl. 87-yard touchdown) and threw for 3 touchdowns in the last meeting with Jacksonville. In the past three games, he has 8 touchdown passes and just 1 interception.
- Andre Johnson (remember him?!) has the second-most catches (136) and receiving yards (1,794) by any player vs. Jacksonville.
- In the past two meetings, Delanie Walker has 16 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown.
- Bortles threw for 322 yards and 5 touchdowns in the last meeting. In two road games at Tennessee he has 658 passing yards, 6 touchdowns and one interception.
- Yeldon had 136 scrimmage yards (79 receiving, 57 rushing) and a touchdown in the last game vs. Tennessee.
- Robinson had 10 catches for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns in the last meeting.
It’s Color Rush Thursday!
Color Rush 10/27: Jaguars (gold) at Titans (blue). Same unis they wore against each other last year. pic.twitter.com/320e0lCZsJ
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 13, 2016
As UniWatch’s Paul Lukas points out, the Titans and Jags wore these get-ups last year, and apparently that was enough for Bortles, who had rightly declared that Jacksonville’s Color Rush unis are, and we quote, “ugly as hell.”
“Somebody’s gotta tell the truth and I might as well be the first to say it: I think the [mustard-colored uniforms] are ugly as hell,” Bortles said in a conference call with Tennessee media members. “I’m not a big fan of the mustard. I think they could have done a better job, and I think they should choose a different color.”
The Jaguars are coming off a bad home loss, so the short week could be good for them. They are playing good defense. It’s the quarterback who needs to pick it up. The Titans can run it on offense, but the Jaguars are good against the run, even after losing nose Roy Miller. Even so, the Jaguars have issues, but it will be close.
Prisco’s final score: Titans 24, Jaguars 23
More ‘TNF’ on Twitter is in your future
Thursday’s game won’t be shown live on Twitter but you’ll be able to stream five more games this season at tnf.twitter.com.
You’ll also be able use your mobile device or tablet with the NFL Network app or the CBS app. As always, your local CBS affiliate will carry the game on television. Kickoff is at 8:25 p.m. ET.
In addition to live streaming, the NFL-Twitter partnership also includes in-game highlights from “Thursday Night Football” and pre-game Periscope broadcasts from players and teams.
Here’s the remaining NFL-Twitter TNF schedule:
- Week 11, Nov. 17: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
- Week 13, Dec. 1: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
- Week 14, Dec. 8: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
- Week 15, Dec. 15: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
- Week 16, Dec. 22: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Be sure to CBSSports.com’s Pro Football Rundown for all the latest NFL news and commentary.