Both teams hoped this game would have playoff implications but both have fallen three games behind the red-hot Houston Texans. While the Texans have won nine straight, the Jags finally ended their seven-game losing streak in a 6-0 squeaker over the Colts and the Titans have lost five of their last eight.
Both teams have miserable offenses, with Jacksonville averaging 16.9 points per game (30th in NFL) and the Titans averaging 18.4 points per game (28th in NFL). Both teams rank toward the bottom in passing and rank 17th (112.7 yards per game) and 18th (111.3 yards) in rushing.
As if the offenses weren’t bad enough, both teams own two of the best defensive units in the league. Jacksonville is allowing just 20.3 points per game (5th in NFL) and the Titans are allowing 20.4 points (6th in NFL). Both teams play exceptional pass defense, though both run defenses are mediocre. This one has all the makings of an evenly-matched low-scoring affair.
Jaguars +3.5 (-105)
Titans -3.5 (-115)
Pick and prediction:
With Cody Kessler taking over for Blake Bortles, the offense mustered just six points against the Colts in Week 13, albeit in a win. Jacksonville’s defense is a superior unit and Tennessee ranks right alongside them in virtually every category so it’s difficult to see two teams averaging a combined 35 points on a good day exceed that against top-ranked defensive units.
Although Bortles was terrible, Kessler hardly gives the Jags a better chance of winning. Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota has been able to finish games despite his lingering injuries, even besting Tom Brady four weeks ago. The Titans have won three of their last five and should be able to eke out a win against the Kessler-led offense.