Two teams coming off feel-good wins face each other in this week’s Thursday Night Football matchup, but only one of the victories did much to improve its team’s playoff chances.
Tennessee fell behind by 16 points against the New York Jets before charging back to escape with a 26-22 victory that keeps them among the pack of 6-6 teams vying for the second wild-card playoff spot.
Marcus Mariota could do nothing right in the first half but ultimately did just enough to escape with a win. The Titans’ defense gave up a touchdown on the Jets’ opening drive, but held them to five field goals from there on out, keeping things close enough for their offense to engineer the comeback.
Winning ugly is becoming the norm for Tennessee, but this game wasn’t nearly as ugly as the 6-0 game the Jaguars won on Sunday.
In a game that had fans wondering where these guys have been all season, the Jaguars defense threw a shutout against what was the second-hottest team in the AFC. The Colts rode a five-game winning streak into Florida but watched the Jaguars stifle Comeback Player of the Year candidate, Andrew Luck, and everybody else, too.
The Colts’ defense had a good day against Cody Kessler and the Leonard Fournette-less Jaguar offense. Blake Bortles was benched for ineffectiveness and Fournette was serving his one-game suspension for his boxing career audition against the Bills last week.
Injuries and notes
Kessler will get the start at quarterback this week as Bortles remains on the bench. Kessler played mistake-free, but extremely conservative ball in the defensive struggle. He hopes to throw downfield more this week.
Jalen Ramsey is limited with a knee injury. He played through it against the Colts but is still questionable for Thursday. Nose tackle Abry Jones (shin) did not practice all week.
Titans receiver Tajae Sharp (ankle) and CB Malcolm Butler (quad) were limited in practice during the short week, but are expected to play.
Doug Marrone’s defense stepped up to help their young relief passer grab a victory, something that could have saved Bortles’ job if they did it earlier. Marrone will see what Kessler, a former first-round pick, can do before he and Tom Coughlin make draft or free agency plans.
Mike Vrabel continues to scrape out victories with a young group of receivers and a quarterback trying to prove he can be a franchise passer. In the first matchup between these teams, the Titans started the Jaguars’ slide out of contention by pulling out a field goal battle behind an injured Mariota. It’s why Vrabel will be in Tennessee for a while.
How to watch the Titans-Jaguars game
Fox Sports and the NFL Network will feed this game to their affiliates across the nation. That means you can watch the NFL live stream action on Sling TV.
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Who will win the Titans-Jaguars game?
Leonard Fournette will come off ten days rest to face a Titans defense with only 4 days between games. That could create a solid advantage for the Jaguars’ offense.
But Marcus Mariota has always been a problem for the Jaguars. Working with only one hand, Mariota rattled off 51 rushing yards, including a couple of important conversions when the Titans ran out the clock in their 9-6 win earlier this year. Look for the mastery to continue.