Game Overview ::
By HILOW >>
- Urban Meyer. That’s legitimately a significant bullet point in this game.
- Not necessarily a wide range of outcomes for this game overall, but an extremely wide range of outcomes as far as individual production goes for all participants.
- The Titans rank 24th in situation-neutral pace of play (25th overall) while the Jaguars rank 13th (first overall).
- You’re about to read a lot of words to describe why this game doesn’t carry much fantasy appeal, so if you’re in a time crunch, feel free to move along.
How Jacksonville Will Try To Win ::
I’m still not sure the Jaguars even know how they will try to win games. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? This story begins all the way back in Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season (yea, that’s last week). LaViska Shenault, Jr. saw five touches on the Jaguars’ opening drive of the game and proceeded to see only three the rest of the game on his lowest snap count of the season. In the same game, James Robinson lost his second fumble of the season early in the game (fumbles in consecutive weeks), leading to a second straight “you’re benched because you fumbled” showing. Robinson has played only 52% and 44% of the offensive snaps over the previous two weeks, and it hasn’t been due to his nagging heel injury, it has been because his head coach is a putz. When Carlos Hyde and Chris Manhertz are playing as many snaps as your two most talented and dynamic offensive play-makers, you’ve basically thrown in the towel. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence publicly backed James Robinson this week as well, saying they need him on the field. Basically, this team is a dumpster fire, and all questions regarding whether or not Urban Meyer lost the locker room following his ho-down at the “screw the team corral” have been answered. From a macro perspective, a matchup against the Titans should theoretically be considered one of the more pass-funnel matchups in the league, but we can’t be certain Urban Meyer will devise a game plan to take advantage of that fact.
As for this backfield, James Robinson is typically operating in a 60-65% snap rate and opportunity range when he’s not being disciplined (again, lolz, because J-Rob has lost only three fumbles in 454 career touches), while Carlos Hyde is the de facto change of pace back. Robinson’s role typically lands him in the 18-22 running back opportunity range, but there is more guesswork here than there normally would be due to Urban Meyer’s lost grasp on reality. The matchup is actually above average for the Jaguars, despite what the top-level metrics indicate, yielding an above-average 4.39 net-adjusted line yards metric against a defense surrendering 20.8 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields. Tennessee’s defense is an interesting study, as they are far from elite against the run, but the secondary is simply so attackable that teams prefer to pass against them (they have faced only 222 rush attempts against, which is the fifth-fewest in the league).
Who knows what Urban is doing with these pass-catchers? Because I don’t. Marvin Jones, Jr. and Laquon Treadwell are the only two pass-catchers playing more than 70% of the offensive snaps on a consistent basis, which goes to show the general lack of talent on this offense. That fact also highlights how maddening it is to see their top two players (James Robinson and LaViska Shenault, Jr.) playing such low snap rates and seeing so few opportunities. That said, this offense would clearly prefer to run the football and throw at elevated rates only when absolutely necessary. That most head-scratching part is that they view it as absolutely necessary in very few instances of late after starting the season with six of seven games with 33 pass attempts or more (three of five games since with 28 pass attempts or fewer, the latter two of which were 20-point and 30-point losses). All of that to say, there is very little reason to try and predict what will transpire from this passing offense on a weekly basis. Marvin Jones, Jr. has a high of seven targets over the previous five games. Laquon Treadwell has seen target totals of five, eight, and three in the three games he has acted as the “starter.” Laviska Shenault, Jr. leads the team in targets but has seen his snap rate decrease since the Week 7 bye. James O’Shaughnessy and Chris Manhertz are splitting tight end reps with Dan Arnold lost for the season. The whole thing is a veritable mess.
How Tennessee Will Try to win ::
Tennessee’s Week 13 bye could not have come at a more opportune time, as the team continues to battle a myriad of injuries. Running back Jeremy McNichols practiced in full on Wednesday and should return to form a split backfield, joined by Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman. Also, Julio Jones’ 21-day practice window was opened on Monday and he proceeded to practice on Wednesday. Consider Julio likely to make his return this week, assuming he avoids any setbacks with his injured hamstring. The Titans currently rank fourth in the league in overall rush rates on the season, checking in at 53%, and rank dead last in the league in pass rates when trailing at 58%. This team would like to run the football. Even in the four games played without Derrick Henry, the Titans carry a 56% rush rate when trailing and 53% overall. As in, not much has changed with respect to their weekly game plan while Henry has been out. In those four games (two wins and two losses), Ryan Tannehill has pass attempts of 27, 27, 52 (his mysterious four-interception game against the Texans of all teams), and 21.
Likeliest Game flow ::
It is likely the Titans assert themselves sooner rather than later through a methodical, slow-paced approach on offense and a solid, yet unspectacular defense. From a macro perspective, this game is likely to play to a gross slugfest, with each team likely leaning extremely run-heavy unless otherwise urged away from a conservative approach. That particular setup favors the Titans, who are better equipped to find success in their desired plan of attack, but the maddening three-way timeshare at running back reduces any fantasy appeal from the offense as a whole.
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