Two AFC South teams coming off of bad losses face off this week, as the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Tennessee Titans. The Jaguars are coming off of a tough double-digit, second-half collapse against the Cincinnati Bengals, and are also dealing with some outside noise, as first-year head coach Urban Meyer had himself an interesting weekend.
On Tuesday, NFL Media's Michael Silver reported that the Urban Meyer situation in Jacksonville has reached a "crisis point." One has to wonder how focused this team really is on football at this juncture. As for the Titans, they aren't exactly a team that can come in and dominate Trevor Lawrence and Co. They are banged up, and just lost to the previously winless New York Jets in overtime in what was one of the biggest upsets of the season.
Before we get into breaking down this matchup, here's how you can watch on Sunday.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Key matchups to watch
Derrick Henry vs. Jaguars defense
Ryan Tannehill was throwing to practice squad receivers against the Jets last week and spent most of the afternoon dodging defensive linemen. Tennessee handed off to Henry 33 times, and he didn't let the Titans down with 157 yards and one touchdown. While the Jets' win over the Titans was shocking, the game would not have been close if Henry was out due to injury like A.J. Brown and Julio Jones.
Henry is having what is probably his best season so far. He's known for finishing the season hot -- not starting on a tear. He leads the NFL with 510 rushing yards and four touchdowns. It appears going for 2,000 yards in two straight seasons is on the table. The Jags have to limit Henry and they haven't been successful in doing so up to this point. Two of Henry's three best performances in the regular season have come against the Jaguars. In 2018, he rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns against Jacksonville, and then 215 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Trevor Lawrence vs. Titans secondary
Lawrence failed to throw a touchdown in last week's loss to the Bengals for the first time in his young career, but it was one of his most impressive performances. He showed command of the huddle, made a couple great throws downfield and also rushed for a career-high 36 yards and a touchdown. Lawrence has been better than fellow rookie signal-caller Zach Wilson through four games, but the Titans gave Wilson his breakout performance. Are we about to see Lawrence's best game as a pro?
If you had to identify a weak spot on the Titans' roster, it's definitely the cornerbacks. Janoris Jenkins, Breon Borders, Chris Jackson and Elijah Molden have struggled, but second-year corner Kristian Fulton has been the lone bright spot. Overall as a unit, however, they've been bad, and the Jaguars have a couple of versatile wideouts in Laviska Shenault Jr. and Marvin Jones Jr. If the Jaguars win on Sunday, it will be because of the success of their passing attack.
These are two franchises that are struggling right now for different reasons. I think the Titans are better, but the Jaguars and Lawrence have been improving each week. This could be a very close game, but I'm going to bet on either A.J. Brown or Julio Jones playing -- which will greatly help the offense -- and on Henry carrying this team to a win.
Pick: Titans 27-20 over Jaguars