By: Brendan Smart ( @BSmart21 )
Thursday night the Tennessee Titans host a primetime matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Nashville. Are the Titans ready for primetime?
With a huge loss on Sunday to the Indianapolis Colts, the Titans have a quick turn around hosting a Thursday night game. Unlike last season, the Titans won't have to jump on a plan to travel, and can focus on the Jaguars and what went wrong on Sunday. A loss that would've still leaves the Titans a game behind the Houston Texans, but adds the Colts to a mix of three teams fighting for their playoff lives heading into the second half of the season.
Both teams heading into Thursday night with tough losses, but one team holds hope for the second half of the season. The Jaguars head into the second half of the season still struggling to put four quarters together, and the Titans struggling with consistency. Both teams still young, but the Titans still the favorite to win Thursday. The Titans have what most young developing teams dream of- balance.
The Titans have continued to show balance on both sides of the ball, taking away the final drive against the Colts Sunday, and the Titans defense has easily been one of the best in the AFC South. Demarco Murray has been better than expected, running through tackles showing he has plenty of “tread” on those tires. The passing game has shown signs of what it could be.
Thursday the Titans face a young quarterback in Blake Bortles who has shown moments of what he could be, but has not been consistent. Jaguars fans can make the same case about young stud Marcus Mariota who struggles at home, and “tries to do to much” Mularkey said following the Browns game. Both Quarterbacks with all of the potential in the world, but it seems like only one can break through in a very weak AFC South. Mariota has only seen 19 games in his young career, and progression seems to be right on target with the amount of games he has played in. Bortles, however has seen his fair share of games and playing time, yet decision making still in question.
If the 2015-2016 Titans team lost to the Colts on Sunday I would be worried with a quick turn around, but this year's team has a good mindset and the players to respond to defeat compared to the Jaguars. Thursday night will be a showdown on the defensive side of the ball, and a low scoring game. I think the Titans get a win on Thursday and head into a week 8 matchup against the Chargers with a chance to tie the division up.