We have reached the end of the Titans 2023 season.
After yet another disappointing season, the Titans have the opportunity to right some of their wrongs and finish the season on an uplifting note.
Between swirling rumors about tensions between Mike Vrabel and Ran Carthon to the Titans and Vrabel using choice words about losing, the Titans seemed primed to exact some revenge against a divisional foe. Week 18 of the 2022 season saw the Jacksonville Jaguars come to Nissan Stadium and barely finish off a reeling Titans team to win the division. The Titans can do the same and allow one of the Texans or Colts to secure a South division title. For our full preview of the game, check out The Hot Read Podcast!
Here are 10 stats that you need to know for Jaguars-Titans in this week’s Titans Ten:
Trends Favor the Titans
In the 2023 Finale, Vegas and the books gave the Jaguars a -5.5 point edge over the Titans at home, which has been swiftly moving. The Titans are now just +3.5 point underdogs. Regardless, it is smart to back Vrabel and the Titans this week.
1. Jaguars NEED to Win
In classic final week voodoo fashion, teams that need to win facing a team that is eliminated haven’t had much success when it comes to covering the spread. Since 1990 teams in the Jaguars situation have gone just 64-100-4 ATS.
2. Jaguars on a Cold Streak
Since the Jaguars started 8-3 earlier in the season, the wheels have quickly fallen off the track, leading to a three-way tie for the division. The Jaguars have gone just 1-4 in their last five games ATS. Even if Trevor Lawrence plays, his 14-13 ATS record on the road or at a neutral site doesn’t elicit confidence. Back Vrabel in the home underdog spot.
Titans Great on Special Teams
While the Titans’ offensive and defensive performance this season has been poor, the Titans’ special team contributors have kept the Titans in games and scoring points.
3. Stonehouse’ Absence
Since Ryan Stonehouse’s season-ending injury, punter Ty Zentner has been serviceable but nowhere near the level of excellence as the sophomore punter.
Despite not finishing the season, Stonehouse’s 53.06 yard per punt average was still good for the second-best season by a punter, only trailing his own rookie season, in which he broke the record.
4. Old Reliable Nick Folk
After a few years of unreliable and inconsistent kicking from several different kickers, the Titans gave up draft capital to stabilize the position. Nick Folk has gone 29 of 30 in his first season as a Titan, and assuming the veteran doesn’t have a disastrous Sunday, he would set the franchise record for field goal percentage with a 96.7. Safe to say, that as long as the old vet wants to continue to play, he should be the option for the Titans going forward.
5. A Send-Off Fit for a King
It’s time to face the reality that this may be Derrick Henry’s last game as a Titan. And while Henry’s tenure should already make the king’s Hall of Fame case pretty easy, Derrick can solidify it on Sunday with a classic performance.
If Derrick Henry rushes for 59 yards on Sunday, he will pass Earl Campbell for 36th on the NFL all-time rushing yards list. Another 47 and Henry can pass Shawn Alexander for 35th and become the leading all-time rusher for players that were drafted from the University of Alabama.
Harold Landry’s Late Season Dominance
Harold Landry needed patience and it has paid off. After a quiet first half of the season, Landry has looked worth his contract and more coming off an ACL tear now a year and a half behind him. Landry has proven it’s only up from here, and has provided for a depth-less Titans D:
6. Post Injury Explosiveness
Harold Landry faced criticism early in the season for his lack of speed and explosiveness, which comes with the recovery from a major injury like an ACL. Now that Landry himself has spoken about feeling “back in his body”, the veteran edge rusher is creating problems for opposing quarterbacks. Landry’s 10.5 sacks are the first time since 2000 that a player has recorded double-digit sacks the season after missing with injury.
7. Landry Behind the Sticks
Combined with an impressive sack total, Landry’s ferocity has also impacted other players behind the line of scrimmage. Since Week 6, Harold Landry ranks third for total tackles for loss. He will look to cap off an impressive year in front of the home crowd on Sunday.
8. Denico Joins the Party
Harold Landry has had Denico Autry as a partner in crime down the back half of the season, absolutely terrorizing quarterbacks left and right. The dynamic duo is the first pair of Titans or Oilers to record double digits sacks since 1993 when Sean Jones and William Fuller were playing. Mike Keith’s voice may get a long rest this off-season after screaming all season long.
Final Chance for the Offense to Get Things Right
If there ever was a time for the Titans to get things right, this would be the week to do it. With the Titans having nothing else to play for but ruining the playoff hopes of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tim Kelly can empty out his bag of tricks to create some offensive fireworks.
9. Jaguars Struggle Against High Scoring Opponents
Despite having high hopes at the beginning of the season, the Jaguars have not been the powerhouse most projected them to be early on. The biggest issue for the Jaguars has been on the defensive side of the ball, where the team’s shortcomings are clearly evident. However, the Jaguars hold a record of 8-1 this season when their opponent scores less than 22 points. If the Titans can finally play complementary football and put points on the board, success could come their way.
10. Jaguars Struggle Out the Gate
Complimenting the Titans’ need to score more than normal, getting out to an early lead in the first half could stifle a Jaguars offense that still isn’t quite right. Since week 13, the Jaguars have only averaged FOUR points in the first half of their games. Compliment that with the Titans only allowing 8.2 points in the first half and the Titans could be brewing an upset here in Nissan come Sunday.