JACKSONVILLE – Here are ten things the Jacksonville Jaguars must do to beat the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field in Jacksonville Sunday
1. Forget what “isn’t.” The Jaguars are no longer in playoff contention. And their three-game winning streak is over. Those are what “isn’t” for this team. But you know what? The playoffs weren’t happening anyway, and around EverBank Field, the focus wasn’t all that much on the streak in recent weeks. This season remains about improving and laying a foundation. Keep doing it.
2. Hold on to the ball. This is about more than
3. Let Scobee kick. OK, you’d rather have touchdowns. In fact, you’d *much* rather have touchdowns. But
4. Stop the run. The Jaguars have improved in this area dramatically since the bye, but Bradley said this week the Jaguars actually have slipped a bit here in recent weeks. A few too many games with the average yards per carry for the opponent a little too high. That means the Jaguars are giving up more explosive runs than they were in November. That means more manageable down-and-distance situations for the opponent and that means less pass-rushing opportunities. That really hurts a team already struggling to get pass rush.
6. Close it out at the ‘Bank. The Jaguars are 1-6 at home this season, including 1-5 at EverBank. But the play has been better at home in the second half of the season than the first, and the fans have responded. The fans are getting behind this team. They sense football’s getting fun again. Give the home crowd a final chance to cheer.
7. Force turnovers. The Jaguars lost the turnover battle against Buffalo. They’re better as a team than they were before the bye, but they’re not good enough to win without forcing turnovers.
8. Hit Chris Johnson. Hard. Johnson, the Titans’ running back, isn’t having his best season. Not even close. But he’s still dangerous, and the best way to keep him from being dangerous is to hit him hard. Early and often. Do that, and there’s a significantly less chance of him having a big game. Don’t do that and he can score from anywhere.
9. Run. It’s starting to be clear this is no longer the problem it was early in the season. When the Jaguars struggled to run in two consecutive games out of the bye, Bradley publicly said the team had to find some way, somehow to get that fixed. Well, the Jaguars did. The Jaguars have rushed for 100 or more yards in four consecutive games, and last week reserve running back
10. Get tricky with it. The Jaguars had a couple of “creative” plays dialed up Sunday against the Bills. They didn’t quite get into situations to use them. That doesn’t mean offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch won’t keep trying. He wants “unusual,” bold plays as part of the offense and so does Bradley. Some weeks they work and some weeks they won’t. They’ve worked more often than not for the Jaguars this season. Dial one up again this week. And make sure the call goes through.