The NFL returns for Week 16 with an intriguing matchup. That might be only for bettors and fans of the AFC South. Marcus Mariota may also wonder if the loser has a great chance of drafting him as the top pick of the draft. Tennessee (2-12 SU, 3-10-1 ATS, 6-8 O/U) is having a very disappointing season, after losing eight straight games. Jacksonville (2-12 SU, 4-9-1 ATS, 7-7 O/U) is performing up to expectations. Tennessee travels to EverBank Field in Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars on Thursday at 8:25pmET.
Betting odds: Jacksonville opened a 3-point betting odds favorite and moved to 3.5. The total opened at 41 and moved to 40.5.
Tennessee has lost eight straight and they have a pretty good chance of gaining the number one draft choice. Last week, the Titans lost to the lowly New York Jets, 16-11 at home. In that game, Jake Locker injured his shoulder and third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst took over.
The Titans were already playing without rookie Zach Mettenberger (shoulder). Now Locker will miss the rest of the season after being placed on injured reserve. There’s no way they can rely on Locker, a former No. 8 pick in the 2011 draft, as their future quarterback, Mattenberger might be the guy and Whitehurst is a career backup for a reason. He completed just 10-of-24 for 203 yards against the Jets. Just in case he gets injured, the Titans brought in another journeyman in Jordan Palmer.
Whitehurst is 1-2 as a starter with a solid 89.1 passer rating. His lone win came against the Jaguars in October when he completed 17-of-28 for 233 yards. Tight end Delanie Walker leads the Titans with 793 receiving yards to rank fourth in the league at his position.
The Titans rank last in third-down percentage (29%), 31st in time of possession (27:03) and have gone two straight games without an offensive touchdown. They’ve averaged a lousy 307.9 yards per game and less than 14 points per game during their eight-game winning streak.
The running game has exactly helped out the passing game as they’ve amassed less than 65 yards per game in their losing streak. Defensively, they’ve allowed a league-worst 139.6 yards per game on the ground.
Rookie Blake Bortles has taken all sorts of punishment this season. Last week, he was sacked eight times against Baltimore, in a 20-12 loss. Bortles threw for 210 yards with an interception as the Jaguars were held to 248 total yards.
After the game, Bortles was forced to wear a walking boot due to a mild-foot sprain. In the first meeting against the Titans, Bortles threw for a career-high 336 yards and a touchdown in their 16-14 loss on the road. He was sacked six times in that game.
The offense has been just as dismal as the Titans, if not worse. The Jaguars rank 31st in the NFL while averaging 293.8 yards per game. Bortles has the league’s second-worst passer rating at 70.6, throwing 10 touchdown passes with 17 interceptions. Bortles has been sacked 41 times sine he’s taken over for Chad Henne.
The defense is ranked 28th in the league, as they allow 372.6 yards per game. That can be somewhat deceiving as the offense has put the Jaguars in bad field position most of the time.
This won’t be pretty. The Titans have lost six straight on the road and eight straight overall. On the road, they’ve been outscored by an average of 34 to 16 in those games. Yet, they are taking on a team that can’t move the ball. Should be fun.