We have another barnburner on Thursday Night Football this week. The 2-7 Tennessee Titans head to the 3-6 Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s a combined 27.8 winner percentage. Get excited! You know what? I am actually kinda interested in this game. I’m definitely more interested than I was two or three years ago. But first things first…
Survivor Pick of the Week:
SEATTLE over San Francisco
Last week was a rough week for survivor. My selection and most other people’s was Cincinnati, who came into a home game on Monday Night Football undefeated. Then primetime Andy Dalton showed up and the Bengals crapped the bed as a 10.5-point favorite to Houston. This is the same Texans team who gave up 44 points to the Dolphins only three weeks ago. What makes it worse is that Cincinnati let backup quarterback T.J. Yates come off the bench to beat them with the game-winning touchdown. That makes for a nice post-game shower cry.
But hey, some of you are still surviving and we’re doing our best to help. Seattle has owned San Francisco recently, winning six of the last seven games including one game in the playoffs. San Francisco’s offense has really crumbled against Seattle in the last three contests having only scored a total of 13 points. (Yes that’s a TOTAL OF 13 POINTS.) Seattle may not be last year’s team offensively or defensively, but this game against San Francisco will cure all that ails them.
Elsewhere Carolina is at home against Washington. It’s nice that Kirk Cousins is getting ESPN’s Danny Kanell to talk about him as a top-15 quarterback, but based on Kanell’s career I’m not sure he knows what a top-15 quarterback is. Cousins’ two recent wins have also come at home. Washington hasn’t won a game on the road this year. There’s always New England against Buffalo, but you still want to save the Patriots for when you’ll need them the most.
Two teams I don’t trust this week are Atlanta and Philadelphia. The Falcons just haven’t looked good offensively in recent weeks. Maybe the bye fixes that, but the Colts didn’t lay down in Hasselbeck’s previous two games and won’t in this one. The Eagles host the Buccaneers this week and Tampa Bay’s team has been super feisty recently, winning three of their last five games.
Thursday Night Pick:
JACKSONVILLE -3 over Tennessee
Jacksonville’s offense is fun to watch with Blake Bortles doing a good enough job getting the ball to the two Allens, Robinson and Hurns. T.J. Yeldon has some skills too. Jacksonville just really needs to invest in their 24th ranked offensive line according to Football Outsiders, so that these guys can really take flight in 2016. The defense definitely needs some work rushing the passer and in the secondary, but it does pretty well at stopping the run.
On the flip side you have #2 overall pick Marcus Mariota under center. Mariota’s road numbers this year are pretty phenomenal. He’s completed 68% of his passes with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. (h/t @ChrisWesseling) If only he had someone to throw to. Kendal Wright was ok, but not great before getting hurt. Justin Hunter has always sucked and just got hurt. It’s time to unleash Dorial Green-Beckham because why not? Delanie Walker can only do so much. The other exciting piece to the offense is rookie David Cobb, the running back from Minnesota, who will likely be active this week. Antonio Andrews is two yards and a cloud of dust. Let’s do better.
Like Jacksonville, Tennessee’s defense has some strengths. It’s 8th at pass-stopping efficiency according to Football Outsiders. Unfortunately Tennessee is now dealing with injuries to the secondary, which could limit how well they defend the two Allens this weekend. This will be a low scoring game (take the under), so a big passing play is likely to be the difference maker. All signs point to Jacksonville being able to make that happen. I wonder if the stadium pool is open for night games…
J.Camm’s pick: Jacksonville
Last Week: 7-7