NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** The Titans face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Here's a look at six things to watch:
Henry leads the Titans in rushing yards, and the Heisman Trophy winner has clearly been in the spotlight before. But with DeMarco Murray officially out for Sunday's game with an injured knee, Henry is now the guy for the first time in the NFL. Henry is expected to carry the load in the running game this weekend, although David Fluellen could also see action. In the past three meetings against AFC South opponents, Henry has 319 rush yards (106.3 per game) and two touchdowns.
The Titans quarterback will be playing in the first Week 17 game of his three-year career, and his biggest game as a pro. Mariota is coming off a solid performance against the Rams, when he threw for 275 yards. He admitted this week he would've liked to have played better during the course of the 2017 season, but he has a chance to change the conversation if he can guide the Titans to a win on Sunday.
Cornerback Logan Ryan missed last week's game with an ankle injury, and the Titans were forced to play without two of their top three corners against the Rams, as LeShaun Sims was played on Injured Reserve following an injury in practice leading up to the game. As a result, Tye Smith stepped in and played 69 plays. So how will things look at cornerback this week against the Jaguars? Well, Ryan didn't practice all week, and is listed as questionable on the Injury Report. So stay tuned.
It's been a while since the Titans have played a game with so much importance at Nissan Stadium. I'll take it all the way back to the 2008 season, and the team's last playoff game, against the Ravens. The Titans are in a win-and-in scenario against the Jaguars. Players have encouraged fans to come out and get loud, and there's been a ton of buzz on social media this week. Heck, I even saw a banner flying from a plane on Friday with the "Win and We're In" message attached to it. I'm expecting a riled up crowd on a cold day in Nashville.
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone has been pretty straightforward when asked about his team's approach on Sunday. He said the Jaguars are playing to win, and any player cleared by the team's medical staff will play. With a playoff spot and the No.3 seed already wrapped up, at least some national observers – and reporters in Jacksonville – have speculated the Jaguars could take a different approach. The Titans are preparing to get the Jaguars at full strength.
Corey Davis impact
Titans receiver Corey Davis is coming off his best game as a pro – he caught six passes for 91 yards, and he looked as comfortable and confident as he had all season. Davis is getting into a comfort zone at the end of his rookie season, and his performance against the Rams could be a sign of things to come. With Davis emerging as a threat, things should also open up for fellow receivers Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker in the passing game as well.
Titans players take the field for Friday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)