Titans at Jaguars: 5 Things to Watch

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A primetime meeting at EverBank Field in Jacksonville gives the Titans (2-12) an opportunity to sweep the season series with the Jaguars (2-12) for the first time since 2008.

These two teams met in Week 6 in October at LP Field, with a Jackie Battle one-yard touchdown run and a Sammie Hill blocked field goal lifting the Titans 16-14.

Jacksonville's two wins came against the Browns in Week 7 and most recently against the Giants in Week 13. In that game against New York, Jacksonville came back from a 21-0 deficit to beat the Giants 25-24 on a Josh Scobee field goal with under a minute remaining.

The Titans are looking to end their current eight-game losing streak they've endured since the win against Jacksonville. Tennessee took a lead into the fourth quarter last Sunday against the Jets, but fell 16-11 after Chris Ivory's game-winning touchdown.

Charlie Whitehurst will be under center for the Titans with Jake Locker and Zach Mettenberger out with shoulder injuries. His last start came in a 19-17 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 7.

The Titans lead the all-time series 23-17 and won the last meeting at EverBank Field 20-16 in December of 2013.

Milestones on the Horizon

• Shonn Greene (3,988 career rushing yards) needs 12 rushing yards to reach 4,000 for his career.

• Avery Williamson needs four tackles to reach 100 tackles this season. With eight tackles, he would have more tackles than any other rookie in the "Titans era" (since 1999), surpassing Alterruan Verner (103 total tackles in 2010).

Five Things to Watch

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  1. Protect Charlie Whitehurst**

Tennessee has lost two quarterbacks in two weeks to shoulder injuries and can't afford to lose Whitehurst on Thursday. The Jaguars defense has 38 sacks on the season, tied for sixth in the NFL. That includes three sacks of Whitehurst in Week 6.

If Whitehurst were to go down, the Titans would turn to Jordan Palmer, who has only been with the team since Monday.

2. Bring the Heat

For as good as Jacksonville's pass rush has been, the offensive line's ability to protect Blake Bortles has been just the opposite. The Jaguars have allowed 62 sacks this season, easily the most in the NFL.

In Week 15 alone, Blake Bortles was sacked eight times by the Baltimore Ravens. The Titans defense ranks 13th with 34 sacks and should be able to get home on multiple occasions tonight.

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  1. Win the Turnover Battle**

Both teams have struggled in the turnover department in 2014. The Titans own a -9 turnover differential with the Jaguars just one better at -8. Blake Bortles' 17 interceptions are more than every quarterback not named Jay Cutler. Those picks came in just over 11 games of action.

4. Finish in the Fourth

Tennessee has struggled to close games when holding a lead in the second half. The Titans held fourth quarter leads against the Browns, Redskins, Steelers and Jets but didn't come away with a single win. It even took a blocked field goal to beat the Jaguars.

The Titans have put themselves in positions to win, now they must complete the performance for a full 60 minutes. That means converting on third downs, running the football and getting stops defensively.

5. Inactive List

Dexter McCluster has already been ruled out with a knee injury and Taylor Lewan is doubtful, but the Titans could see the return of Kendall Wright, Kamerion Wimbley and Byron Stingily, all of whom are all listed as questionable. Daimion Stafford is listed as probable and is a near lock to return after missing last week's game with a concussion.

The Tennessee Titans battle the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Week 6 matchup at LP Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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