NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** The Titans face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday at Everbank Field.
Here's a look at six things to watch:
Mariota's comfort level
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has faced the Jaguars more than any other team. This will be game No.4 against the Jaguars for Mariota, and he's had success against them. Mariota has five touchdown passes and one interception with a 132.6 rating, along with 123 rushing yards with a rushing touchdown in the last two games vs. the Jaguars. He was 18-of-22 (81.8 pct.) for 270 yards with 2 TDs and a 148.1 rating vs. the Jaguars back on October 27. The Titans hope he'll crank it up again.
Running back Derrick Henry was a terror on the football field at Yulee High, which is located just outside of Jacksonville, en route to Amelia Island. He grew up admiring former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. Henry returns home to play for the first time Saturday. It will be a special moment. Henry is coming off an impressive performance against the Chiefs, when he ran for 58 yards and two touchdowns. He has three touchdowns in the team's last three games.
The Titans have proven to be a resilient team, and that's a positive. They rallied from a 9-0 deficit to win in Detroit, a 14-0 deficit to win in Kansas City, and after slow starts in Indianapolis, San Diego and Houston they got off the mat and nearly pulled off wins. The Titans need to jump out to a lead in this one, and keep the Jaguars and their fans from getting riled up in a game that doesn't have nearly as much meaning as it does to the Titans.
Rookie cornerback LeShaun Sims has stepped up and played especially well in the past two weeks. The entire secondary, in fact, has risen to the occasions in wins over the Broncos and Chiefs. They'll need to keep it going against the Jaguars. In addition to Sims, cornerbacks Valentino Blake and Brice McCain will also need to stand tall against Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, who has thrown for 3,279 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Run the ball**
The Titans racked up 214 yards on the ground in the October 27 meeting against the Jaguars. The Titans jumped out to a 27-0 lead by halftime in that contest. DeMarco Murray led the way with 123 yards in that game, and Henry added 60 more. The Titans need to continue to pound the football against the Jaguars, just like they've done in recent wins.
The Jaguars are ranked 27th in the NFL in scoring. They'll try and get points any way possible in this one. The Titans managed to keep Kansas City's Tyreek Hill from hurting them in the return game, although he busted a big play on offense. The Jaguars have a speedster themselves in returner Marqise Lee, and he busted a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown last week against the Texans. The Titans need to keep Lee in check on Saturday.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Jacksonville Jaguars.