By Jeff Moeller, Florida Sports Wire
JACKSONVILLE - This was a game circled on the Titans’ calendar.
Tennessee would enter EverBank Stadium Sunday afternoon, and a presumed battle for the AFC South title would be on the line. The Jaguars also had a future date in Tennessee circled as well.
Since the start of the season, much has changed.
The 3-6 Titans aren’t considered to be division contenders any longer as Will Levis has taken over at quarterback, and Derrick Henry isn’t running over people like he used to do in the past.
This is a Tennessee team that has recognized that they need to rebuild, and they could lose head coach Mike Vrabel to the Patriots as Bill Belichick’s likely replacement for next season.
The Jaguars have the fifth-best run defense, allowing 86.4 yards per game.
So, is this a “gimme” for the Jags?
Hardly. At least, you can’t think that way before the kickoff. Their clunker last week against the 49ers has to be in the rear-view mirror. They need a quick and decisive start against the Titans.
However, the Jags do need a win badly. In reality, this game has regained its status as being circled on the calendar.
San Francisco walked into the Bank last Sunday, and they walked away with an impressive victory. It was one they needed. This was a game that was considered a difficult one before the season, but it had a different outlook when you’re 6-2.
This time around, the Jags need to get their vibe back. It starts with Trevor Lawrence and the defense.
Kansas City has regained its stature in the top AFC spot, but the next four spots are up for grabs.
Baltimore’s 8-3 record certainly has them in the discussion with Kansas City, but who falls in after them?
You have the Jaguars, Browns, and Dolphins all entering Sunday with 6-3 records. The Browns have lost DeShaun Watson, and the Dolphins have trouble competing and beating teams with winning records.
The 5-4 Bills are still banged up, and they host the Jets Sunday. Yet, Josh Allen appears that he has lost the same kind of touch he once shared with the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
Cincinnati was rounding back into Super Bowl contender shape, but they lost Joe Burrow for the year.
A loss to the Titans Sunday would suddenly put the Jags in a sticky situation with the division as the Texans are thriving with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, and the Colts are hanging around. The Jags need to regain their status physically as well as mentally.
Tennessee will come into the Bank loose and without anything to play for.
The Jaguars definitely do.