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The Titans had a tough outing in their season opener against the Oakland Raiders. Mike Mularkey opted for his trademark conservative approach and the Titans lost 26-16. The Titans came into this season as the darling team and now they are in a 0-1 hole and are staring at a tough challenge in week two. Mariota looked good registering 256 yards and rushing for a 52-yard touchdown but the rest of the offense felt inert. Granted, the Raiders have a much-improved defense, but it is baffling that with all of the offensive upgrades they weren’t able to move the ball on Oakland. It doesn’t get any easier in week two as the Titans play the Jacksonville Jaguars who have a much better defense, and looked dominant in week one.

The Jaguars are a team that is the butt of many jokes and haven’t been over .500 since 2011 but this isn’t the same Jaguars. Yes, their offense will always be limited by the fact that they have Blake Bortles behind center but their defense took a major leap.

Over the last two seasons the Jaguars have spent the GDP of a small country on their defense but still, it was shocking at how they demolished the Texans. Yes, Houston started Tom Savage for the majority of that game but still, this unit looks punishing. Calais Campbell had four sacks alone. Jaylen Ramsey continues to get better as a shutdown corner and A.J. Bouye along with Barry Church make moving the ball through the air a tough ask.

The Jaguars are vulnerable on offense and most of their success will be determined by how many yards Leonard Fournettte can get. The Titans should be able to keep the score low but if Mike Mularkey can’t find a way to get receivers open for Mariota it’ll be a long day.

DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry will struggle to move the ball on the Jaguars front seven. Once again, Marcus Mariota is in a position where he needs to carry the team. Titans fans probably thought that Jacksonville wouldn’t be much competition but now they could end their season. If the Titans fall to 0-2 it will be difficult to make a playoff run though not impossible.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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