*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
You saw this game…you know what happened. Derrick Henry defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars all by himself. An embarrassment on cable television that probably gave Tom Coughlin the final nails for the coffin needed to fire Doug Marrone at season end and run back down to the sideline to do what he’s wanted to do for two years…coach again. Great…we need more antiquated head coaches in the NFL. What players won’t want to rush to go play for the Cult of Personality and his 1970s offense, Tom Coughlin?
Tennessee got up 7-0, then it was 7-2 as the Jacksonville defense started to squeeze and then Derrick Henry broke a million tackles and housed a 99-yard TD run -- the Jags melted down from there because they aren’t built to play from behind. This was the Jags team I was betting against last week with Indy. I got the aberration week where the Jags shutout their opponent offsetting their nothing offense.
Jacksonville falls to 4-9…a complete embarrassment. Will no one question why Tom Coughlin gave Blake Bortles a big contract extension AND didn’t draft or sign a viable replacement QB option just in case they realized how bad Bortles sucks at any moment? Of course not! Come on down to the sidelines with that savvy personnel mind of yours!! If not for the two magical Super Bowl runs with inferior teams…the entirety of his Giants coaching tenure would go down as one of the most useless among coaches in football during that era. He’s like Jeff Fisher, but he won two Super Bowls…maybe a good coach a couple decades ago…but now? Poor Jacksonville.
Tennessee rises up to 7-5. A perplexing team that should’ve lost to the Jets the week prior and then goes and destroys Jacksonville on TNF. The Titans have a chance at 9-7. They have losses to many wild card hopefuls hanging over their heads…Indy, LAC, Baltimore, Miami. They have a very low shot at making the playoffs. They’d have to win out, but they are not the type of team that can do that, most likely. We see them 9-7 but losing out on tiebreakers…most likely to Indy.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- This was the Jacksonville-DST that I was fearing…the ‘quitters’, the ‘underperformers’ (WHY DIDN’T THEY UNDERPERFORM VS. INDY THE WEEK BEFORE? Stupid football gambling). The Jags defense has been overrated for fantasy all season and then just in time for the FF-playoffs…collapse.
This risk exists ahead in Weeks 15-16…poorly coached team with absolutely no offense to support the defense winds up with more games like this than not. There was hope the Jags would shutdown the Titans hard, and they were starting roll after the 1st-drive TD, but then Henry pulled that miracle 99-yarder and it fell apart from there. You’ll have the same worry with them vs. WSH next week and at MIA Week 16. Hope…but worry.
Rookie Ronnie Harrison (5 tackles) getting another start here may have been part of the issue. Not to blame it on one guy but, wow, the whole back 6-7 defenders couldn’t tackle in this game.
-- What you really want to know… Has Derrick Henry (17-238-4, 0-0-0/0) arrived? I would answer by saying…Derrick Henry is the ‘sell high’ of 2018, right here and right now.
I’m not anti-Henry, I’m more anti-the Titans offense…and I’ve seen this season with my own two eyes. 12 games prior in the season with no games over 60 yards rushing for Henry…and this game out of the blue. He’s rarely involved in the passing game. This is a major event on a solo night game in the fantasy playoff zone, so his perceptions/valuation leaps astronomically.
Remember when Jay Ajayi was nothing for about a year and a half, and then had those back-to-back 200+ yard games and became the ‘it’ RB for the new millennium? Yeah, that held up.
No doubt Henry will see more share now, and he’s a short TD guy for the team for sure (5 TDs in 6 games prior)…but we go through this with Henry as a quasi-lead RB…then Lewis…then Henry…then Lewis – now, it’s all about Henry, until he runs into a brick wall and then they go back looking for answers with Lewis.
Henry is an RB3 and will likely never carry a backfield unless the offense/blocking/play calling changes. Even then…he’s a nice part of a duo, not the next Ezekiel Elliott-type workhorse.
Great game though.
-- Henry’s performance in this game is something you’d more expect from Leonard Fournette (14-36-0, 2-5-0/3), but you got the normally weak Henry-like performance from Fournette.
Not all his fault. The O-Line is broken, and while he’d been fighting through that his first games back this season…he struggled here. Several holding calls brought back runs. Stuffed at the goal line multiple times. Eventually the game got out of hand so Fournette didn’t play much late.
The risk you take every week – the Jags are so bad that Fournette has limited upside. This was my fear going back weeks ago, and started selling him off, but he proved otherwise his first few games back…until this game brought it back to the forefront.
-- Another 2018 TE1 hopeful bites the dust… Jonnu Smith (0-0-0/0) done for the year. He wasn’t really getting enough work anyway.
Now, yes…Anthony Firkser (3-27-0/3) enters the equation as that #10-20 weekly TE you hope scores a TD to make him worth using. Firkser was getting better pass game attention anyway.
Dare I say MyCole Pruitt (1-9-0/1), who I really like/have liked, might get some extra looks?
-- Dede Westbrook (7-88-1/10) had a nice game…and if you think I’m buying into it, you’re nuts. I wouldn’t touch anything in this Jags passing game, not even as a guess. Plus, Westbrook is nothing special.
Taywan Taylor (6-59-0/7) I would trust more than Dede, now and forever, but I don’t trust TT in general because this Tennessee pass game is near as weak as the Jags…and usually they only have eyes for Corey Davis (2-21-0/3).
However, this is two weeks in-a-row that Taywan has looked really, really good…just coming back from missing a few weeks. He’s such a talent…being wasted.
-- Now, the Titans-DST…not as talented as the Jags, but a controlling/OK enough offense to support a solid defense PLUS that schedule, as we’ve been crowing about for weeks.
This game with Kessler. Check!
Eli/Lauletta next week.
Sanchez Week 16.
-- Playoff Notes for these two teams…
The Titans aren’t great on offense, but at NYG and v. WSH the next two weeks should be fine. The NYG game could be frigid and pass game trouble, and more of a set up for Hall of Famer Derrick Henry.
The Jags are just Fournette…vs. WSH and at MIA upcoming. Seemingly good games/matchups but that O-Line and Kessler not scaring anyone.
Snap Counts of Interest:
39 = Stocker
24 = Firkser
21 = Pruitt
17 = Jonnu
38 = Lewis
24 = Henry
65 = Westbrook
52 = Moncrief
51 = Cole