Ross Jacobs has been an FFM correspondent on NFL games and NFL Draft matters for the past few years. He is going to be writing up some of his notes on various games he’s watching/studying this year. Typically, he will have written/submitted his work before mine, so this is a look at the same game with different eyes...and you can compare and contrast or find some new takeaways.
2020 Week 2 Analysis: Jaguars @ Titans (By Ross Jacobs)
-The Titans took a quick lead after Jonnu Smith slipped out for a 62 yard pass and followed it up with a TD moments later. A Minshew tipped pass went straight to Tennessee for an interception, and the Titans capitalized to make it 14-0 right out of the gate. But the Jaguars showed resolve again and drove down for a score of their own to Tyler Eifert. Tennessee extended their lead to 14 with another touchdown to Jonnu, and Jacksonville got a field goal to cut it to 11. For some reason Jacksonville then got frisky and attempted an onside kick but didn't recover which gave Tennessee the ball on a short field. They only managed a field goal of their own to make it 24-10. The rest of the game proceeded the same way. Jacksonville would drive down the field, score, and then Tennessee would do the same and extend the lead again. Finally the Jaguars managed a couple of stops and tied the game at 30, but the Titans got the ball one last time and Gostkowski nailed a 49 yard field goal to win the game.
-I underestimated this Jaguars offense for sure. They definitely are not the most talented, but Gardner Minshew is making this thing work. He is just so darn efficient it's hard to stop him even with mediocre receiving talent other than DJ Chark.
-I do need to credit two offensive players that I previously discounted. James Robinson isn't an athletic marvel, but he is crafty and seems to have very good vision. He just finds ways to slither through the line for positive yards. Reminds me of a smaller Jordan Howard. The other player I have to give some props to is another rookie, Laviska Shenault. He ran the ball quite well here, and made several nice grabs in the passing game. I don't think he's a star, but he's for sure a useful player. All these guys are incredibly young, but they are getting the job done. Jacksonville has a nice core to build around here.
-The Jacksonville offensive line is also holding up much better than I would have assumed. I guess it's from getting so many guys back from injuries last year, but whatever it is it's working. They are pass protecting very well on the whole.
-The problem for Jacksonville is their defense is terrible, and the offense is eventually going to stumble a bit. When the offense falters the defense probably isn't going to be there to keep them in games. One quick note on CJ Henderson. I like him as much as anyone, and I think he's going to be a very good player, but he got his butt handed to him by Corey Davis. He had an ok week 1 in my opinion, but people were too focused on the one interception. He's not bad, but there's a lot of work still to be done.
-I'd be a touch nervous if I were a Titans fan. They are 2-0, but they nearly blew a game against the Broncos that they controlled for the most part, and then they nearly blew this one to the Jaguars after being handed some nice gifts. The offense is really churning, and I'm still having a hard time believing how good Tannehill looks, but I think the good times are about to come to a rough patch. Beating up on the Jaguars defense isn't hard. They suck. The Broncos are a bit tougher outfit though, and they managed to hold the Titans to multiple field goals which they missed. There are 3 easy games coming up in the Bengals, Vikings, and Bears, but they also have the Steelers, Texans, Bills, Ravens, and the Colts twice on deck. It's entirely possible Tennessee comes out of this stretch something like 7-4 or 6-5 though, but then they finish up with a fairly easy schedule. I'm guessing they finish something like 10-6 or 11-5, good but not great.
-Jacksonville is giving it their all for the moment, and have nearly come back from early deficits twice now. They could be 2-0 although they probably should be 0-2. I'm impressed with their fight, but this defense is just too awful, and I know Minshew can't carry them forever. They will likely finish around 4 or 5 wins tops.
-You could do worse than have Minshew as your QB2. He's been excellent so far and should be a nice bye week fill-in especially against weaker defenses. Same thing goes for Tannehill. Both guys are just playing very clean football right now.
-I guess stick with James Robinson while he's piling up carries. There's no threat on the roster right now. They seem to be all in on him. He's an RB1 until further notice.
-Told you not to panic on Jonnu. He's going to be somewhat erratic and will likely follow up this performance with a boring 4 for 54 day or something, but you have to just hold and hope for more targets.