Jacksonville Sports Day

Moeller: Henry, Tannehill to Test Jaguars Defense Sunday

The Jaguars do have a legitimate shot to defeat Tennessee Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.

They may also be on a virtual tightrope, hoping not to fall back into an abyss.

Tennessee’s defense proved they were suspect in their 27-24 overtime loss to the Jest last week, and they still may not have receivers Julio Jones and A.J. Brown back in the fold. The Titans opened as a 3 ½ point favorite, which should tell you something against a winless team.

Last week in their last-second loss to Cincinnati, Jags’ head coach Urban Meyer was heartfelt and credible when he described how “devastated” he was over his team’s loss before a national Thursday night audience.

Now, Meyer hopes his team isn’t devastated from his post-game partying antics in Ohio that has been well publicized.

Meyer apologized, but owner Shad Khan called his actions “inexcusable” and stated Meyer must regain his team’s “trust and respect. Wednesday afternoon, Meyer stated he didn;t consider resigning and heard Khan’s message “loud and clear.”

This wasn’t the best timing for Meyer’s actions considering his team did turn a positive corner and may have finally discovered all of the pieces of their offense.

It’s time to douse the flames. A team like this with a transitioning coach certainly doesn’t need it.

If the Jags’ don’t respond in a positive way, Meyer will have a very difficult time getting them back. Khan has Meyer on a short leash now, and he cut it loose later.

Trevor Lawrence showed a different aspect of his game as he didn’t force some throws, and decided to run instead. It was effective, and it helped open some lanes for running back James Robinson to show that he can be a 20- to 30-carry back per game.

Lawrence can take cue from the Jets’ Zach Wilson, who moved in and out of the pocket last week against the Titans and picked apart their secondary.

The offensive line gave Lawrence time, and the rookie had his most efficient day as a young pro.

The Jags’ run defense is in the top half of the league at 13th and they allow 106 per game. However, they have been stingy in their last three, giving up just 88 yards per contest.

They will be tested by Derrick Henry, who rambled for 157 yards on 33 carries without Jones and Brown in the lineup against the Jets, but he only found the end zone once.

Titans’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill, relying on typical third and fourth options, was sacked six times last week. The Jags have just one sack against Cincinnati.

If the Jags play like they did in the opening half against Cincinnati and can continue it, this will be an interesting game. If Tennessee doesn;t have Jones or Brown, it gets more dicier.

The real game, however, will be before Sunday. It is whether or not Meyer — who has made his share of questionable actions on the field — can gain the confidence back from his team on the rise from his actions off the field.

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