News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 Preview: Jaguars at Titans

Dec 17, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) attempts a pass against the Houston Texans during the first half at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars visit the Tennessee Titans in Week 17 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.

PFFELO Ranking: 14

Coverage by: Aaron Resnick

Matchup: Jacksonville Jaguars offense vs. Tennessee Titans defense

  • QB Blake Bortles vs. S Kevin Byard – After the best three-week stretch of his career, Bortles came back to earth in Week 16. One reason could be the difference of how he played when given a clean pocket. In Weeks 13-15, Bortles' passer rating of 137.2 when kept clean was the best in the league. Working from a clean pocket this past Sunday, Bortles had a passer rating of 74.3. He threw all three of his interceptions from a clean pocket. Byard comes into this game with an overall grade of 89.1, which is fourth among safeties, and he has an 88.1 coverage grade that is also top-10 at the position.  Throwing in Byard's direction has been a boom-or-bust decision for opponents. While he has allowed six touchdowns in coverage, his six interceptions are tied for the most among safeties.  This is exactly the kind of matchup that can swing an entire game.

QB Blake Bortles Jacksonville Jaguars

  • WR Jaydon Mickens vs. CB Brice McCain – Mickens' path to the NFL is a feel-good story, but he has been much more than that the past few weeks when called upon. Since Week 15, Mickens has averaged  1.78 yards per route run in the slot, which ranks 11th among qualifying wideout. He is also tied for first with two touchdowns in said span. Over that same two weeks, McCain was the Titans' primary slot corner and allowed 0.80 yards per coverage snap. Yet, opponents have had success when targeting him in coverage the past two games, as he has given up a 124.3 passer rating in his last two contests. With the Jaguars' receiving corps continuing to be impacted by injuries, it wouldn't be surprising if Mickens is targeted with some frequency in an appealing matchup.
  • T Jermey Parnell vs. Edge Derrick Morgan – In terms of pass protection, Parnell has served as a reliable option for the Jaguars. Despite some struggles last Sunday, his pass-blocking efficiency of 95.1 for the season is 33rd among tackles, and he has yet to allow a sack on the year.  Even after missing a few games due to injury, Morgan continued his recent hot stretch with seven total pressures this past Sunday. Since Week 12, Morgan's pass-rush productivity of 17.7 ranks second among edge rushers. He has 20 total pressures over his last 89 pass-rush snaps. In that time, all of Morgan's pass-rush snaps have come from the left side, which means he's going against Parnell all afternoon if that trend holds.

PFFELO Ranking: 17

Coverage by: Sam McGaw

Matchup: Tennessee Titans offense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars defense

RB Derrick Henry Tennessee Titans

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