Week 14 pre­views, pre­dic­tions, odds

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Crissy Froyd

Thurs­day, 7:20 p.m. CT, Nis­san Sta­dium, Nashville, Tenn. TV: Fox Danny Sheri­dan’s line: Ti­tans by 4 ⁄2 1 Ti­tans’ keys to vic­tory: QB Mar­cus Mar­i­ota will need to make big plays on offense. For that to hap­pen, the offen­sive line will need to be much bet­ter than it has been the past two games, when it al­lowed Mar­i­ota to be sacked a to­tal of 11 times. The Ti­tans’ de­fense has al­lowed 437 rush­ing yards the past two games and will need to tighten that. It also needs to se­cure turnovers be­cause this game will be close.

Jaguars’ keys to vic­tory: QB Cody Kessler started in place of Blake Bor­tles, and though he failed to get a touch­down, he picked up the first win of his ca­reer. He will need to avoid mis­takes again, and the offen­sive line will need to keep pres­sure off him. Jack­sonville’s de­fense is com­ing off a shutout of the Colts. The Ti­tans strug­gle when the op­po­nent kills their mo­men­tum, so the Jaguars’ de­fense must make that a pri­or­ity.

Matchup to watch: Ti­tans CB Adoree Jack­son vs. Jaguars WR T.J. Yel­don. Yel­don is the Ti­tans’ most re­li­able tar­get on offense and will get a lot of looks from Kessler. Jack­son (two in­ter­cep­tions, six passes de­fensed and 102 tack­les) will be tasked with pre­vent­ing Yel­don from ig­nit­ing a spark on of­fense.

Who wins? The Ti­tans ap­pear to be the bet­ter team, but they needed a big rally last week­end to de­feat the 3-9 Jets, one of the worst teams in the league. The Jaguars up­set the Colts at home in their last game. The Ti­tans, though, still have a slight edge and will play well in the divi­sional matchup on their home turf.

Ti­tans, 13-10

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