NFL Week 16 Betting – Titans, Jaguars Square-Off in TNF Battle of Ineptitude
John BensonNo comments
Earlier this season, Thursday Night Football featured a string of bad games. They didn’t look like duds on the schedule, but they played out like duds.
In week 16, TNF will feature a game that looks like an absolute dud. But, who knows, maybe TNF is bizarro world this year, and this week’s battle between the Tennessee Titans (2-12, 1-6 away) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12, 2-5 home) will be the best of the bunch.
For the second week in a row, the Titans can do their franchise the most good by losing. With just two wins on the year, both Tennessee and Jacksonville are tied for the worst record in the NFL (with Oakland and Tampa Bay). Last week, the Titans were in a similar position as they squared off with the Jets. Tennessee lost, 16-11, allowing the Jets to catapult past them in the standings.
A lot of the problems for Tennessee this year are due to their quarterback woes. The season has been a quarterback killer for the Titans who lost starter Jake Locker early in the year and his rookie replacement, Zach Mettenberger, more recently. Last week, Locker was back under center briefly, but suffered the latest in his long list on injuries and is now done for the season.
Odds are Locker won’t be back with the team – and maybe the league – next year. Tennessee head coach Ken Whisenhunt feels for the former Washington Husky, who has suffered a lifetime’s worth of injuries in his short pro career. “To me, he’s a true pro. He’s a great teammate, works hard and you obviously feel badly for Jake just from the standpoint of having to have surgery and his season being over,” said the coach.
With Mettenberger and Locker both out, the Titans will be led by Charlie Whitehurst. The veteran signal caller was actually under center earlier this season when the Titans beat the Jaguars and (alarmingly for Titans fans) he went a respectable 17 of 28 for 233 yards.
Whisenhunt expressed confidence in the nine-year vet, “I feel good about Charlie and what he’s done. He started against Jacksonville the last time and played a pretty good game. He’s been a great support in the room, and we have confidence in him that when he plays he’s going to be successful.”
The Jaguars have their own QB problems to worry about. The problems aren’t injuries, though, they’re simply poor play. Blake Bortles, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, is taking his lumps in his rookie season, throwing 17 picks and surrendering 46 sacks.
“A lot of them are on me,” Bortles said of the 46 sacks, which are second-most in the NFL. “Some are on the offensive line. It’s on the whole offense. It’s football, so you better be used to getting hit.
“In college, you can run around and do more stuff, but in the NFL guys are a lot faster and stronger. So it’s a little more difficult. You want to be able to get rid of the ball and live another down, not lose five, ten yards on third down and create longer field-goal situations. Those are definitely things I’m working on.”
Due to the fact that Bortles is struggling and Tennessee is averaging a single point more per game this season, the Titans’ moneyline (+150) is the play.