Everything is on the line on Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium. The Titans would clinch a playoff spot with a win against the Jaguars, who have already clinched the AFC South crown. Jacksonville doesn’t have anything to play for, so the common thought here is that they will be resting some starters.
The line coming out of Vegas reflects that. The Titans have opened as six point favorites, according to Westgate.
Titans are 6-point favorites at home against the Jaguars Sunday, per Westgate Las Vegas. It's clear how Vegas feels about the likelihood the Jags will play their starters. https://t.co/EYW6QHbk8s— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) December 26, 2017
So this is a pretty fascinating line here. It’s not like the Jaguars are sitting Tom Brady or Peyton Manning here. Their success this year has largely been based off of the play of their defense. Blake Bortles has shined in spots, but how different would their offense be going to Chad Henne?
Vegas must be thinking that the Jaguars are going to rest several starters from that defense, along with some offensive starters. Maybe Leonard Fournette sits, who has been banged up this year. Maybe some starters on the offensive line sit.
We’ve seen the Titans struggle with bad teams, so I’d caution counting this as an automatic victory — even with some Jacksonville starters potentially sitting. Still though, this is a game the Titans should absolutely find a way to win.
A victory would (more than likely) set up a third meeting this season between Jacksonville and Tennessee in the wildcard round. A Bengals’ win over the Ravens could send the Titans to Kansas City.
So after all this — struggling to beat the Colts and Texans, losing three straight games to go from 8-4 to 8-7 — the Titans appear to have a golden ticket for one last shot at the playoffs this year.
We’ll see if they get it done on Sunday.