The last time these two teams met Trevor Lawrence dropped back to pass 42 times and wasn’t sacked once. You have probably heard that stat about 42 times this week in the lead-up to the Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars AFC South title game. Lawrence threw for 368 yards and 3 touchdowns in that game. It was the biggest game of his career.
If the Titans don’t pressure Lawrence tomorrow night they will most likely lose the game. There are a couple of differences between this game and the last. One is that the Jaguars will be without LT Cam Robinson - who was playing really well this season. He had an 84.9 pass-blocking grade in the first game against the Titans per PFF. To put that in perspective, all of Dennis Daley’s grades this year don’t add up to 84.9.*
The other big difference is that the Titans will have Denico Autry in this game. The Titans' pass rush was really good before Autry went down and really struggled without him. He played well in his return against the Houston Texans and then was held out last week against the Dallas Cowboys. He should be as healthy for this one as was before the injury.
Jeffery Simmons also got a week off to rest the ankle injury that he has been playing with for most of the season. A healthy Autry and Simmons will provide a big boost for the pass rush. They should also be able to elevate the other guys around them who have played really well at times. Guys like Teair Tart, DeMarcus Walker, Mario Edwards, Jr., and Rashaad Weaver have made some plays this season. They will need to step up here as well.
The Titans are 6.5-point underdogs in this one. They can win the game outright if they can pressure Lawrence. They need to record some sacks but making Lawrence uncomfortable is the real key. Force him off his spot. Force him to speed up his decisions. That can lead to some bad decisions and maybe a turnover or two.