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Let’s answer some questions as we head into our Week 2 matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans!
Today we’re talking about slowing down Derrick Henry, Jay Gruden’s offensive game plan, and what James Robinson’s impact might be on Sunday.
Jason from Fort Myers, FL
Q: Will we be able to slow down Derrick Henry with what you saw from the defense in Week 1?
A: The Jaguars have to set the edges and force Henry between the tackles. It’s the only way to stop him from reeling off big gains and absolutely demoralizing us. I thought Terry Lambert had a good point about Henry’s historically good games against the Jaguars in this week’s Q&A — Henry has been lucky to face us when we’ve been particularly unmotivated to win the game. Those are the performances you remember. The 99-yarder on national television, the loss at the beginning of 2017, and the loss last year on the road immediately come to mind. You don’t remember the 44-yard effort early last season, do you? No, because that team was motivated to win and quarterbacked by someone who was a natural thrower of the football. I don’t think Henry will have a monster game and rip off a 99-yard play, but I also don’t think we’re gonna hold him to less than 50 yards either. I’m calling a DaVon Hamilton breakout game. Let’s go there.
Nate from Colchester, CT
Q: Without Adoree’ Jackson how beatable is the Titans secondary for this receivers group?
A: They still have a decent enough secondary to give us problems if their defensive line messes with Gardner Minshew. I’ll tell you the big injury — A.J. Brown. That’s huge.
Nick from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Any thoughts on how Jay Gruden will switch up of the offensive game plan this week? Curious to see if they will attempt more misdirections and jet sweeps, especially with Laviska Shenault.
A: I think you’ll still see those because they capitalize on what Shenault does best and keep that defensive line off balance. I think Chris Thompson is more involved in the passing game than he was last week. I also think they use James Robinson more in the second half. The Titans gave up 4.4 yards per carry on 23 carries by running backs last week.
Dre from North Haven, CT
Q: Do you honestly believe the Jaguars will beat the Titans this Sunday? Simple yes or no.
Austin from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Is Doug Marrone a good coach?
A: He’s not a bad coach.
Timmy from Savannah, GA
Q: I’m excited to see how they’ll play coming from a victory in Week 1, but the Titans game is a projected loss. What are your realistic expectations on how the game will be?
A: I expect to lose by less than a touchdown and I expect Gardner Minshew to play good football with zero turnovers. I expect the game to never get out of hand and I expect for us to come away from the game confident we will beat the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals.
Keko from Indiantown, FL
Q: Will we get a game on Sunday Night Football?
A: I’m looking at Week 14 with our rematch against the Tennessee Titans. That’s as good a chance as any, but we have to be in the division race and either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Buffalo Bills (who are scheduled to play that night) have to collapse.
Josh from Dayton, OH
Q: Can we come out of this game without giving Derrick Henry another run for his highlight reel?
A: That’s another fair expectation.
Dennis from Philadelphia, PA
Q: Do you think the Jaguars will keep a spy on Ryan Tannehill to stop him from running? He was very good against us last year with his legs.
A: I think last year’s game against Tennessee was a big reason this team felt they needed to go out and get Joe Schobert. Myles Jack looked good last week and that’s because Schobert in the middle allows him to play outside and in the flat. I think with Myles moved out of the middle, you’ll see him contain Tannehill a bit better.
Steve from Melbourne, FL
Q: Do you think James Robinson will have a big impactful game this Sunday?
A: I do, Steve, but not in the box score. I think anywhere close to 100 total yards on the ground and in the air will be a good showing for him. But look for him to get a few more yards on first down than we’re used to, setting up shorter second downs. Look for third downs to need only one or two yards instead of five or six — and helping increase our conversion percentage. And look for his first NFL touchdown. I’m calling it. Let’s go, you fighting Redbirds.
Big On Blake from Philadelphia, PA
Q: I’m trying to keep track, but it’s getting harder. Just how many starters this weekend were undrafted free agents? The impact they all had Week 1 was very impressive. Do you think they can maintain?
A: Let’s see...
On offense I’ve got Andrew Norwell, Keelan Cole, James Robinson, Tyler Shatley, and Dare Ogunbowale.
On defense I’ve got Tre Herndon, Abry Jones, Andrew Wingard, Brandon Watson, and Luq Barcoo.
And of course Josh Lambo and Ross Matiscik on special teams.
That’s 12 players on the 53-man roster that went undrafted.
As far as maintaining the level of play, I think so. Most of these undrafted guys aren’t rookies. Some are longtime veterans. I don’t think this is the statistic that says whether a team can or can’t maintain. For that, I think you need to look at average age. The team had 16 rookies on their Week 1 roster. That’s probably higher than any other Week 1 roster this team has ever put out. It all depends on coaching from there. I don’t have an answer other than... we’ll see.