SACKSONVILLE FL – Two first quarter touchdowns thrown by Jaguars folk hero Gardner Minshew proved to be too much for the Titans to overcome on Thursday Night Football. Mishews heroics combined with a suffocating performance from the Jaguars defense won the day. The Jaguars defensive line destroyed the Titans, sacking Mariota nine times on the night. The Destroyer in Chief Calais Campbell had three sacks. Alongside him first round pick Josh Allen had two in what was a top class performance.
During their 2017 run to the AFC Championship game, Campbell popularised the phrase ‘Sacksonville’. For the first time since that season, it felt as though this team was back to its best. The mismatches between Campbells unit and a Titans offensive line that looks lost without left tackle Taylor Lewan defined the evening. If the Jaguars defensive line can repeat this performance regularly this season, they will make the playoffs.
Contrasting Quarterback Fortunes
Sixth round rookie Mishew has become a folk hero, with his well kept moustache and crazy stretching routine. He has become a fan favourite. His performances so far this season have been incredibly efficient for a rookie of his calibre. The NFL world will rejoice at him getting his first win. The lad seems to win over people everywhere he goes.
Conversely, fortunes are reversed for Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. In a key season for the former Oregon signal caller, Mariota hasn’t hit his stride yet. With four touchdowns in three games, Mariota isn’t taking chances with his throws. The creator that transformed college football with his big play ability seems to be gone. A benching in favour of former Dolphins signal caller Ryan Tannehill seems to be coming soon.
A Division for the Taking
All four teams will feel they have what it takes to win the AFC South. As yet, no team has put out a statement performance that would have them enshrined as favourites. If the Jaguars can keep up the ‘Sacksonville’ level of performance, they will be the team to beat. However the Titans will feel better about their chances once Taylor Lewan returns from suspension. Meanwhile the other two teams in this division, the Colts and the Texans have talented by flawed rosters that will give them hope at a run at the division crown.
This division is up for grabs, seeing which team(s) get to the playoffs will be fascinating.
Image – Jaguars.com