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NFL Week 3 TNF pick: Titans beat distracted Jaguars by a field goal

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota passes against the

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota passes against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.  Photo Credit: AP/Wade Payne

TITANS (1-1) AT JAGUARS (0-2)
TV: NFL, 8:20 p.m.
Line: Titans by 2; O/U: 39

Tennessee just lost by two to Indianapolis. Jacksonville lost by one at Houston. Add it up and we should get a three-point difference in what are usually close AFC South matchups.

At first glance, I thought the spread was a bit too low for a Titans team that won by 30 at Cleveland in Week 1. But with the Jaguars desperate to avoid an 0-3 start, and at home on a short week (despite last Thursday night's game, hosts have traditionally been the right play in these quick turnarounds), it makes sense this is essentially a toss-up.

If rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, who has played well in place of Nick Foles, and the Jaguars win, I wouldn't be shocked. But I lean Titans because they're a bit more balanced, swept the season series last year and don't have any distractions like the Jaguars. It's never a good sign when your star defensive player and head coach have to be separated on the sideline. Now, Jalen Ramsey wants to be traded.

Marcus Mariota was held to 100 yards passing in a 9-6 win at Jacksonville last year, and then 162 in a 30-9 rout at home on TNF. That was The Derrick Henry Game, when he had 238 yards and four TDs, including a stiff-arm extravaganza on a record-tying 99-yard touchdown run. He should carry Tennessee again.

Minshew will be under pressure against a Titans pass rush led by Harold Landry and Cameron Wake. Former Patriots Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler give former Patriot Mike Vrabel a formidable secondary, too.

This figures to be low scoring, so the under could be a good play. In the end, the Titans will have enough to pull away and win by not one, not two but three points.

The pick: Titans


Staff Picks

Bob Glauber: Titans

Tom Rock: Jaguars

Al Iannazzone: Titans

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