Tennessee (2-11) at Jacksonville (2-11),  8:25 p.m. (NFL Network) EverBank Field. A pair of last place AFC South teams open week 16 in the Sunshine State as Jacksonville hosts Tennessee a week before Christmas.

Both teams enter the Thursday night contest with losses under their belts and both are avoiding picking first in the upcoming draft. The Titans and Jaguars are a in log-jam for the first pick in the 2015 draft with Oakland and Tampa Bay in what some are calling the “Jake Mariota Stakes.” Tennessee let a 5-2 halftime lead against the Jets get away from them as GangGreen would go on to take a 16-11 win in Nashville. NeW York would go on to outscore the Titans in the second half 13-6 and held off a late Tennessee rally as the Titans defense tried to pull off another “Music City Miracle” before the Jets stopped them short. Tennessee was outrushed 114-89 but the Titans defense managed to sack rookie QB Gino Smith three times and turned the ball over once (fumble). Tennessee was 6-16 and 0-1 on third and fourth down tries, holding the ball for 29:57, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! on third and fourth downs were 2-13 and 1-1 and kept the ball for 30:03.

Jacksonville also lost last Sunday, a 20-12 loss at Baltimore. Jacksonville led 12-10 at the half, despite having Kamar Aiken return a blocked punt 11 yards for a TD to open the scoring. Baltimore would then go on to outscore the Jaguars 10-0 in the second half. Jacksonville was outrushed 93-82 and rookie QB Blake Bortles was sacked eight times and picked off once but the Jaguars had three chances to make the contest closer, stopped by an interception by Jeromy Miles. Baltimore would go on to run out the clock and take the win. The Jaguars on third and fourth down conversions were 5-18 and 1-3, holding the ball for 31:42 to Baltimore’s 28:18 (the Ravens were 4-12 on third down conversions).

Six of the past seven meetings between the Titans and Jaguars have been decided by seven points or fewer.

“Our team is a resilient group and we’ll be ready to go,” says Titans head coach Ken whisenhunt as he spoke to The Tennessean. “This is a chance to play on Thursday Night Football. I think anytime you’re playing in a game like that, you get energized. That’s actually a good thing, even though it’s a short week. We’ll work, and try to put our best effort out there.”

Tight end Delanie Walker had four receptions for 93 yards, bringing his season total to 793 receiving yards, surpassing Fran Wcheck (768 in 1998) for the most receiving yards in a season by a tight end in franchise history. Walker ranks second among AFC tight ends this season in receiving yards, and with seven yards this week, would have his first-career 800-yard season.

Tennessee wide receiver Nate Washington had a game-high 102 receiving yards on six catches (17.0 average yards per catch) against the Jets. Washington (16.6) ranks fifth in the AFC in average yards per catch this season.

“It wasn’t enough last week, so we go back to work,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley told the Florida Times-Union and WJXT-TV. “We have a short week with Thursday Night Football against Tennessee and we are going to challenge this team once again. We’ve been fighting and now the guys need to answer the call.”

Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles (Round 1, No. 3 overall) passed for 210 yards against Baltimore. His 2,676 passing yards rank second among rookies this season. With another 144 passing yards, Bortles would surpass Byron Leftwich (2,819 in 2003) for the most passing yards by a rookie in franchise history.

On defense, Jacksonville is tied for third in the AFC with 38 sacks. Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks leads the team and ranks second among AFC defensive tackles with a career-high 7.5 sacks this season.

The AFC defensive tackles with the most sacks this season:
PLAYER – TEAM (SACKS)
Marcell Dareus – Buffalo (10)
Sen’Derrick Marks – Jacksonville (7.5)
Sheldon Richardson – New York Jets (6.5)
Jurrell Casey – Tennessee (5)
Dontari Poe – Kansas City (5)
Kyle Williams – Buffalo (5)

They met in week six in the Music City and Tennessee took a 16-14 win over the Jaguars. The Titans led 10-3 after trailing 7-3 after the end of the first quarter. Although the Jaguars outrushed Tennessee 82-70, rookie QB Blake Bortles was sacked six times, while throwing an interception and TD, while Tennessee’s Charlie Whitehurst was sacked three times. The Titans won the contest but failed to cover the 5-point spread, winning by a safety and neither team reached the 43 1/2, combining for only 30 points. The Titans are favored again, this time by 3 points and the over/under is 40 1/2. This one might not be interesting but it might be fun to watch, even though both teams are not in the post-season hunt. After all, it’s the last Thursday night game of the 2014 campaign and the loser gets a lump of coal in their stocking and has an clear shot at picking first in the 2015 draft, while the winner gets bragging rights for an year. History has a way of repeating itself and it’s on the side of Tennesee. Titans win this one and covers the 3.

Broadcast Information – NFLN  at 8:25 p.m.: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Bob Wischusen, Brady Quinn, Chris Doering (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood 1), 93 (Tennessee), 92 (Jacksonville). XM: 88 (WestWood 1), 225 (Tennessee), 226 (Jacksonville.).

Injury Report

Tennessee

Jacksonville

Weather:

Broadcast information and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best and USA Today, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

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