The 2-2 Tennessee Titans will look to get their season back on track in Week 5 when they meet the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday. The Titans are reeling after they suffered a shockingly disappointing overtime loss against the previously winless New York Jets a week ago. The 0-4 Jaguars would typically represent a “get-right” matchup in this spot, but Tennessee can hardly afford to take anyone lightly after last weekend’s debacle. Tennessee surely understands the magnitude of this upcoming contest and what it means to a shell-shocked fan base. Back-to-back losses to the Jets and Jaguars would be beyond soul-crushing for a team that possesses Super Bowl aspirations in 2021.
Head coach Mike Vrabel delivered a welcomed piece of news on Friday afternoon when he announced that superstar wide receiver A.J. Brown is expected to make his triumphant return to Tennessee’s lineup, and we're expecting Brown to put forth his first big performance of the young season.
Tennessee played without both Brown and Julio Jones in Week 4, and their absences were immeasurable as it forced the Titans to start Josh Reynolds and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine in two-receiver sets. Jones will miss his second straight game this weekend, but Brown's return should provide Tennessee's offense with a much-needed boost. The Titans traded for Jones in the offseason, pairing him with Brown to form one of the league’s scariest one-two punches at the receiver position, but injury has slowed down both playmakers through the first quarter of the season.
Brown entered the 2021 campaign with sky-high expectations after recording 70 receptions for 1,075 yards and an astounding 11 touchdowns in just 14 games. It was Brown's second straight 1,000-yard season. Unfortunately, inconsistent performances and a hamstring injury have prevented Brown from making his desired impact in his third campaign.
The former Ole Miss standout has surprisingly failed to reach the 50-receiving-yard mark in a single game this season. Brown uncharacteristically struggled with drops against Seattle in Week 2. Brown would then pull up clutching the back of his leg on a Ryan Tannehill deep ball attempt in the first quarter of Tennessee's Week 3 win over Indianapolis. He was quickly diagnosed with a hamstring ailment and hasn’t taken the field since.
Brown reportedly stacked three good days of practice this week, an encouraging sign for a star receiver looking to quickly recapture the magic. Jacksonville's struggling defense represents the ideal opponent for Brown to get his campaign on track. The Jaguars possess a woeful secondary which is allowing a staggering 312.3 passing yards per game through the air. Offenses are scoring to the tune of 28.8 points per contest against Jacksonville’s bottom-five defense, and although we haven't quite seen it yet in 2021, Tennessee has the horses on offense to take full advantage of Jacksonville’s porous defense.
With Jones continuing to nurse his own hamstring injury on the sidelines, and the Titans fielding little else in the way of NFL-worthy talent at the receiver position, there should be plenty of targets available for Brown in what appears to be a mouth-watering matchup and opportunity.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022