Another Thursday, another ugly night of NFL football. The Jaguars hosted the Titans in a messy battle of AFC South foes. The Jags went three-and-out on their opening possession but then got a gift as Adoree’ Jackson mishandled the punt. After the Jags recovered, rookie QB Gardner Minshew had the ball inside the 10-yard line. It only took him one play to find TE James O’Shaughnessy for the seven-yard score. Jacksonville had a more traditional drive on their next possession, but it ended in a similar fashion as Minshew hit the red hot second-year WR D.J. Chark for a 22-yard score. That’s three straight games with a touchdown for Chark, who finished with 76 yards on four receptions. The remainder of the first half was filled with penalty flags and negative rushing plays as the Jags lead 14-0 at the break.
It only got better in the second half. On the opening possession of the third quarter, the Titans put together their best drive of the night only to go for it on fourth down and bypass the field goal opportunity. After Jacksonville added a three-pointer of their own to pad the lead, the Titans somehow had an 11-play, 6:43 drive that resulted in 38 yards and a punt. Ugh.
The Titans did finally find the end zone in the final period as QB Marcus Mariota connected with WR Corey Davis on consecutive plays resulting in 25 yards and a trip to the red zone. RB Derrick Henry finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown. That brought us to the final score of 20-7, although the Jaguars had one more chance for a score late in the fourth. RB Leonard Fournette had 11 carries for -8 yards late in the final quarter before he spun away from a Titans defender and broke free for a nice 69-yard run. He was tackled in the red zone and the team ultimately went for it on fourth down and were unsuccessful.
Flashy QB Minshew passed for 204 yards and two scores, adding 18 rushing yards. After his late long run, Fournette totaled 66 rushing yards and also caught six passes for 26 yards. His fantasy stat line is not a good representation of how poorly he played all night. WR Dede Westbrook also struggled, dropping three passes and finishing with five grabs for 46 yards in what could’ve been a huge game for the team’s top target. WR Chris Conley suffered a first-half injury and missed some time but was able to return to the game in the second half. He totaled 30 yards on two receptions.
Mariota played poorly all game, ending drive after drive with a sack. The Jags got to Mariota nine times for sacks in the game, once causing a fumble. Playing in comeback mode all game, Mariota did finish with over 300 passing yards but no passing scores. His 34 rushing yards boosted his fantasy production. Henry’s game wasn’t as bad as Fournette’s, but he was limited to 44 yards on 17 carries. Slot WR Adam Humphries led the way with 93 yards on six catches, while Davis totaled 44 yards on three grabs. TE Delanie Walker caught six passes, good for 59 yards.
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Rosen Gets the Call
After two weeks and two thorough embarrassments in which the team was able to score only 10 total points, the Dolphins have benched veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of second-year QB Josh Rosen. The announcement was made late Thursday afternoon but became clear after the two shared first-team snaps during practice. The Dolphins made the decision to move on from longtime starter Ryan Tannehill and signed Fitzpatrick in March after his standout season in Tampa. Even after acquiring Fitzpatrick, the team pursued and traded for first-round bust Rosen on NFL Draft weekend. Throughout training camp and the preseason, Fitzpatrick reportedly remained in the lead position and ultimately earned the Week One starting nod. In both blowout losses to the Ravens and Patriots, Fitzpatrick was relieved by Rosen in mop-up duty. Rosen and the Dolphins now visit the Cowboys this week before hosting the Chargers. The Dolphins won’t be favored in any game this season. Considering the injuries around the league, the Dolphins could find a trade market for Fitzpatrick or could simply do right by the veteran and release him.
Chiefs RB Situation
With both veteran RBs Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy nursing injuries after last week’s easy win, there is growing concern about the Chiefs backfield situation for the team’s Week Three game against the Ravens. Williams came out of Week Two with a knee issue, while McCoy left the game early after injuring his ankle. Rookie RB Darwin Thompson finished up the game but he managed just 23 total yards on 14 touches. McCoy needed an MRI early in the week but got good news as there was no serious damage. Both backs missed Wednesday’s practice while McCoy was able to get in some limited work yesterday. Not only did Williams not practice, but he was reportedly spotted limping.
With a huge AFC showdown against the red hot Ravens and QB Lamar Jackson, the Chiefs will need all the weapons they can get. McCoy is trending towards being active and Thompson should see an increased workload as well. Big back Darrel Williams should also have a role.
Saints WR Tre’Quan Smith (ankle) missed another practice and is not expected to play against Seattle this weekend. … WR Keenan Allen (knee) was again limited at practice but is expected to go in Week Two. … Steelers RB James Conner (knee) got in a full practice and should be good to go…RB Josh Jacobs (hip) was limited at Raiders practice yesterday but should still suit up for Week Three. … Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (clavicle) is now out of his sling and reportedly ahead of schedule. … Dolphins WR Albert Wilson (calf) is doubtful for Week Three. … Raiders WR Tyrell Williams (hip) practiced Thursday and is expected to play this week. … Bills TE Tyler Kroft, who started practicing earlier this week, left practice with an ankle injury. There have been no official reports but there are some concerns the injury will cost Kroft more game action. He has yet to play this season. … Giants WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) returned to a full practice and has cleared protocol. He should play this week. … Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (calf) remained sidelined at practice after leaving the Week Two game early. … Colts RB Marlon Mack (calf) missed Thursday’s practice. This will be one to watch in today’s practice. … Still no practice for Redskins TE Jordan Reed, who is recovering from yet another concussion. … Jaguars LB Myles Jack left the Thursday night game with a concussion.