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What to watch for in Titans-Jaguars on 'TNF'

The Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars will both pursue their third win of the year on Thursday night at EverBank Field. Here's what to watch for:

  1. This game does, in fact, have tangible meaning. The winner rises out of the AFC South basement while the loser sits in prime position for the top overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
  1. It's not a favorable matchup for the Titans, set to wheel out journeyman passer Charlie Whitehurst after burning through Jake Locker and Zach Mettenberger under center. Tennessee's struggles on offense are widespread: They're dead last in the league in third-down conversions (29.1 percent) with the fewest drives of 10-plus plays (13) in the NFL. This team can't hit on big plays, can't sustain drives and could find itself in trouble against Jacksonville's pass rush, which ranks sixth in the league with 38 sacks.
  1. It hasn't been much better for Jacksonville's attack, which has allowed a league-leading 62 sacks this season. Blake Bortles will play, despite his questionable status due to a mid-foot sprain. With the rookie under center, Tennessee has a chance for turnovers against a passer responsible for 18 giveaways this season, third most in the NFL. Bortles has thrown a pick in every game this season except for his Week 13 triumph over the New York Giants.
  1. A pair of young Jaguars defenders to keep an eye on: defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks and linebacker Telvin Smith. They're both integral to Jacksonville's young pass rush, with the fifth-rounder Smith emerging as one of the draft's true value picks.
  1. Bishop Sankey is on our radar: The Titans rookie was advertised as an every-down back, but Tennessee has looked more to Dexter McCluster on passing downs. With McCluster ruled out with a knee injury, Thursday night would be an ideal time for the Titans to help Sankey crack his season-high output through the air of four catches for 25 yards against the Texans in Week 8.

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