5 Jaguars players to watch vs. Titans in Week 18

On paper, there’s no reason why the Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn’t roll to the AFC South title with an easy win Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans. But victories in the NFL rarely come without push back.

The Titans are on a six-game losing streak and lost starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the injured reserve, but they can pull out of that tailspin and earn the division title by upsetting the Jaguars in primetime.

For Jacksonville to avoid that massive disappointment, the team can’t take its Saturday night opportunity lightly.

Here are five Jaguars who need to play well against the Titans to ensure the AFC South title belongs to Duval:

DL Folorunso Fatukasi

Fatukasi has had his moments this season, but for the most part, he’s been the most disappointing of the Jaguars’ free agent additions.

The former Jets run stuffer hasn’t done much to show he was worth the three-year, $30 million deal dished out by the Jaguars. He’s time due to injuries and Fatukasi has a pretty dismal 43.4 grade from Pro Football Focus when he’s been on the field.

Jacksonville needs a better day from Fatukasi. With Derrick Henry coming to town, the Jaguars can’t afford a subpar day along the defensive line. It’d go a long way if Fatukasi looked like a player worth $10 million per year.

TE Evan Engram

Engram has put together the best tight end season in Jaguars history, breaking the franchise’s single-season records for receptions and receiving yards.

His best day of the year was four weeks ago when he gave the Titans secondary fits. Engram finished with 11 receptions, 162 yards, and two touchdowns against Tennessee.

The Titans will certainly want to put an emphasis on slowing Engram in the rematch, but will it even matter? Tennessee is without several important players on defense, including Bud Dupree, Zach Cunningham, Harold Landry, and several defensive backs.

If Tennessee somehow puts a cap on Engram’s production, it’d seemingly free up space for one of the Jaguars’ many productive receivers.

LB Foye Oluokun

The defensive line will be key when it comes to slowing Derrick Henry, but it’ll likely be Oluokun who winds up in charge of cleaning up.

The NFL’s leading tackler has been on a tear in the latter half of the season, recording 61 tackles over a four-game stretch after Thanksgiving. One of those games was against the Titans in Week 14 when Oluokun recorded 14 total tackles.

Henry is a 247-pound tank who can turn a 2-yard gain into a 6-yard gain. It’ll be Oluokun leading the way in the effort to force the Titans to convert long yardage third downs.

C Luke Fortner

The Titans defense may be a mess right now, but it’s still a tough unit to run against.

Even as Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence pieced up the Tennessee secondary with 368 yards and three touchdowns, the Jacksonville run game couldn’t do anything.

Travis Etienne Jr. managed only 32 yards on 17 carries and JaMycal Hasty had just 13 yards on four rushing attempts.

If Lawrence has another uber-efficient day, the run game might not mean too much. But it’ll largely be on Fortner to keep Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons from wreaking too much havoc on the interior.

OLB Josh Allen

Allen didn’t exactly stuff the stat sheet last week against the Texans, finishing with one sack and one forced fumble, but the Jaguars pass rusher had easily his best game of the year.

Despite lining up across from three-time Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil for most of the day, Allen had a career-high nine pressures.

His assignment in Week 18 looks like it’ll be much easier. With Taylor Lewan done for the year, the Titans have relied on rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere and human turnstile Dennis Daley starting at tackle. Daley leads the NFL in sacks allowed and Joshua Dobbs was hit often last week against the Cowboys.

Allen should be in the backfield often Saturday night.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire