By Josh Mansilla (@Manzilla36)
Throughout the 2017 NFL season, NFL handicapper Josh Mansilla will be providing his weekly plays, along with a brief write-up on how he sees the games playing out. We’ll track his picks each week to see how well he assists our readers.
Tennessee / Jacksonville Under 42
0-1 to start the season as the Chiefs came ready to play last Thursday. Let’s look to bounce back with two plays this weekend.
I am rolling with the Titans here, up against a divisional opponent in Jacksonville. The Jaguars started the season 1-0 thanks to their dominant defense, while Tennessee fell to a playoff contender in the Raiders in Week 1.
Unlike Jacksonville’s Week 1 opponent, Houston, the Titans have a stout rush defense, ranking 10th in rushing defense DVOA last season per Football Outsiders. An ability to stop the run is all you need to shut down Jacksonville’s offense. Last week, Blake Bortles threw for only 125 yards and one score, completing just over half of his passes (11-21). Tennessee will stack the box on Leonard Fournette and force the Jags to beat them threw the air. The loss of Allen Robinson for the season due to a torn ACL will surely hurt Jacksonville’s passing attack as Bortles has proven to be inaccurate and inconsistent during his NFL career.
I also like Tennessee’s offense to rebound after last week’s 16-point performance. Don’t get me wrong, the Jacksonville defense is a legitimate force, and a big reason I’m also playing the under. But they face a much better offense this week than the Tom Savage / DeShaun Watson in his NFL debut combination in Week 1. I believe Tennessee will score enough points to get the job done and cover the small spread on the road.
Week 1 record: 0-1; Season record: 0-1