Thursday Night Observations

I was feeling pretty good about JAX plus four when they had the ball first and goal from the three, down 7-2 in the second quarter. Three stuffs and an incomplete pass later, Derrick Henry takes the carry from his own one-yard line and has the best long TD run since Marshawn Lynch in the 2010 playoff game against the Saints. Game over.

Incidentally, I had dropped Henry two weeks ago in my 10-man-bench NFFC playoff team for a second kicker, thinking there was no way I’d use him in a full PPR with Kareem Hunt and A.J. Green on the team, among others. In fairness, I’d probably still have left him on my bench with Aaron Jones, Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Josh Adams on that squad. (The NFFC playoffs are three weeks long, and your roster locks, meaning if you lose your kicker to an injury, you can’t replace him on the waiver wire.)

Marcus Mariota didn’t have to do much, and he didn’t with only 168 passing yards, no TDs and one pick. Taywan Taylor (7-6-59) led the team, Corey Davis went 3-2-21 and Jonnu Smith left the game with a knee injury.

Henry had a game for the ages, finishing with 17 carries for 238 yards and four TDs. He could have had more, but he was stuffed at the goal-line late, and the Titans let Dion Lewis (10 carries for 13 yards, 5-5-39 as a receiver) see a lot of the fourth-quarter work. The Titans draw the Giants, who traded away run stuffer Damon Harrison and are also missing Landon Collins, next week, so Henry could be in for another big day.

Cody Kessler’s numbers weren’t great (5.6 YPA, four sacks, one fumble), but he passed the eye test for me. Under constant pressure, he scrambled well (five carries for 17 yards, made nice throws on the move) and found receivers who were usually not that open. He also lost production to a couple drops. It’s unlikely he’ll keep the job next year, but I’m interested to see what he does over the last three games.

Leonard Fournette was the anti-Henry, failing to break tackles or find open space. The couple times Fournette did seem to get going, the Jaguars were flagged for holding. More insult to injury after the hamstring injury and suspension for whoever rostered him.

Dede Westbrook (10-7-88-1) led the team, while Donte Moncrief (10-5-47) and Keelan Cole (7-3-55) pitched in. The three combined for 27 of Kessler’s 43 attempts.

One interesting note, the Jaguars were not shy about going for it on fourth down deep in their own end in the fourth quarter with the game essentially lost. It made no difference, but it was nice to see a team not punting out of habit for once. It also gave Henry a shot at his fifth TD and the Jaguars occasion to stuff him and celebrate.

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