Thursday Night Observations

Prediction: The NFL will reverse course on its holding policy in the next few weeks. It won’t even wait until the offseason when rule changes are typically made because this is an emergency.

It might not be overt, but at minimum, they’ll meet with the referees and tell them (without making it public) the old holding rules were better. Watch the number of holds fall in line with last year’s by Week 5. Through two weeks and one game, it’s been roughly double.

I had the Jaguars plus 1.5, so this game mostly went my way. I also started Leonard Fournette in my flex over Mark Andrews, something I expect to regret, but at least he broke off that long run in the fourth quarter. It would have been a lot better had he scored, though.

Gardner Minshew scrambles well and seems to have the ideal mentality for an NFL QB — he’s calm, poised under pressure, has a nice feel for the rush and rarely forces the ball. He could have had bigger numbers but for a couple drops too.

Fournette had a long carry of 69 yards and finished 15 for 66. That means he was 14 for negative three on his other carries. It’s impossible to evaluate him — he did slip a couple times on the wet field — because on almost every carry he was met in the backfield before he could even get going. The Jaguars run blocking was poor, and the Titans run defense stout. At least he got eight targets too.

D.J. Chark is the star of the receiving corps, but Dede Westbrook saw nine targets to his five. Chark is a 2018 second-round pick, and the fastest receiver on the team.

Josh Lambo hit two field goals and made one of the best tackles for a kicker I’ve ever seen. Usually the kicker is the last man to beat at mid-field, but Lambo ran up to the 25 or 30 yard line to ankle tackle the return man.

Derek Henry’s numbers were modest, but he’s a beast. He’s never been known for his hands and had a bad drop, but he’s as powerful a runner as there is in the league, and he’s fast too.

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Marcus Mariota had 300 yards and no picks, but he took nine sacks. About half were on the offensive line/Jaguars stout defensive line, but Mariota holds the ball too long and is too deliberate. He still loves Delanie Walker, though, and Adam Humphries was his other favorite target, though the usual guys (Corey Davis and A.J. Brown) probably saw more of the Jaguars star cornerbacks.

I don’t know whether Jaylen Ramsey will get traded, but given the players have scant leverage when it comes to contracts, it’s not surprising they’re exercising the leverage they do have. Expect this to be commonplace now that the players are more assertive of their agency and the media’s effectiveness at demonizing holdouts has diminished.