Forecast: Temperatures in the low 60s; partly cloudy
Records: Jaguars (Overall: 1-9, AFC South: 1-3); Titans (Overall: 4-6, AFC South: 0-2)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Dec. 24, 2011: Titans 23, Jaguars 17; Sept. 11, 2011: Jaguars 16, Titans 14 Series record: Titans hold a 20-15 edge.
What matters: Nothing about the 2012 season has gone according to plan for Jacksonville. The 1-9 record, injuries and overall inconsistent play have been among the disappointments for a team that had hopes of starting a new era with first-year head coach Mike Mularkey at the helm. The Jaguars have been out of playoff contention for weeks now, but somebody forgot to tell them that last week. They played perhaps their best overall game of the season in a 43-37 overtime loss at Houston. If they continue to play with that kind of effort, they’ll find the win column a few more times this season.
Who matters: Injuries have forced several new faces into key offensive roles. The most notable is new starting QB Chad Henne, who takes over for QB Blaine Gabbert (arm). Henne came on in relief of Gabbert last week and energized the offense, throwing for 354 yards and four TDs. WRs Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts are emerging as weapons. Blackmon had by far his best career game with 236 yards receiving and a TD last week. Shorts is averaging 87.4 receiving yards per game in the past five contests. RB Jalen Parmele, who started the season as a third-stringer, will get his first start on Sunday over Rashad Jennings, who has failed to produce in the past few weeks.
Key matchup: Tennessee RB Chris Johnson is heating up. He only had 45 total rushing yards in the first three weeks, but since that point he’s averaging 116.7 yards per game and has at least one TD in three of his past four games. The Jaguars had success shutting him down last year, holding him to just 3.3 yards per carry in their two meetings. It might not be that easy this year. Jacksonville’s run defense is ranked 29th in the NFL, allowing an average of 137.3 yards per game. LB Paul Posluszny will play a big role in trying to limit Johnson. He was all over the field against Houston (16 tackles, FF, INT) last week.
Injuries of note: Gabbert and WR Laurent Robinson (concussion) were put on IR this week. RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) is expected to miss his fifth straight game. S Dwight Lowery (ankle), CB Rashean Mathis (groin), C Brad Meester (foot) and FB Greg Jones (thigh) are all questionable.
Inside stuff: The Jaguars were disappointed with the performance of Jennings, who was thought to be a capable replacement for Jones-Drew. Jennings had 64 carries for only 174 yards (2.7 ypc) in the past six weeks. That’s why Parmele, who comes into the game with only 39 career carries, is getting a chance to start this week.
Connections: The Jaguars and Titans could be linked by the 2011 draft for many seasons to come. Both teams were looking for a franchise QB. The Titans surprised many by picking Jake Locker with the eighth overall pick, leaving Gabbert for the Jaguars at pick No. 10. Gabbert’s injury will prevent a head-to-head contest this season, but Gabbert and Locker will be forever linked.
Stat you should know: The Jaguars have really struggled at home this season, as they've gone 0-5, losing by an average of 21.8 ppg.
Looking ahead: The Jaguars play the Bills (4-6) and the Jets (4-7) in the next two weeks. New England (Dec. 23) is the only team left on the schedule that currently has a winning record (8-3).
Prediction: Titans 27, Jaguars 20
For more Jaguars news and analysis, follow Daniel Lewis @CBSJags.