Receivers Not Important for Titans

The Tennessee Titans were supposed to regress in 2008, and perhaps they would've if Vince Young didn't injure his knee when Daryl Smith hit him in the Titans opening day victory over the Jaguars. Kerry Collins stepped in and the rest is history, the Titans recorded the best start in franchise history at 9-0, and they're running away with the AFC South.

"It doesn't do us any good to worry about the fact that Tennessee has been perfect so far," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio explained.

Where Minnesota, Jacksonville, and San Francisco spent valuable free agent dollars on wide receivers this spring, the Titans decided that the price of the top pass catchers was far too high. Although the 49ers, Jaguars, and Vikings now have the 15th, 17th, and 20th ranked passing games, they have two, four, and five wins respectively. The Titans currently own the 27th ranked passing game, yet have a perfect 9-0 mark.

On paper, the Titans may have the worst receiving corps in the entire NFL. The names Brandon Jones, Justin Gage, Justin McCareins, and Lavelle Hawkins don't scare anyone. In fact, it's likely that none of the four would even earn a spot on the Jaguars roster. Still, the Titans get the job done and move the chains when the have to, and most importantly win football games.

Two of the Jaguars biggest acquisitions on offense this season, wide receivers Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson have combined for all of nine catches for 102 yards. Prior to Sunday's blowout victory over the Detroit Lions, neither had scored a touchdown as a Jaguar.

"I think he continues to work at it," Del Rio said of Jerry Porter. "He played and did a nice job in the role that he had, made some nice plays for us."

The Jaguars hope to get Porter more involved so they will have a more dynamic passing game. The Titans seemingly laugh in the face of high-priced wide receivers and go with a more physical approach of football.

Tennessee plays a brand of football that Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio would love to coach, and they are seemingly everything that Del Rio stands for. Tennessee runs the football behind one of the most physical offensive lines in the NFL, and they have a dominant defense that puts pressure on the passer and stifles opponents running games.

"When you watch the tape, and we just started the tape, they're destroying healthy offensive lines," Del Rio said of the Titans defensive front. "So we're just doing what we can to get prepared to go in there and battle the best we can."

The Jaguars know that they have a tall task ahead of them if they're going to ruin the Titans perfect start. Soft teams don't beat Tennessee, and although the Jaguars aren't known as a soft team, they've resembled that often this season.

"What we see is an opponent that's very strong that's coming in here, and we know we've got to be ready to play them," Del Rio said of the Titans. "So we really can't get caught up in the record."

The team that is more physical on Sunday will win the game, to put it simply. If the Jaguars are going to get their season back on track they will need to be that physical, dominant team. If not, it's time to look to free agency and the draft.


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