Jaguars Opportunity for Sweet Revenge

The last team to make the NFL playoffs after starting 0-4 was the 1992 San Diego Chargers. They're also the only team to do so since the NFL expanded the playoff pool to 12 teams in 1990.

On Sunday, the Jaguars have a chance to drive a dagger through the heart of the Tennessee Titans who have surprisingly started the season 0-3. Sure, it isn't the same as when Tennessee defeated the Jaguars three times throughout the 1999 season and finally in the AFC title game, but how bitter sweet would it be for long-time Jaguar fans to exact just a little bit of revenge to the Titans and Jeff Fisher? It would also give the Jaguars a chance to possibly salvage an 0-2 start and begin a possible winning streak with upcoming games against the banged up Seattle Seahawks and hapless St. Louis Rams before the bye week.

This task won't be easy for the Jaguars, who are coming off a shoot-out win over the Houston Texans. First of all, despite being 0-3, the Tennessee Titans are still a very good team. Defensively, the Titans currently rank second in the NFL in rush defense, allowing just 60.7 yards per game and 2.2 yards per carry on the ground. This is an area Jaguar fans need to pay attention to. While the Jaguars offense exploded for 31 points against the Texans predominantly running the ball, the Texans are dead last in the NFL in stopping the run giving up a whopping 6.2 yards per carry. They would be ranked about 38th against the run, but there are only 32 teams. Titans star linebacker Keith Bullock said during the week "If you have Maurice Jones-Drew on your fantasy team, you should bench him this week." Those are strong words from Bullock, but it would be hard to disagree.

The real area the Jaguars are going to have to exploit is the Titans secondary. The Titans are 29th in the NFL giving up nearly 275 yards per game passing the ball. It is expected that Titans coach Jeff Fisher, despite their struggles against the pass, will force David Garrard to beat them with his arm. Garrard's been very off and on as far as passing the football this season. Even in the win against Houston, statistically he wasn't impressive, but he was 10-fold better than the first two weeks of the season and was very decisive and efficient. Luckily for Jacksonville, Titans Pro Bowl cornerback Cortland Finnegan may not play in the game. He's been nursing a hamstring and hasn't practiced. Teams have been picking on the Titans number two corner, Nick Harper, all season long. With Finnegan presumably out and Harper already struggling, it could be a big day for the Jaguars new go-to receiver, Mike Sims-Walker, who has 187 receiving yards in the last two games.

As mentioned before, the Jacksonville Jaguars can be the dagger in the heart of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. It's going to take a big day from David Garrard, Mike Sims-Walker and Torry Holt to accomplish this feat, as Maurice Jones-Drew will likely be the focal point of the Titans defense.


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