Game Preview: Jaguars vs Titans

Our preview this week features the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting the Tennessee Titans. Find out what the Jaguars need to do, and what to watch for.

Tennessee Titans (0-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Sunday October 4th, 2009

Jacksonville Municipal Stadium

Kickoff Temperature: 87 degrees, 20% chance of precipitation

Line: Titans by 3

Trends: Titans have lost five games in a row and six of their last seven. Jaguars have lost eight of their last ten games. Titans lead all-time series 16-12, and have won four out of the last five in the series.

Three most important things for the Jaguars on defense:

1. Contain Chris Johnson.
Johnson is one of the game's elite running backs and he's a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. The Jaguars must keep contain and not allow Johnson to get any big chunks of yardage.

2. Pressure Kerry Collins. Collins has played well this year when he's had time, but he's made crippling mistakes when forced to move around in the pocket. The Jaguars need to find a way to make Collins uncomfortable.

3. Limit big plays in the passing game. The Titans passing offense may be ranked 20th in the league, but they still have big play threats in Nate Washington and rookie Kenny Britt. If the Jaguars can force Tennessee to methodically go down the field, they will have chances to force turnovers. If not, it could get ugly.

Three most important things for the Jaguars on offense:

1. Pass to set up the run.
Tennessee is second in the NFL against the run, and they will make it a priority to contain Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jaguars must throw the ball effectively early on if they are going to have any chance of making yards on the ground late.

2. Pick on the corners. Cortland Finnegan has a hurt hamstring and he may not play. If he's slowed, he will likely give a greater cushion to Jags receivers and they must take advantage with the short passing game. On the other side, Nick Harper has given up big plays all year long, and rookies Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton have been less than stellar.

3. Get the ball out. The Titans defensive line is amongst the best in the game and David Garrard needs to get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible. Lots of three-step drops.

What to look for:

1. Look for the Titans to control the clock.
Tennessee wants to run the football and the clock. Look for their physical offensive line to have some success with that.

2. Look for the Jaguars to utilize a lot of three step drops.
The short passing game is the best way to go against a fierce pass rush. It also makes the reads easier for a quarterback who has had problems reading defenses.

3. Look for Mike Sims-Walker to lead the team in receiving. Sims-Walker is beginning to turn into the player that everyone thought he could be, and at this point he looks like the team's best receiving option.

4. Look for more reverses from Mike Thomas.
It worked well last week, let's see if it will work again.

5. If Kenny Britt scores, the Jags will lose. Britt could be the "X-factor" for the Titans, and if he has a big day it will be tough for the Jags.

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