Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
The big question coming into this weeks match up is who will be the starting QB for the Titans when these two teams take the field. Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams made headlines this week by reportedly telling head coach Jeff Fisher to start Vince Young in place of Kerry Collins who has looked lost at times this season. Fisher has been very coy about announcing his starter for this week but usually what the owner wants, the owner gets. At this point, leaving Collins in as the starter doesn't make much sense. The Titans have a lot invested in Vince Young and need to find out if he can be the long term answer before the 2010 NFL Draft which will feature some great QB prospects. While Vince Young has led the Titans to a lot of victories in the past, he does not appear to be the long-term answer at the position. Vince Young has not done well against this Jaguars team. However, he may be the spark this 0-6 team needs. He provides the ability to extend plays and has a nice arm. Rookie receiver Kenny Britt leads the team in receptions with 19 and averages 15.8 yards per catch. He has yet to score but does provide good speed and may soon become a viable deep threat for a team that really needs some offensive production. The Titans currently average 172 yards passing per game which is in the bottom half of the league. Running back Chris Johnson is having another great year averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He has the ability to score on every single touch and is the lone bright spot on a porus Titans offense. The Jaguars will no doubt focus on Chris Johnson. The Jaguars have not allowed a 100 yard rusher this season and that trend should continue this week. On defense, the Titans have been hit hard by injuries especially in the secondary. The Titans are currently giving up 405 yards per game on defense, 310 yards passing per game, and a whopping 33 points points per game on average. The Jaguars should have no trouble moving the ball on offense, especially in the passing game.
Jacksonville should enter this weeks match up with lots of confidence after beating the Titans already this season with no problem. Jacksonville has won 3 of the past 4 meetings against the Titans but still trail the series 17-12 including the playoffs. Jaguars QB David Garrard passed for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns in the last match up in Week 4 and should enjoy similar success this week. When Garrard throws for more than 2 touchdowns the Jaguars are 12-4. Look for the Jaguars to score quickly thru the passing game. Garrard has plenty of weapons on the 11th ranked offense of the Jaguars. WR Torry Holt seems to enjoy his mentor role for the Jaguars young receivers and is currently averaging 15 yards per catch with 27 receptions. He is on the downside of his career but still runs great routes and his hands are still among the best in the league. Mike Sims-Walker is playing the best football of his career and has managed to stay healthy so far this year. Sims-Walker provides a big play threat at the position that the Jaguars have not had since Jimmy Smith retired. He has 28 catches for almost 400 yards with 3 TD's despite being benched for the Seattle Seahawks game for reportedly missing curfew. Rookie WR Mike Thomas also has provided a big spark on special teams and has a knack for getting open on 3rd downs.
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew leads the NFL in touchdowns and has proven that he is a every down NFL back. MJD is coming off his best game of the year against the St. Louis Rams as he rushed for 133 yards and 3 TD's. Jones-Drew only needs 5 yards to reach 3,000 for his career. Look for Jones-Drew to have more carries than the previous match up and that will open up the play-action pass for David Gararrd and the Jaguars offense. On defense, the Jaguars have had their own share of problems and injuries. Conerback Rashean Mathis has a broken index finger on his left hand and has not practiced so far this week. Look for CB Scott Starks or Tyron Brackenridge to get the start if Mathis cant go. Rookie CB Derek Cox has had his ups and downs this year but has flahed great ball skills. Look for the rookie to get another interception this week as the QB play for the Titans has been dreadful. The new 3-4 defense has not got much pressure on the QB, but has been good against the run. Rookie DT Terrence Knighton has been great and commands double teams from opposing teams. The Jaguars look to get LB Justin Durant back from a hip injury which will help.
Both teams are coming off a bye and have had two weeks to prepare for each other. Look for the Titans to be alot more energized than the previous match up. However, I still don't think they get their first win this week.
Prediction: Jaguars 24 Titans 13
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