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Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans Defensive Preview

   VS.    

This is the Titans biggest game of the season.  We all know the Jaguars like to run the ball.  They rank 5th in league (139 ypg) in rushing.  They have 2 very good running backs in Maurice Jones Drew and Fred Taylor.  MJD has 82 carries for 435 yards (5.3 ypc) and 4 TDs on the season.  Taylor has 109 carries for 474 yards (4.3 ypc) and 0 TDs.  Jacksonville will be missing one of their starting guards, Chris Naeole, so they will probably try and run more off tackle stuff than they normally do.  It is important for the Titans to not let either of those guys get to the edge because that is where they can get some huge chunks of yardage.

In the passing game the Jaguars like to take big shots down the field.  They will try and lull the Titans defense to sleep by running the ball and then take their shot for a big play.  That is why it is so important for the front 7 to be able and stop the run.  If they can stop the run, the defensive backs won't feel like they need to be up their as quickly in run support.  The Jaguars are saying that David Garrard will likely be a game time decision.  He has practiced the last 2 days but  has been limited.  It is likely that Quinn Gray will get the start.

The Titans defense would rather see Gray for 2 reasons.  The first reason is that he just isn't as good as Garrard.  Gray has thrown for 510 yards with 3 TDs and 5 INTs since Garrad's injury.  Garrard threw for 1,141 yards with 6 TDs and 0 INTs before going down with the high ankle sprain.  The 2nd reason the Titans would rather see Gray is because he is not as mobile as Garrard.  That makes it easier just to pin your ears back and rush without having to worry about containing the QB run.

It will be interesting to watch Michael Griffin in this game.  In his first 2 NFL starts he faced teams that didn't present that much of a threat to throw the ball down the field in Oakland and Carolina.  That is not the case with the Jags.  Griffin is a guy that is always around the ball.  He has got to make sure that he reads the play action so he doesn't get beat deep.  I think he will do just fine in his first real test.

This game will probably be won by whichever team does the best job stopping the run.  You have to like the Titans chances considering they have the #1 run defense in the NFL.