clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 Keys to Victory

1. Contain Maurice Jones-Drew. With Mike Sims-Walker now in St. Louis, the only thing the Jaguars have going for them on offense is Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis. MJD has been limited in practice for a while now, and he hasn't played in a few games. This makes for a good opportunity for the Titans to be aggressive with him. With inexperienced quarterback Luke McCown, who has just 13 passsing attempts in the last three years, starting, the Jaguars will be forced to use the ground game quite a bit as McCown settles in. If the running game gets going, and the Titans' defense gets bitten by the play-action, prepare for a long day, similar to what we have seen for the past few years in Tennessee.

2. Start fast, but stay safe. The Jaguars defense, which was the fifth worst in the league a year ago, should allow Matt Hasselbeck to take some chances. With a completely new look, don't be surprised to see the coaching staff be gutsy and show off a little bit early, in order to build some confidence in his new squad. Don't get this confused though, because the Titans need to stay safe. Turnovers were one of the biggest downfalls of this team last year. If the preseason is any indication, this looks like it will be less of a problem this season (knock on wood), but the team needs to be careful with the ball. The worst thing you can give to a quarterback who is inexperienced is good field position.

3. Terrorize McClown. The Titans need to get after Luke McCown early and often. Jerry Gray will do this. Making him uncomfortable out there is the key to the turnover battle as well. Any quarterback who has not had many reps with his receivers will have trouble making a connection with his teammates. While Garrard was a threat to take off if the pocket collapsed, McCown is quite the opposite. The Titans do have their best pass rusher out, but it looks like the Jaguars also has a very thin offense line right now. What better time for new guys like Shaun Smith and Karl Klug, to show their stuff?

4. Ease in CJ and Britt. Make no mistake. We do need to use Chris Johnson as much as we can. But, as much as we can, may not be very much. It's tough to come right into a regular season NFL game and play, when you haven't played a real game in 9 months. Kenny Britt is basically in the same position. He played just one drive during the preseason, and going full speed in an actual game is much different than going full speed in practice. Britt and CJ need to stay healthy all season, and if not playing many snaps against the Jaguars might be a good sacrifice for the long run.

5. Kicking game. Rob Bironas did not look the Rob Bironas we've been used to over the past few years. Bironas needs to be a guy that the coaching staff will not hesitate to count on, to kick a long field goal.   On the other side of the kicking game, as shown by Thursday's game, most kicks are going to be touchbacks. The ones that aren't touchbacks, however, can be a chance for Marc Mariani to show what put him in last year's Pro Bowl. Field position is everything.