Week 12: Tennesse Titans At Jacksonville Jaguars
- QuarterbackThe Titans got a boost when Jake Locker returned to the lineup in Week 10 and they rolled to a 37-3 victory over the Dolphins. Locker has size, strength and the ability to shake off tacklers who come at him when he is standing in the pocket. Locker has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes and has thrown just 2 interceptions in five games as the Titans starter.It would be unfathomable if the Jaguars did not insert Chad Henne as their starting quarterback over Blaine Gabbert. Henne was sensational and nearly led the Jags to an upset over the Houston Texans as he threw for 354 yards and 4 touchdowns without throwing an interception. Gabbert has not mastered any aspect of the game and head coach Mike Mularkey has to realize that a change would help his team.
- OffenseChris Johnson has bounced back from an awful start. Johnson has rushed for 862 yards and he is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. The Titans have decent talent at the receiver slots. Nate Washington can go down the field and get it. He can make big plays, while tight end Jared Cook is quite dependable because he can catch anything he gets his hands on.The Jaguars have missed running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) badly since he has not played for the last four games. The running game has disappeared without him. However, the Jaguars have suddenly become explosive. In their loss to the Titans, they got a huge performance from Justin Blackmon who caught 7-236-1. If Blackmon’s breakout game can be repeated, the Jags will be dangerous.
- DefenseThe Titans have been shockingly soft on the defensive end this year, as they rank 30th in overall defense and 28th in rushing defense. Outside linebacker Akeem Ayers is one of the few Tennessee defensive players who has been consistent this year. He leads the team with 76 tackles, while safety Jordan Babineaux has 70 stops.The Jaguars have also had major problems on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 31st in total yards allowed. The Jaguars give up huge chunks of yardage and big plays through the air. That means they are not getting the kind of pressure on opposing quarterbacks that they need to and the stats bear this out. No Jaguar has more than 2.0 sacks this season
- Special TeamsRob Bironas has one of the strongest legs of any kicker in the NFL. However, he’s been a bit off this year, making 16-of-19 field goal attempts overall. He’s made just 2-of-5 between 40 and 49 yards. Brett Kern is having an impressive year, averaging 48.2 yards per punt.The coverage teams have been poor this year. Opponents have nearly a 6.0-yard advantage over the Jaguars per kickoff return. Josh Scobee has gotten the job done for the Jaguars, making 18-of-19 field goal attempts this season. Bryan Anger is averaging 48.4 yards per punt.
Neither of these two teams have forged an identity to this point in the season. However, the Titans have shown a bit more resiliency than the Jaguars and they have played more consistently. The leg strength of Bironas could make a difference at the end of this game.