Titans vs. Jaguars: Keys to victory

The heated race for the coveted AFC South crown begins with a matchup between the Titans and the Jags. Both teams live and die by the physical nature of their play and on Sunday, expect a lot of bumps and bruises when they quarrel.
Here are a few keys to a Titan victory this weekend.

My smash-mouth is better than your smash-mouth
As Tim McClellan of MVN’s Jaguars Journal mentioned in Andrew’s recent post, the Jaguars are a team that relies heavily upon its running game. The Fred Taylor/Maurice Jones-Drew combo rumbled for nearly 170 yards in their 28-13 victory over an Albert Haynesworth-less Titan squad last November.
The Titans’ offensive attack also consists of a heavy dose of running the football, as evidenced by their 282 yard performance against the Jags in Tennessee’s 13-10 victory last season.
Needless to say, the team that runs the football the best will have the upper hand this Sunday.
Conquering a familiar foe: Gregg Williams
As Titan fans, we are very familiar with the guy who is in charge of the Jaguar defense. The Gregg Williams-led Titan defenses played a huge role in the success of the turn of the century Tennessee teams that were a few breaks away from winning at least one Super Bowl.
Blitzing is a trademark of a Gregg Williams defense, so Vince Young should expect to see a good amount of pressure from a variety of angles. Williams loves to bring the heat with his back seven, so it will be paramount for the Titan running backs to do a good job at blitz pickup.
Fortunately for Vince, this won’t be his first time competing against a Gregg Williams defense. VY’s first career NFL win was a 25-22 victory over Williams and the Washington Redskins in 2006. On that day, Young benefitted from a great rushing day from the now-suspended Travis Henry, while completing 13-25 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown.
Hopefully, Vince will continue his unbeaten streak against Gregg Williams this weekend.
Conquering a familiar foe part II: The red zone
The red zone was unkind to the Titans in 2007, as they finished dead-last in red zone touchdown efficiency, scoring only 20 touchdowns in 55 attempts inside their opponents’ twenty-yard line.
With the additions of Chris Johnson and Alge Crumpler and the return of former offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, the Titans are hoping that their red zone woes from 2007 have been solved.  
Settling for field goals instead of touchdowns in the red zone is a recipe for disaster against the league’s upper echelon of teams. To defeat the Jags, the Titans will need to capitalize on their red zone opportunities.
What are your keys to a Tennessee Titan victory against Jacksonville?

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