Sitting uncomfortably in the AFC South basement at 0-3, the Tennessee Titans will be looking to right the ship in the latest installment of their heated division rivalry with the 1-2 Jacksonville Jaguars.
Of course, you can throw the records out of the window when these two teams clash. With both the Titans and the Jags embodying the attitudes of their hard-nosed head coaches, per the norm, we should expect a physical contest filled with a ton of punishing hits on Sunday.
Here are a few of my thoughts regarding the Titans’ must-win matchup with the Jags.
2009 Tennessee Titans (and Kerry Collins) at a Crossroads
The outcome of this week’s contest will probably play a key role in determining what happens from here (in more ways than one) for the ’09 Tennessee Titans.
With a victory, the Titans are 1-3 heading into a prime-time battle with the Colts next week. If they were to pull off a win against Peyton and Co., regardless of what happens the following week against the Brady Bunch, Jeff Fisher’s troops would be looking at worst, a 2-4 record heading into the bye week and their playoff hopes still somewhat alive.
However, if they lose to the Jags, the Titans would be going into the aforementioned next two games against the Colts and Pats with an 0-4 record. Under those dire circumstances, the team’s chances at reaching the postseason would be all but over, which would probably lead to the calls for Kerry Collins to be replaced by Vince Young reaching a crescendo.
Needless to say, this week’s contest definitely qualifies as a make-or-break contest for the Titans (and Kerry Collins).
Which Jaguar team will show up on Sunday?
At 1-2, the Jaguars have a record that aptly describes their performances this year. Through three games, Jack Del Rio’s boys have been inconsistent, to say the least.
In Week 1, they valiantly competed against the Colts but despite their efforts, came up short in the end. The following Sunday, in their home-opener against the Cards, the listless Jags were embarrassed 31-17. Last weekend, Jacksonville defeated a confident Texan team coming off their victory over the Titans.
Judging by the current see-saw pattern, we should expect a lackluster performance by the Jags this Sunday. For the Titans’ sake, let’s hope that the Jaguars continue their roller coaster-like ways.
Welcome to the NFL, rookies!
With injuries to Cortland Finnegan and Vince Fuller, CB is anything but a position of strength for the Titans. As Andrew wrote in a recent article, rookies Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton will have to grow up in a hurry over the next few weeks.
The Jags’ passing attack is anything but formidable, but considering the Titans’ ability to stop the run, don’t be surprised if David Garrard tries to attack the Titan secondary on more than a few occasions.
Nick Harper may not have a high regard for Torry Holt’s ability at this point in his career, but #81 can still make plays. Youngster Mike Sims-Walker has caught a combined 12 passes over his last two games and is finally starting to realize his potential.
Let’s hope that Harper and the rookie cornerback duo of McCourty and Mouton are up to the task of stopping the Jaguar passing game.
In a hard-fought contest, the Titans will finally get their first win by defeating an inconsistent Jaguar squad.
Titans 19 Jaguars 13
What are your thoughts/predictions for this week’s Titans/Jags AFC South battle?