Audibles: AFC South Week 4 preview

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Sep 26, 2008.

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  1. NewsGrabber

    NewsGrabber Guest

    Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

    Houston at Jacksonville
    The Jaguars have to find a pass rush against Matt Schaub. If they don't, he can be a completely different guy than he's been in the first two games. With time and going against a secondary minus free safety Reggie Nelson (knee), Schaub could break out.

    Houston has given the Jaguars fits in recent years, and Jack Del Rio points to lack of pass pressure as the primary reason why his teams are 4-6 against the Texans.

    Jacksonville needs to cover kicks better. Andre Davis took five kicks 234 yards the last time he played against the Jags, including 104-yard TD. Houston needs to get to Maurice Jones-Drew better. In his last game against Jacksonville he gained 125 yards and scored twice.

    Andre Johnson needs 55 receiving yards to become the second member of the 2003 draft class to get to 5,000. Arizona's Anquan Boldin is already at 5,705. Drayton Florence could spend more time tracking him than Rashean Mathis and should be tested by Johnson, who's going to be eager for redemption after a poor game last week in Nashville.

    But it sounds like the Jaguars are confident they'll produce some big pass plays themselves. Jerry Porter is expected to make his debut, and the team viewed him as a big play solution when it grabbed him as a free agent. He could do a great deal to energize the offense and help gain a little extra space for Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor.

    Two external factors: Florida State and Colorado play at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Saturday. Back to back games are rare, so the condition of the turf may be in question. And the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-80s with high humidity.

    Minnesota at Tennessee
    Here's one that's hard to believe: With the Patriots loss to Miami last week and the end of their 21-game winning streak in the regular season, the longest such streak in the league now belongs to... Tennessee. In six consecutive wins the Titans are first in points allowed per game (10.3), first in total defense (252.8 yards per game), second in rushing yards per game (78.3), tied for second in sacks (19) and second in sacks allowed (seven).

    Whether any of that translates to their first game against the Vikings at LP Field remains to be seen.

    The best way to beat Minnesota has often been not to even try to run it and just sling it. While Kerry Collins is capable of executing such a plan, the Titans tend to be stubborn when it comes to establishing the run. Jeff Fisher will also want to limit the time the Viking have the ball and opportunities to give it to Adrian Peterson, so he'll want to run it enough to chop into time of possession.

    Defensively, the Titans generally have a sound tackling team and secondary that didn't do its best work in the first half last week against Houston's Steve Slaton. I feel like the Titans will be able to contain him enough to win, but building an early lead would certainly help as they'd much rather the Vikings need to rely on Gus Frerotte. Another reason to try to play this game from ahead: The Vikings have lost 38 consecutive road games when trailing after three quarters, the longest such streak in NFL since the 1989 Buccaneers. (Thanks to ESPN's crack research department.)

    Two other tidbits worth noting: LenDale White is the first Titan with a rushing touchdown in the first three games of a season since Allen Pinkett did so for the Houston Oilers in 1991.

    And since 2006, the Titans are 16-4 when scoring 20+ points.

    Indianapolis has a bye.

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