Tale of Two Cities: Who Comes to Play Today?

Tim HigginsCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2009

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 27:  Running back Maurice Drew-Jones #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs for a 61 yard touchdown as cornerback Fred Bennett #32 of the Houston Texans can't catch up at Reliant Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The Tennessee Titans may be 0-3, but they are certainly not out of it.  Let's put this in perspective:

If the Titans beat the Jaguars, they would become 1-3, and eclipse the Jaguars in the divisional race.  They would only move up to third place, but would trail the Texans by either half a game, or a game and a half.

However, lets look at this from a Jacksonville perspective.  A win not only destroys the Titans hope at a post-season berth, but secures the place in second in the division.

And with a Colts loss, which would not seem too likely, but just in case, the Jaguars would be within a game and a half of the Colts.

Either way, its a must-win for both teams.

And that's why I think the Titans will win this game.

Yes I can't believe I'm writing this down on paper, but it is what I expect to occur.

It seems like the typical Jaguars, the team who looks so good one week, and so bad the next.

Its the team that held the Colts to 14 points but then followed up the effort surrendering 31 points.

Its the team that played pitifully through the air in the first 6 quarters, then followed it up with a stellar offensive performance in the last 6 quarters.

Its the team that crashes our hopes and begins to ring the Tebow bell, then one week later has us talking playoffs.

So now that were in playoff mode, the Jaguars should disappoint us.

Or will they?

This is the true test of Jack Del Rio.  This is the true test for Gene Smith.  This is the true test for this team. 

Last years nightmare began the same way.  A win over the Colts in week three suddenly bolster us to the top of the world.  Only to fall quickly back down.

But this team is different.  There's no question about that.  Or is there?

We shall see tomorrow at 1 o'clock Eastern.



Jaguars Offense vs. Titans Defense:

The Jaguars offense has clicked offensively in the past six quarters.  Logic would suggest that it should continue, but then again, the Jaguars are facing the number two rush defense in the league.  And this is what makes things interesting. 

Which strength will break?  Or is that really the question?  No my friends, the question is which team's weakness will play better? My opinion is the Jaguars passing game will thrive. 

Garrard is beginning to get away from throwing to just MJD, and more importantly No. 11 is finally beginning to emerge.  Yes, Mike Sims-Walker is beginning to look like the guy that we all swore would be the next Jimmy Smith. 

And I believe Garrard gets it done and keeps the Jaguars in the game.  Maybe for once, the passing game will set up the run.

Titans Offense vs. Jaguars Defense:

Though the Titans offense has not been hitting on all cylinders, they still are a team that is very dangerous.  Well, in the running game at least.  Chris Johnson is better than I thought he would be.

Correction, Chris Johnson is better at getting big gains then I thought he would be.  Johnson can be stopped, but you must contain him. 

The question is can the Jaguars do that?  Depends on which defense shows up to play. 

Many experts think that it will be Collins day to shine, considering the fact that the Jaguars are ranked last in pass defense.

But when you look at who they've played, it seems obvious to me why they are, any defense would give up numbers against Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Reggie Wayne (and Anquan Boldin). 

The Titans are a major downgrade offensively (through the air at least) from the previous teams the Jaguars have played.

Other Notes:

The Jaguars have been good this year at forcing turnovers and not giving up turnovers, at +2, I believe.  The Titans are quite the opposite as two special teams fumbles cost them in the game against the Jets.


I hate to say this, but my gut says the Titans dominate the second half and win 28-17.

Sleeper Pick:

Mike Sims-Walker: Look for Sims-Walker to do well against a Titans defense who is also starting rookie corners

Stat of The Day: 

David Garrard 23-39 255 yards 2 TDS 1 INT