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Tale of the tape

Tale Of The Tape: Jacksonville Jaguars At Tennessee Titans

(credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

The Jaguars don’t often threaten on the offensive end. They rank 32nd in total offense and while some of that has to fall on Chad Henne’s shoulders, the Jaguars have been far more competitive with him in the lineup in place of Blaine Gabbert. Henne is a pro who does not appear overwhelmed by his circumstances, something Gabbert could not say when he was in the lineup. Quarterback Jake Locker struggled quite a bit in the Titans’ Week Nine victory over the St. Louis Rams, but he still appears to have learned what it takes to win in the NFL. Locker is a solid athlete with a plus arm. He can read defenses and figure out if the play call is going to work. Locker has completed 61.5 percent of his passes and he has an 8-3 TD-interception ratio.
The absence of a running game has hurt the Jaguars badly, and that’s a surprising development since they have a talented back in Maurice Jones-Drew who has been successful in the past. Jones-Drew would rather play for a contending team and it shows in his effort. The loss of explosive Justin Blackmon to a suspension is a blow that this team could not afford. Offense Chris Johnson heard all the whispers and he realized that the Titans were about to make a change in their gameplan by giving Shonn Greene a significant number of carries. Johnson didn’t want to lose his job and he had a sensational game against the Rams. Kendall Wright has become a solid receiver with 43 receptions, while tight end Delanie Walker is a decent third-down and red zone target.
The Jaguars have a difficult time on defense as they rank 27th in yards allowed. One of their biggest issues is their inability to pressure opposing quarterbacks. Nobody has more than 2.0 sacks, and that’s not going to get it done. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny remains the team’s lone defensive bright spot. He leads the Jaguars with 80 tackles, 31 more than his nearest teammate. Defense The Titans have some flash and pizazz on defense, as they rank 12th in overall defense and seventh against the pass. Strong safety Bernard Pollard is not always an asset in pass coverage because he does not have great speed, but few defensive backs hit harder. He leads the team with 53 tackles.
The Jaguars have done a decent job in punt and kickoff coverage, but they have not gotten a lift from their own return specialists. Placekicker Josh Scobee is one of the team’s few bright spots, having made all 10 of his FG attempts. Bryan Anger is a talented punter who gets excellent height on his kicks. Special Teams The Titans have been ordinary in their punt and kickoff coverage and Mike Munchak would like to see a bit more consistency in that area. Placekicker Rob Bironas has a very strong leg, but he has not attempted a field goal of 50 yards or longer yet this season.

The winner is

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Tennessee Titans
3 out of 4

The Titans had a respectable 4-4 first half of the season and they should be able to handle the winless Jaguars at home. However, the Titans face the Colts in Week 11 and they will almost certainly be looking ahead to that game. It could be costly.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

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