'He needs the ball more. But hey, I'm not the coach.'
"No, they're not using him right. I fee l like they can use him better," said Johnson when asked about his friend. "He needs the ball more. But hey, I'm not the coach."
Chris Johnson isn't the coach, but he's not far from the truth. I wrote earlier in the week that the Jaguars will need to pass the football to beat the Titans. That fact became even more so on Thursday when Maurice Jones-Drew didn't practice and had his wrist heavily wrapped. Jones-Drew injured his wrist against the Bills.
"It's a swollen hand. We're just trying to get the swelling down. That's pretty much it, nothing serious. There's no structural damage," Jones-Drew said about his injury. I'm sure most Jaguars fans and the staff skipped a heartbeat, as Jones-Drew was rolling on the ground like he'd just lost an arm. "I was. I'm not going to lie about it. The referee came over and said something he shouldn't have said and that got in my head a little bit. It was pretty painful," Jones-Drew told the media.
Luckily for the Jaguars, back up runningbacks Rashad Jennings and Deji Karim have shown ability to successfully rush the football. Karim exploded in his debut last week against the Bills, giving the Jaguars great field position all day and rushing for 70 yards on 15 carries in spell time for Jones-Drew.
As I wrote earlier in the week, the Jaguars are going to need David Garrard to play like he has the past two weeks in order to win the football game. The Titans have been shredded the past few weeks in the air, but their run defense is stout. A lot of the passing game is going to fall on the offensive line this week, as the Titans pass rush is very good even with losing their first round pick, defensive end Derrick Morgan. Defensive ends Jason Babin and Dave Ball lead the team in sacks with 5.5 and 4.5, respectively. Eben Britton and Eugene Monroe are going to need to continue their high level of play from the past two weeks for David Garrard to be successful on Monday Night Football.
In the passing game, as Chris Johnson said, Mike Sims-Walker does need to be more involved, but the Jaguars shouldn't force throws to him. By virtue of being on the field, Sims-Walker does help the other receivers on the team. If the Titans put a safety over the top, it opens up more room for players like Marcedes Lewis. If the defense has to worry about Marcedes Lewis and Mike Sims-Walker, that frees up the quick Mike Thomas in the underneath and on the sideline. If teams chose not to bring that extra help to Sims-Walker's side, he gets passes his direction. We all know it's frustrating when receivers don't get the football, as Sims-Walker voiced last week, but he's contributing even without the catches.
Oddly enough in the last six match ups between the Titans and the Jaguars, the team who's rushed for more yards has won the game. In this game however, I think it's going to be which team passes the most efficiently.