NASHVILLE TN - DECEMBER 05: Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars breaks away from Chris Hope #24 of the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field on December 5 2010 in Nashville Tennessee. The Jaguars won 17-6. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
During the Jacksonville Jaguars 2011 NFL season, I'm going to try and do a match up for both sides of the ball each week. We'll examine the Jaguars offense and defense against the opponents offense and defense, and what we all should be looking for. We'll look at areas the Jaguars can/should exploit and ares the opponent should/can exploit.
First up, the Jaguars offense vs. the Tennessee Titans defense.
Offensive Line vs. Defensive Line
One benefit for the Jaguars against the Titans on the lines, is the fact that the Titans lost Jason Babin in free agency who lead the team in sacks in 2010 with 12.5. The next best sacker on the Titans was Dave Ball with 7, who is returning for 2011. The team also brings back defensive end Derrick Morgan, who missed much of 2010 with a knee injury. Slated to start currently for the Titans are defensive ends Jason Jones and William Hayes. Jones is a disruptive end, so either Eugene Monroe or Guy Whimper will need to be on their toes. Luckily for the Jaguars, the Ttians defensive line, as is, is still a bit of a question mark rushing the passer.
The interior of the Titans line is very solid and stout with Shaun Smith and Sen'Derrick Marks, with undersized pass rushing defensive tackle Karl Klug and rookie Jurrell Casey in the rotation. I doubt the Titans will be able to "stop" the Jaguars rushing attack, but I think they'll be able to "manage" it. It will be key for Uche Nwaneri to be consistent and rookie Will Rackley to minimize his mistakes. The Jaguars like to run the ball off center, so the interior lineman will be a key factor.
Titans Back Seven
The Titans also sport two new starting linebackers in rookie Akeem Ayers and veteran Barrett Ruud. The Jaguars may be able to exploit the Titans linebackers in the short passing game with intermediate passes to tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Zach Miller (if healthy).
In the secondary, the Titans have a very solid group of defensive backs. Cortland Finnegan, despite getting punched in the face, is a very good cover corner who should be able to handle any of the Jaguars wide receivers. Opposite Finnegan, Jason McCourty will start with Alterran Verner manning the nickel corner position. Coverage wise, the Titans corners should be able to handle the Jaguars receiving corps. At the safety position, Chris Hope is still slated to start at stong safety but his plays has began to deteriorate and has become a liability in coverage. Luckily for Hope however, it's likely the Titans will see a heavy dose of Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jaguars likely only passing the ball about 25 times.