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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections |  Projections by Team | Game Predictions Summary

NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE * MIN at SD * SEA at SF
* ATL at CHI * DAL at NYJ * NYG at WAS TEN at JAC
* BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL * NE at MIA (mon)
*updated CAR at ARI * IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

Prediction: TEN 13, JAC 20

Players to Watch: Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Jared Cook

Here are two very familiar divisional rivals but this first game will help answer a lot of questions. The Titans have all new coaches and offensive scheme as well as Matt Hasselbeck as the new starter. Chris Johnson returns from his successful holdout but has to learn a new offense and show he is in game shape. The Jaguars have Maurice Jones-Drew returning from knee surgery and he only played for a few downs in the final preseason game. This should favor the Jaguars playing at home.

The Titans won 30-3 in Jacksonville last season. They later lost 6-17 in Tennessee.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC - 10 @CAR -
2 BAL - 11 @ATL -
3 DEN - 12 TB -
4 @CLE - 13 @BUF -
5 @PIT - 14 NO -
6 Bye - 15 @IND -
7 HOU - 16 JAC -
8 IND - 17 @HOU -
9 CIN -      
Titans Report | Statistics | Roster
TENNESSEE at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 200,1
RB Chris Johnson 80 20 -
TE Jared Cook - 40 -
WR Nate Washington - 50 -
WR Kenny Britt - 70,1 -
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Titans tried installing a new offense without the centerpiece Chris Johnson but at the last minute all is well and we'll actually get our first real look at the offense during an actual game. Opening road games are never easy and it's even harder when everyone could not possibly be on the same page yet.

QUARTERBACK: The Titans brought in Matt Hasselbeck ostensibly to tutor their 1.08 pick of Jake Locker. The rookie may show up eventually this year but not for this first game. Hasselbeck is a good veteran but one who has seen his best days in the rear view mirror. But he should be good enough to at least continue the development of Kenny Britt as an elite receiver/offseason knucklehead.

Kerry Collins passed for only 110 yards and one score in the last game at Jacksonville. He only had 169 yards and no touchdowns in the second meeting in Nashville.

RUNNING BACKS: This will be the first time that Chris Johnson performs in the new offense though in fairness, he hardly needs to learn any complex plays as a running back. But HC Mike Munchak has already said that Johnson would not be immediately dropped back into a full-time role despite the bravado of the newly-rich Johnson. There's no sense in projecting for any other back but it bears watching to see if Johnson is in top for and just how much workload he will get in this first game. Chances are in any case he'll be a workhorse sooner than later.

Johnson rushed for 111 yards and one score in the previous meeting with the Jaguars and added 20 yards on two catches. He only managed 53 yards on 13 carries in the home meeting with them.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Jake Locker represents good times for the wide receivers down the road but for now Matt Hasselbeck will be running the offense. Kenny Britt has been limited with a hamstring strain this summer but is expected to be ready for a full role this week. Nate Washington again supplies the #2 role in this offense but the #3 spot is still up for grabs and likely will not offer any fantasy value anyway. The Jaguars secondary was one of the worst last year and there's no reason to assume a quick fix. Britt remains a strong start.

Britt only had two catches for 33 yards at Jacksonville last year but scored once.

TIGHT ENDS: Jared Cook only caught 29 passes for 361 yards and one score but OC Chris Palmer said he expects a big year from the third-year tight end in the new system. How much use he gets in a regular season game will start to be known now and the offense hardly is stacked with top wideouts. It bears watching but will in part depend on Chris Johnson's return to being the central focus of the offense.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 25 14 23 14 16 15
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 26 29 25 30 20 21

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 TEN - 10 @IND -
2 @NYJ - 11 @CLE -
3 @CAR - 12 HOU -
4 NO - 13 SD -
5 CIN - 14 TB -
6 @PIT - 15 @ATL -
7 BAL - 16 @TEN -
8 @HOU - 17 IND -
9 Bye -      
Jaguars Report | Statistics | Roster
QB Luke McCown - - 210,1
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 80,1 20 -
TE Marcedes Lewis - 40 -
WR Cecil Shorts - 20 -
WR Jason Hill - 30 -
WR Mike Thomas - 80,1 -
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars return much the same team from 2010 with the exception of Mike Sims-Walker gone and David Garrard's hold on being the starter is no longer as firm. Maurice Jones-Drew remains the main focus of the offense and these two teams are actually rather similar except the Jags already know their offense and are at home.

QUARTERBACK: The Jaguars are opening the year with David Garrard but like the Titans may give way to their new rookie prize. The Jaguars drafted Blaine Gabbert with their 1.10 pick with more reasons than just to backup Garrard. The only change to the receivers this year is the loss of Mike Sims-Walker who was replaced, sort of, by Jason "never did anything" Hill.

In true Jaguars fashion, they wait to the last second and cut Garrard as they did with Byron Leftwich a few seasons ago. Luke McCown will be the starter and he is already familiar with the system. This also signals that Gabberts time may be coming up faster than anticipated.

The Jaguars never passed for more than 189 yards against the Titans last year and had just one passing touchdown in the home game along with three interceptions.

RUNNING BACKS: Maurice Jones-Drew underwent knee surgery in January and did not play until the final preseason game last week when he rushed for 14 yards on five carries (including a 14 yard run). It will be imperative that Jones-Drew shows up as good as ever this week and that the knee will not be an issue. The Jaguars already lost Rashad Jennings for the year but claim that Deji Karim will be just as effective. There were overtures to having Jones-Drew used less this year to keep him fresh and healthy and now that would fall onto Karim's shoulders if it happens. This week - Jones-Drew needs to answer questions with his performance.

Jones-Drew only gained 57 yards on 17 carries when the Titans visited in 2010 though he racked up 186 yards on 31 carries later in Tennessee.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The lanes are clear for Mike Thomas to take the next step up after a very encouraging 66-820 and four scores last season. The third-year player could be due for a break-out if only because of a lack of other notable receivers on the roster. Jason Hill managed to secure the #2 spot so far despite four years in the league totaling only 51 catches. The rookie Cecil Shorts was impressive in camp and mans the slot which last year meant fewer than 15 passes all year. This should be the Thomas show and Gabbert needs to know this when he gets his starts.

Thomas gained 88 yards on eight receptions in the last meeting with the visiting TItans.

TIGHT ENDS: Marcedes Lewis returns as one of the better tight ends in the league though never quite as good as you need for a fantasy start. Lewis never had more than 40 yards in either meeting with the Titans last year and never scored. His 58 catches for 700 yards and ten scores were plenty healthy last year but introducing a rookie quarterback into the mix at some point will likely effect that.

Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 10 8 27 6 19 31
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 24 18 16 25 31 10

NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE MIN at SD SEA at SF
BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL NE at MIA (mon)
  CAR at ARI IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

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