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David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, PHI
Monday
ATL, CAR
*Updated

Prediction: TEN 24, JAC 20

Saturday Update: White had a full day of practice on Friday and is good to go.

Friday Update: Lendale White has missed two practices with the flu but has not been ruled out. I am leaving him alone at least for now since most players can just "I.V. up" before the game and play if it even last that long.

Here's a interdivisional matchup that almost featured two undefeated teams. The Jaguars finally got a win when they went to Houston last week but the Titans are trudging through a schedule that seems to constantly get worse. Going into the season, the Titans had far higher expectations and this week will be a chance to make good one them.

The Titans swept the Jaguars last year, winning 17-10 in the home opener and later 24-14 in Jacksonville.

Tennessee Titans (0-3)
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PIT 10-13 +5 37
2 HOU 31-34 -7 40.5
3 @NYJ 17-24 +2.5 37
4 @JAC - -3 41.5
5 IND - - -
6 @NE - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 JAC - - -
9 @SF - - -
10 BUF - - -
11 @HOU - - -
12 ARI - - -
13 @IND - - -
14 STL - - -
15 MIA - - -
16 SD - - -
17 @SEA - - -
TEN at JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Kerry Collins     220,1
RB Chris Johnson 90,1 20  
RB LenDale White 30,1    
TE Alge Crumpler   40  
WR Justin Gage   50,1  
WR Nate Washington   40  
WR Kenny Britt   60  
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: Heads are hanging low in Tennessee but at least two of their losses were on the road against top rated defenses and in all games they were competitive and could have won for the want of a play or two. The Texans were more likely a trap game of sorts and the bottom line is all that matters - 0-3. The upcoming schedule is not going to be any help either with IND, @NE and @SF up next besides the two meetings with the Jaguars. This week is a must win. A loss here means the season is over.

Quarterback: Kerry Collins hasn't changed his passing stats much just because the Titans are losing every week. He remains good for around one touchdown per game and his 244 yards in Pittsburgh are the high mark so far. Troublesome too are the two turnovers per game along with a couple of sacks. He has yet to throw more than 37 times in a game.

Collins passed for 230 yards and three touchdowns in Jacksonville last year.

This should have some stats for Collins if he will take advantage of it. The Jags are averaging around 280 passing yards and two scores allowed per game. That's pretty high to expect from Collins but his normal mediocrity is safe to happen.

Running Backs: Chris Johnson had his monster 284 yard, three touchdown game against the Texans and still had a very respectable 97 yards on 22 carries while visiting the Jets. He was back to a single catch again and has yet to be a factor as a receiver away from Tennessee. That held true in 2008 as well when he always had two catches in games away from home.

Lendale White has turned in almost the exact same game every week of around 25 yards but he finally scored last Sunday. He is less a factor this season with the rushing attack slowed by the great defenses faced so far.

Johnson rushed for 64 yards on 17 carries and added 24 yards on four catches in Jacksonville last season. White only had 52 yards on 14 yards.

The Jaguars rushing defense has been surprisingly solid so far with Steve Slaton's 76 rushing yards the high mark against them. But that came on 12 carries and the Titans are going to be very hungry. Do not hesitate to use Johnson who should score at least once and have moderate to good yardage.

Wide Receivers: Nate Washington is the leading scorer from this unit but he never has more than 36 yards. His fantasy value relies on him catching the touchdown or not. Justin Gage opened the year with a nice game but has been a nonfactor in the two matchups since. Kenny Britt hasn't scored yet but actually leads the team with 166 receiving yards so far.

Gage had a monster showing in Jacksonville last year when he gained 147 yards and two scores on just four receptions.

The Jaguars opened the year with the 162 yard game by Reggie Wayne and each opponent has had success passing but the Titans won't pass much more than average. That does still favor Gage to show up again but none of these wideouts are greatly attractive this week - or pretty much any week.

Tight Ends: Bo Scaife returned to practice last week at least on a limited basis but was still inactive on Sunday while he recuperates from his knee sprain. I will assume he is out again this week. Alge Crumpler has stepped up but remains good for around 40 yards in every game and still has not scored. That average game should fit into what the Jaguars have been allowing.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 24 6 17 23 26 16
Preventing Fantasy Points    JAC 26 18 30 13 4 9


Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 12-14 +6.5 44.5
2 ARI 17-31 -3 43
3 @HOU 31-24 +4 46.5
4 TEN - +3 41.5
5 @SEA - - -
6 STL - - -
7 BYE - - -
8 @TEN - - -
9 KC - - -
10 @NYJ - - -
11 BUF - - -
12 @SF - - -
13 HOU - - -
14 MIA - - -
15 IND - - -
16 @NE - - -
17 @CLE - - -
JAX vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     230,2
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 60 30  
TE Marcedes Lewis   50,1  
WR Torry Holt   50  
WR Mike Sims-Walker   100,1  
WR Mike Thomas   10  
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Winning in Houston helped turn the ship around and scoring 31 points showed the offense is still alive - even if it is mostly just Maurice Jones-Drew. Though the Titans are 0-3, this is the toughest game in the next three so a win here could be followed by games against the Seahawks and Rams. At the week seven bye, the Jaguars could be 4-2 but this week will answer better who the Jaguars are this year.

Quarterback: David Garrard has remained his mediocre self this year with just two passing scores over three games but both happened at home which gives some optimism for this week. Historically he has always been a very average quarterback but that cannot happen this week and still expect to win.

Garrard passed for only 135 yards when the Titans visited in 2008.

The Titans secondary has been exposed this year like never before and after giving up two games with over 350 passing yards, even the rookie Mark Sanchez pegged them for 171 yards and two passing touchdown and a rushing score while in the rain. The Titans pass defense has never been weaker and Garrard has to take advantage of that if he can. Expect a better than average game for him but Garrard is still not likely to be an attractive fantasy start.

Running Backs: Oddly enough, Maurice Jones-Drew has turned in two very good fantasy weeks - both on the road. His only home game (Cardinals) was easily his worst game of the year and very likely so will this one against a very good Titans rushing defense. He's been good for around four or five catches each week regardless and his 147 total yards and three scores last week led the entire NFL for fantasy points.

Fred Taylor and Jones-Drew combined for 124 yards and two touchdowns against the visiting Titans last year.

This year the Titans have been outstanding against the run with no running back scoring against them and no back gaining more than 46 rushing yards. Jones-Drew playing at home should do better than that but he'll be challenged to have any big game here. The Titans will be stacking the box against him for the entire game.

Wide Receivers: Mike Sims-Walker had his best game at home against the Cardinals when he had six receptions for 106 yards and one score. Last week he still gained 81 yards on six catches. As long as he remains healthy - always a big if - he has been a productive member of the passing game and that will play out big this week. The Jaguars have lost Troy Williamson to injured reserve and Mike Thomas looks to take his place but the slot has been almost invisible in this offense that likes to use two tight ends more often than not. Torry Holt continues the same role he had in St. Louis last year. He makes possession catches and has around 50 yards in each game without any touchdowns.

The Jaguars are facing a secondary that has always been exploited this year and this may be as good as it gets for the wideouts since the Titans will devote their defense to stopping the run. The Titans may be without CB Cortland FInnegan who has a hamstring issue and the secondary was a sieve even with him in there. Have to expect Sims-Walker to have a nice game here. Holt could as well but so far there has not been enough to suggest that he can take advantage of any matchup.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis only had one catch last week but his best game of the year came in Jacksonville against the Cardinals when he caught three passes for 62 yards and a score. He matches up well again this week and makes for a nice outlet for Garrard. If you are looking for a bye week tight end, Lewis should fit the bill.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 20 11 20 21 20 19
Preventing Fantasy Points    TEN 31 1 31 29 26 25

The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, PHI
Monday
ATL, CAR
Other Features
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Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
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