Game Scout: Jaguars at Titans

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) at Tennessee Titans (4-4)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at LP Field, Nashville - TV: CBS
*TV announcers: Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
*Keys to the game: Blown coverage is becoming a glaring concern on the back end of the defense in Jacksonville, especially against mobile quarterbacks and play-action passing. Tennessee presents that very double-whammy for Bob Babich's defense Sunday. The Jaguars always expect a good test for their run defense - ranked worst in the league - when facing a Tennessee running game featuring Chris Johnson. Johnson got his first 100-yard rushing game of the season against the Rams last week as he gained 150 yards on 23 carries. In the previous four games, he had just 110 yards in 46 carries. The return of Shonn Greene as a short-yardage and goal-line runner has added some spring to Johnson's step. With an average margin of defeat of 22, the Jaguars rarely get the chance to set the tempo with RB Maurice Jones-Drew. He's the heart of the offense but rendered virtually useless by a defense that is easily picked apart, struggles on third down and doesn't get to the quarterback. The weight of putting up points falls to QB Chad Henne, who has 300-yard games in two of his last three starts. But with WR Justin Blackmon (suspended) out, Henne will need to dink and dunk down the field with long drives to keep Jacksonville in the game.
*Matchup to watch - Titans OG Chance Warmack vs. Jaguars DT Sen'Derrick Marks: Marks was not re-signed by the Titans in the offseason, and will be champing to face his former team. Warmack, the Titans' first-round pick, played better last week against the Rams as the running game finally got going.
*Player spotlight - Titans WR Kendall Wright: He sees constant single-coverage and while he's not blowing by cornerbacks, Wright is doing his best work with a team-high 238 yards after the catch. He has a 20-plus-yard reception in five straight games.
*Fast facts: The Titans have played just one game in the AFC South this season (0-1). ... The Jaguars are 2-22 since Shad Khan purchased the franchise from Wayne Weaver.
Tennessee can keep its goal of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2008 alive by dispatching a Jacksonville team that only poses a threat if the Titans suffer self-inflicted wounds.
*Our pick: Titans 33-15

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