Free NFL Picks Tennessee at Jacksonville 10-18-2010

October 18, 2010


Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Monday October 18th, 2010 8:30 PM EST

Line: Tennessee -3


The Jaguars are 3-2 coming into Monday Night’s game. They are on a two game win streak that began with a 58 yard Josh Scobee field goal that knocked off the Colts. The Titans have been up and down all season. They are 3-2 and have not won or lost back to back games all season. The Titans are right about where they were expected to be, while it is hard to believe the Jaguars are 3-2 to this point. As of right now it is anyone’s division to take. This game will be very telling of where each team is headed this year.

Keys to the Game:

  • The Jaguars haven’t faced a running back like Chris Johnson all year. When Johnson rushes for 100 yards, the result has been a Titans win. When he doesn’t, they lose. Johnson is one of the fastest people on the people on the planet. He also happens to have incredible agility that makes him almost impossible to hold off for an entire game. If Johnson gets going, the entire offense opens up. He has the potential to embarrass defenses and break their will. When that happens, Vince Young becomes more comfortable being a play maker. When Johnson is having a big day, he commands the attention of the entire defense. It is critical for the Titans to get him the ball early. The Jaguars need to limit his big plays by setting hard edges on the outside. I just don’t think they have the personnel to do it.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew hasn’t been too shabby for the Jaguars. The Titans will need to keep a close watch on Jones-Drew. He is a complete back who can do it all. Like Johnson, he is the centerpiece of his entire offense. If the Titans manage to dismantle him, David Gerrard doesn’t have a chance. Jones-Drew is consistent. He is off to a much better start than he was last year. If the Jaguars can get the ground game going, David Gerrard can develop some sort of a comfort zone. Both teams are strong at running the ball and defending the run. This game is going to be a battle between Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew.
  • When the Jaguars smell the end zone, they look to Marcedes Lewis. The 26 year old tight end already has five touchdowns through five games. That puts him right behind Antonio Gates (7) for most touchdowns by a tight end this year. Lewis gets in the end zone once every 3.2 times he touches the ball. This shows that when Gerrard needs someone to throw the ball to in a high pressure situation, he feeds it to his big tight end. When they get close, Lewis is a more effective option than even Jones-Drew, who has only one touchdown on the whole year.
  • Tennessee is not afraid to bring the heat. They lead the NFL with 22 sacks on the year. This leaves them vulnerable to a quick thinking quarterback who can find the open man in a hurry. David Gerrard does not fit that description. If the Titans can hold off Jones-Drew in the beginning it is going to put pressure on Gerrard. Gerrard had a 75% or above completion rating in each of his three wins. It will be up to the Tennessee defense to apply pressure and confuse Gerrard. He will likely panic and force the ball to his check down guy, Lewis. If the Titans can bait him, Gerrard will make mistakes. San Diego forced him to throw four picks in that game alone. Letting Gerrard sit pretty in the pocket is foolish and you won’t see the Titans sitting back all day and letting him dump off passes to the receiver of his liking.

Wrap Up:

The Jaguars are a middle of the road team. They are average to below average at just about everything. The Titans have the ability to dominate a football game. Jacksonville is probably the easiest place to play in all of professional football. The Jaguars can play great at times, they just aren’t talented enough to be taken seriously. All that can change on Monday Night, but I just don’t see it happening.

Free NFL Pick: Tennessee -3

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