Let's change this up a little bit today. Let's take a look at Sunday's game from the other team's perspective. So, what are the Tennessee Titans thinking as they prepare to host the Jaguars this Sunday?
Well, coach Jeff Fisher has undoubtedly tried to sell the concept of a "one game season" this Sunday. In the Titans' case, there is legitimate sale potential. After all, the Titans have a bye week after this Sunday's game, and that usually limits looking ahead, and the Titans are also facing a very desperate circumstance. Without it having to be said, the Titans are fully aware that whatever hope they have of making something of this season rests with a win over the Jaguars.
With a win this Sunday, the Titans believe they will have climbed back into the AFC South title race. The Titans are saying to themselves: "Beat the Jaguars, take a week off, then win at Cincinnati and at Indianapolis and we're right back in this at 4-4."
Maybe the Titans have even peaked at the Jaguars' schedule and saw five road games in seven weeks. All of a sudden, a 1-4 team has convinced itself life isn't as bad as it seems.
All of that, of course, depends on beating the Jaguars. A loss Sunday and it's curtains for Tennessee.
So, in keeping with today's theme, here's "10 things" the Titans have to do to beat the Jaguars.
- Turn back the clock--Titans success under Fisher was built on Eddie George between the tackles, Steve McNair dumping the ball over the middle and on the screens and delays to tight end Frank Wycheck, and the Titans defense allowing for that kind of patient attack to unfold. It has to be that way again this Sunday. It's how the Titans play football.
- Stop Fred Taylor--His big-play ability threatens to cancel the Titans' plans and schemes.
- Force Brunell to throw short--It's not likely the 28th-ranked pass-defense in the NFL will shut down Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith, but they better limit those two to pitch and catch in the short zone. The Titans can not recover from having allowed big plays.
- Get McNair outside the pocket--The Jaguars live in fear of McNair in the open field, even if McNair is not the runner he once was. Just show it once and awhile.
- Dust off last year's game plan--It was the perfect strategy, given the Titans' circumstances, which are very similar to this Sunday's.
- Rally 'round the coach--Bud Adams' criticism of Fisher should result in a positive player backlash.
- Defend your turf--The Coliseum, by any name, is the Titans' home and the Jaguars have never won there.
- Test the Jaguars' middle--The Jaguars are 26th in the league against the run. Test the two first-round picks.
- Treat it as a big game--The Titans have enjoyed their most success against the Jaguars in big-game situations. Fool yourself.
- Do like McNabb--Leave it all on the field.