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Can the Jags beat the Titans?

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Debbie from Indianapolis, IN:
I don't think the Jaguars will have to worry about empty seats this Sunday because they will be filled with Titans fans.

Vic: I asked the ticket department and they said there hasn't been any kind of spike in ticket requests from Nashville. It is not expected that a significant faction of Titans fans will be in attendance on Sunday.

Mark from High Springs, FL:
What key matchups should we be looking for between our offensive line and the Titans defense? Who's going to have to be the most physical in order to open up our running game?

Vic: Albert Haynesworth has to be managed. I don't think there should be an expectation for moving him, but he has to be neutralized to the point that he's not allowed to penetrate and disrupt. That task will fall on the interior guys, center Brad Meester and guards Uche Nwaneri and Dennis Norman or Tutan Reyes.

Michael from Virginia Beach, VA:
If you were Jeff Fisher, would you consider using a trick formation in order to utilize Vince Young?

Vic: Yes.

Tom from Jacksonville:
I really, really think the Jags are going to win this Sunday. Have you been getting a lot of e-mails saying the same thing?

Vic: Yes.

Issak from Washington, IA:
You are one tough-minded individual; all the hate and you just keep on ticking. Is the paycheck what gets you through?

Vic: Yes.

John from Newport News, VA:
The Jaguars couldn't stop the run or run against the Titans in the last game and have been performing subpar for most of the season. With the exception of Detroit, we couldn't rush the quarterback, either. What, if anything, gives you reason to believe the Titans can be beaten on Sunday?

Vic: I'm pinning my hopes on the possibility that the Jaguars will put it all together for one last shot at resurrecting their season. As far as the Titans are concerned, I'm not buying into that "Goliath" stuff Jack Del Rio handed us on Wednesday. Yes, I think the Titans are a strong team, but their schedule hasn't been all that difficult. Show me a signature win. Indianapolis? Hey, the Jaguars beat the Colts and the Jaguars did it in Indianapolis.

T. Max from Los Angeles, CA:
I'm thinking the Jaguars need to score at least 31 points in order to win against the Titans this Sunday. I don't think the Jags can hold the Titans' under 28 points. How many points do you think the Jaguars need in order to come out with a win?

Vic: Twenty.

Nick from Toronto, Ontario:
How would you rate Rashean Mathis' play this season? I've heard reports that he's played great and others that have said he hasn't played great. Can you clear this up for me?

Vic: Mathis has made big plays this season, as he always seems to do. That's his trademark; he makes big plays. He has three interceptions this season and returned two of those for touchdowns. On the negative side, Mathis has gotten beat for big plays, which is going to be the case with all cornerbacks but I think Mathis' number is higher than he'd like this season. He's a cornerback who likes to play trail technique and that'll produce interceptions but it also introduces the risk of allowing a big play. I'd like to see him get more safety help. Go ahead, let him play for the big play, the interception and return. He has a definite knack for making that kind of play. I think that's his strength; he has good hands and usually catches the ball when he gets his hands on it. I'd like to see him get more help, however, and that would mean making him more of a squat corner or cover two corner than the man-to-man corner he is.

Steven from Jacksonville:
How do you feel about halftime shows?

Vic: I don't know because I don't watch them. At halftime, I get a hot dog, talk to some guys, etc. I'm usually rushing to get back to my seat for the start of the second half. I can't remember the last halftime show I saw.

Wade from Orange Park, FL:
Can the Jaguars offensive line use a different scheme if they physically can not control the line of scrimmage?

Vic: You can run traps and misdirection plays, but you can't overdo it.

Mark from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
What is your best memory of a player who ended up being great when the team showed patience early in his career?

Vic: Mel Blount is the guy. The early part of his career provided little indication that he would become a Hall of Fame player. Some think he's the greatest cornerback ever, but nobody was thinking that way in the 1974 postseason when he was benched by defensive coordinator Bud Carson in the second half of the AFC title game because Cliff Branch was beating him. Blount made an interception off a deflection two weeks later in Super Bowl IX, but he appeared to be on his way out when the Steelers made Dave Brown their first-round pick in the 1975 draft. So what happened? Well, that was the year Blount's career blossomed. He became the best cornerback in the game and the NFL defensive MVP and no one saw it coming. It took five years to get there but he arrived in a big way. Three years later, the league changed the pass-defense rules because he was so dominant in bump-and-run coverage.

Dino from Jacksonville:
People at work are saying the Jaguars won't make it here because there is a lack of fan support for the team. Do you think the Jaguars will be moved to another city in the near future?

Vic: No.

Matt from Keystone Heights, FL:
How exactly do members of the media such as yourself come about a press pass and admittance to press conferences, locker rooms, etc.? Is that a right granted by the team to certain parties?

Vic: Press credentials are granted to members of credible media outlets.

Carl from Jacksonville:
Can you see the Jags winning against the Titans? Vic: "Ask me later in the week. I wanna think on this one." So what do you think, Vic?

Vic: Yeah, I can see the Jaguars winning. First of all, I think the Jaguars will give their best effort of the season. This is a game that has a Steelers-Jaguars feel to it. Secondly, I think the Jaguars are catching the Titans at a very good time. Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch is trying to overcome a groin injury and linebacker Keith Bulluck has some banged up ribs. What good is it having the big lead the Titans have if you don't use it to get people healthy? So, there are some cracks in that Titans defensive front and that should help the Jaguars run the ball and protect the quarterback. My big concern for the Jaguars is stopping the run. They're just not doing it. Even the Lions came within four yards of having a 100-yard rusher. I think the Jaguars' run-defense is the key. If the Jags can stop the run, I think they'll win this game. If they can't stop the run, they won't have the ball long enough to win the game.

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