Jags at Titans Preview
Nashville, TN - The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the same position they were at the bye week last season.
The Tennessee Titans hardly resemble last year's team, and it may cost Kerry Collins his starting job.
An AFC South matchup with the winless Titans on Sunday should give the Jaguars an excellent opportunity to move above .500 for the first time this season, with Collins perhaps set to be benched in favor of Vince Young.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Titans -3 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 54% of bets for this game have been placed on the Titans -3 (View NFL bet percentages).
Jacksonville (3-3) has won three of four, including a 37-17 victory over Tennessee (0-6) on Oct. 4. The Jaguars also were 3-3 last season but were terrible after their bye week, losing eight of 10.
Following this year's week off, Jacksonville believes it is heading in the right direction.
"This is a different team, different locker room, different attitude," tight end Marcedes Lewis said. "I just feel like leadership on this team this year is better. The young guys are buying in, everybody's buying in. It's a different attitude about everything, about how we handle our business."
David Garrard, who threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns versus the Titans, agreed.
"We've had some bumps in the road, but with this team, I know these guys are passionate about being Jaguars and being a part of this team," Garrard said. "Not to name any names, but you definitely had a different feel (in 2008). You probably had more bickering in the locker room."
Jacksonville parted with nearly a dozen starters following last year's collapse. The Jaguars appeared headed for another long season after losing 41-0 to Seattle on Oct. 11, but bounced back the next week with a 23-20 victory over winless St. Louis.
Tennessee, St. Louis and Tampa Bay are the only teams that have yet to win a game. The Titans have lost eight straight since last season, when they won their first 10 en route to finishing an NFL-best 13-3.
Collins went 12-3 as a starter in 2008, replacing Young in a season-opening 17-10 win over Jacksonville on Sept. 7, 2008.
Young was intercepted twice in that contest and had to be told by coach Jeff Fisher to go back into the game. Young hurt his knee a few plays later.
Now, Young may get a chance to make his first start since then.
Titans owner Bud Adams reportedly spoke to Fisher during the bye week, telling the coach he wants Young to start against the Jaguars over Collins, who went 2 for 12 for minus-7 yards and an interception in a 59-0 loss to New England on Oct. 18.
It was the largest margin of defeat since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Young went 0 for 2 with an interception in relief of Collins.
For "competitive reasons," Fisher has declined to say who his starter will be. Tennessee hasn't scored a touchdown in eight quarters.
"We've had a week to do some different things. And especially considering the circumstances we're in right now with the record, there's things that you need to do differently," Fisher said. "Let's just say I'm not going to be as specific and (will be) open-ended from a competitive standpoint."
Young replaced Collins during an 0-5 start in '06, and he went on to earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors as the Titans finished 8-8. He regressed the following season, throwing nine TDs while getting picked off 17 times.
Young has thrown for 693 yards and three touchdowns with eight interceptions in five starts against Jacksonville, but Tennessee won three of those matchups.
Jacksonville cornerback Rashean Mathis, who has intercepted Young three times, is uncertain for this contest after suffering a broken left index finger against the Rams. Mathis, the Jaguars' best defensive back, had surgery during the bye week.
"This is a finger," Mathis said. "I still have my legs. I can still move my arms. I'm still in great health. I can still run around and tackle. A knee is totally different than a finger."
If Mathis can't play, Scott Starks or Tyrone Brackenridge would likely start opposite rookie Derek Cox.
Posted: 10/28/09 7:45PM ET