1:00 PM ET, November 20, 2005
Jacksonville (6-3) at Tennessee (2-7), Sunday 1:00 pm EST
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The next three weeks could go a long way in determining if the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
The Jaguars begin a three-game road trip Sunday when they visit the Tennessee Titans in an AFC South matchup.
Jacksonville has not been to the playoffs since going 14-2 in 1999 and losing to Tennessee in the AFC championship game.
There is an opportunity for the Jaguars to make a run at the playoffs this season since they have one of the NFL's easiest remaining schedules. They have just one game left against a team with a winning record.
Following this contest, Jacksonville's road trip includes visits to Arizona and Cleveland, which have a combined 5-13 record.
Jacksonville likely is playing for a wild card since it is three games behind unbeaten Indianapolis.
Last season, the Jaguars also had a 6-3 record heading into a home meeting against the Titans. The Jaguars suffered an 18-15 defeat that started a three-game losing streak.
Greg Jones was filling in for Fred Taylor, who missed the game with a sprained right ankle. It is uncertain if Taylor will return for this contest.
Coming off their bye, the rebuilding Titans are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Two weeks ago, Steve McNair went just 18-of-41 for 235 yards and a touchdown in a 20-14 loss at Cleveland.
Tennessee has struggled defensively, ranking 26th in the league in scoring (25.7 points per game).
The teams split two meetings last season, with both being decided by a field goal.
In the contest here, Taylor scored on a one-yard run with nine seconds remaining to lift the Jaguars to a 15-12 victory. The Jaguars drove for the winning touchdown after Chris Brown's 26-yard touchdown run had given Tennessee a 12-7 lead with 5:37 remaining.
The winning drive featured a one-yard run by Greg Jones on a 4th-and-1 play, a 3rd-and-4 offsides penalty against the Titans and a critical pass interference call against Tennessee nickel back Lamont Thompson in the end zone.
Matchup to watch: Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith, who has 32 catches for 526 yards and four touchdowns, faces rookie right cornerback Adam "Pacman' Jones.
Series: Tennessee leads, 12-8.
Next week: Jacksonville visits Arizona, November 27 Tennessee hosts San Francisco, November 27
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Titans must pressure Leftwich
The one thing for certain about this rivalry is that both teams don't like each other. The Jaguars looked dominating last week against the Ravens after playing to the level of their competition in the first eight weeks, while the Titans got healthy with a bye.
The Jaguars need to start fast and continue to utilize balance on offense with their run and pass ratio. Look for the Jaguars to continue to spread the field with their big receiving corps to create and exploit mismatches. Titans' defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz used the bye to self-scout his defense and will incorporate a few wrinkles in the Titans' pressure packages to confuse and pressure QB Bryon Leftwich.
The Titans must eliminate mistakes and penalties against a Jaguars' defense that is ranked fifth in the NFL. Offensive coordinator Norm Chow will continue to utilize an up-tempo style on offense, with different personnel groupings, to keep the Jaguars' defense off-balance. Jags defensive coordinator Mike Smith will continue to utilize his speed and quickness on defense to stay aggressive and attack QB Steve McNair.
Both head coaches will put a high emphasis this week on special teams, as field position and the hidden yardage will be critical in the outcome of this game.
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|Avg Points Allowed||17.0||26.2|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||JAX|
|Rush Yds Allowed||JAX|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Tennessee leads 6-4|
|Nov 21, 2004||JAX 15, TEN 18|
|Sep 26, 2004||JAX 15, @TEN 12|
|Nov 16, 2003||JAX 3, @TEN 10|
|Oct 26, 2003||JAX 17, TEN 30|
|Dec 22, 2002||JAX 10, TEN 28|
|Oct 13, 2002||JAX 14, @TEN 23|
|Nov 4, 2001||JAX 24, @TEN 28|
|Sep 23, 2001||JAX 13, TEN 6|