A share of AFC South supremacy will be on the line when the Tennessee Titans (3-2) face the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) in tomorrow's Monday Night showdown.
Through the years, both teams have been mirror-images of themselves, following the lead of their tough-minded head coaches (Jeff Fisher, Jack Del Rio) as they emphasize a physical brand of football usually centered upon a successful running attack.
Up next...a preview and a prediction for the latest installment of the Titans/Jaguars bitter rivalry.
A central element in last week's exciting Titans' victory over the Cowboys was the newfound offensive approach of emphasizing the vertical attack. Fisher and Dinger finally allowed Vince Young to take some shots downfield and the strategy paid off handsomely, as the offense showed its big-play passing potential, which in turn, allowed Chris Johnson to take advantage of some badly-needed extra running room.
Attempting to make some plays down-the-field should continue to be the Titans modus operandi on Monday Night as they face a Jacksonville team that has clearly established themselves as one of the league's worst units defending the pass.
Through the first five games of the 2010 season, the Jags are ranked a lowly 29th against the pass. They've relinquished 12 touchdown passes (most in the league) and have allowed opposing signal-callers to post a cumulative QB rating of 108.4 (second highest).
For the proverbial icing on the cake, Jacksonville has given up a league-worst 22 passing plays of 20+ yards, with 8 of them resulting in tosses of 40 yards and over.
Hopefully, the Titans will take advantage of a porous Jaguar pass defense by continuing its newly-established strategy of making a conscious effort to complete some deep throws.
Who will win the battle of the red zone?
Both the Titans and the Jaguars have done an outstanding job of converting on their red zone opportunities. Through the season's first five games, the teams are ranked 2nd and 3rd in red zone scoring percentage, with the Titans successful on over 73% of their attempts and the Jags right behind at 70%.
In what should be a closely contested battle between two bitter rivals competing for AFC South bragging rights, the ability (or inability) to successfully convert scoring opportunities in the red zone could be the difference between victory and defeat tomorrow night.
In our weekly Q&A exchange, Teal Power's Nate Bruce predicted a 26-24 victory, with Josh Scobee nailing a game-winner.
I'll take the Titans over the Jags 23-20, with Rob Bironas quieting the Jacksonville crowd by hitting a game-winning three-pointer.
Any thoughts/predictions regarding tomorrow's Monday Night showdown? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.