Our thanks go to Shane Clemons, from Bloguin's Jacksonville Jaguars blog, The Jaggernaut. Shane was kind enough to join us this time in our weekly question and answer exchange with a blogger who looks at things from the other side's point of view.
Following are Shane's answers to my questions. I'll post a link here for my answers to his questions when he posts them on his site.
Total Titans: Although the Jaguars lost last week, it was by far their best game of the year. What are the most encouraging things you saw that the team can build upon? What would you like to see them keep doing?
The Jaggernaut: With Chad Henne at quarterback, the Jaguars moved the ball almost at will against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Obviously, as a Jaguars fan, I'd like to continue to see them push the ball down the field as well as using combination routes to get playmakers like Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon the ball in open field. The Jaguars looked like a solid team with competent quarterback play. This weekend's game will tell us a lot about the Jaguars, and even though he's not playing, the Jaguars will learn a lot about Blaine Gabbert.
TT: What is a Jalen Parmele and what does he bring to the Jaguars that Rashad Jennings didn't?
TJ: Jalen Parmele is a straight ahead runner, and that's what the Jaguars have been lacking without Maurice Jones-Drew. Rashad Jennings has a tendency to try to make something of nothing, and it ultimately costs the team yards. Parmele isn't going to bust a huge play unless he's given a big hole, but he consistently gets what the defense gives them, and that's all the Jaguars are asking of them.
TT: Who are the Jaguars offensive and defensive MVPs at this point? Who should we keep an eye on Sunday?
TJ: Paul Posluszny is the Jaguars' best defensive player, and he earns my DMVP award for the second year in a row. He tackles, moves well all over the field, and he's a warrior in the trenches. In other words, he's everything you want in a middle linebacker.
Picking an offensive MVP is difficult considering the Jaguars' offensive woes, but my pick for the award would be Cecil Shorts III. He's been the Jaguars' most consistent target this season, and he has the quickness and speed to take a short play and turn it into something huge.
TT: If you were coaching against the Jaguars, what would your game plans be on each side of the ball?
TJ: The Jaguars will be looking to turn their success last week into a victory this week. On offense, I would run the ball up the middle early and often, and I would plan to play off of that with the play action game, much as the Jaguars did last week. Combination routes were very effective against the Texans as opposed to the normal isolation routes the Jaguars have run much of the year, so I would continue running the combinations.
On defense, it's all about stuffing Chris Johnson. The Titans haven't had a great season, and if the Jaguars can keep the Titans in 2nd and 3rd and long situations, their chances of winning go way up. The Jaguars' secondary has played well without a pass rush much of the season, and I would like to see a lot of man coverage on the backend on early downs to allow linebackers to be as active as possible in run defense.
TT: Care to make a prediction? Who wins and why?
TJ: The Jaguars are a different team without Blaine Gabbert -- in a good way. Chad Henne gives the Jaguars optimism and confidence in getting the ball down field. If, and it's a big if, the Jaguars play well on defense, I see the Jaguars winning relatively comfortably, something like 27-17 in Jacksonville's favor.
Thanks again to Shane for joining us this week and be sure to check out The Jaggernaut for more Jaguars content and opinion.