Thanks to Joe Caporoso, who writes about the Jets on The Cockpit, for participating in a question and answer exchange about this week’s Titans-Jets game. Following are Joe’s questions about the Titans, with my answers.
The Cockpit: Has Justin Gage now shown enough to silent critics that the Titans lack a big play receiver?
Total Titans: In my opinion, and I believe most Titans fans will agree, the answer is no. Gage has had two good weeks in a row, but has otherwise been very inconsistent and is just fourth in receptions for the Titans. (The Titans leading receivers are not WRs — TE Bo Scaife and RB Chris Johnson lead in that category. Scaife has 40 receptions and Gage has only 21.) On a related note, during the offseason I asked for your opinion on Justin McCareins. You were absolutely right in saying you didn’t believe he would help the Titans. At least so far.
The Cockpit: If you are game-planning against the Titans, how would you recommend moving the ball on their defense?
Total Titans: Good question. It’s been a little difficult for teams to move the ball, but a few have had success in different ways. Aaron Rodgers passed for over 300 yards against them and Houston rushed for well over 100. If it was me, I’d pick on the left cornerback, either Nick Harper or Chris Carr. Harper might or might not return from an ankle injury, and his backup, Eric King, will be out with a broken arm. The third man on the depth chart, Carr, was picked on by the Jaguars last week. Carr gave up a big cushion in the first half for some easy catches but played tighter in the second half and made a few big plays.
The Cockpit: Why have the Titans had some issues running the ball as of late? (I am thinking mostly of the Chicago game.)
Total Titans: Most teams have been crowding the line of scrimmage and putting eight, and sometimes nine, men in the box. The Bears had success by stunting and using their linebackers effectively in filling the gaps.
The Cockpit: Do you think the Titans have a healthy respect for the Jets as a serious contender in the AFC?
Total Titans: Absolutely, yes. The teams have met for two years in a row and have split in two very close games. Jeff Fisher won’t allow the team to overlook anyone and with the way the Jets have been playing lately, the Titans will take them very seriously.
The Cockpit: Do you think this team is capable of going 16-0?
Total Titans: Yessirree, Bob, they are capable of it. I’d be very surprised, though, if they don’t stub their toe and trip once or twice along the way. Even if the Titans don’t have a stinker, the Jets, Steelers or Colts are the toughest teams on the rest of the schedule and the most likely to beat them.
I’ll post my questions to Joe, with his answers, on Thursday.