How I See It: AFC South Stock Watch

October, 6, 2009
10/06/09
11:03
AM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


Falling

1. Titans defensive backs: Filling in for the injured Cortland Finnegan, rookie corner Jason McCourty got picked on. But over and over, David Garrard’s targets found open spaces in Tennessee’s secondary. Is this group playing so far off because it’s scared of someone getting behind it?

Or is all the cushion and are all those gaps a scheme issue that is a result of something rookie defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil and the defensive staff are doing?

Ugoh
2. Tony Ugoh, Colts OT: The guy the Colts traded up to draft in the second round in 2007 lost his starting job to Charlie Johnson in the offseason. But Sunday he didn’t even rate as the swing backup to Johnson and right tackle Ryan Diem.

Though Ugoh wasn’t on the injury report during the week, he was inactive Sunday and Dan Federkeil was the swing tackle.

Collins
3. Kerry Collins, Titans QB: He completed only 60 percent of his throws, missing receivers high 11 times by the count of ESPN Stats and Information while throwing two interceptions for the second week in a row.

He needs more help, sure, but a team looking to break out of a terrible funk needs a jolt from somewhere, and the quarterback is one of the guys who needs to provide it.

Rising

Alexander
1. Gerald Alexander, Jaguars SS: The Jaguars acquired him in a late offseason trade for receiver Dennis Northcutt and what a nice addition he has turned out to be. Sunday against Tennessee he started in place of the injured Sean Considine.

And he forced a Chris Johnson fumble and intercepted Collins before halftime. It could be hard for them to take him off the field when they are healthy.

Powers
2. Jerraud Powers, Colts CB: The rookie has his team’s confidence, and the only thing that’s kept him off the field so far this season is a groin injury. It’s clear the team has confidence in him and once everyone is healthy, odds are he starts opposite Kelvin Hayden with Marlin Jackson continuing as the nickel.

Powers started his third game Sunday and against the Seahawks he was credited with six tackles, second on the team, and was a big part of a very solid defensive effort.

Garrard
3. David Garrard, Jaguars QB: Garrard’s 126.3 passer rating was his highest since Nov. 9, 2008 against woeful Detroit. He looked poised and confident, delivering the ball accurately against a defense allowing his targets space.

And his eight runs for 38 yards were both season highs and helped the offense’s effectiveness.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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