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Friday, October 22, 2010
Final Word: AFC South

By Paul Kuharsky

» NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 7:

Gigantic obstacle: For the Philadelphia Eagles, the 6-foot-9, 330-pound King Dunlap will play left tackle for the injured Jason Peters. Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Dave Ball would seem primed for a classic speed vs. size matchup here. But Jeff Fisher said the Eagles chip more than anyone in the league, even with receivers. So Ball can expect regularly to be knocked off course by a tight end, back or even a wideout before he gets a chance to get around Dunlap. And Kevin Kolb gets rid of the ball on time in a quick-passing offense.

Alterraun Verner
Alterraun Verner and the Titans are 4-0 when they have a turnover advantage.
Evaluate effort: The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t exactly go down swinging in Week 6 in the "Monday Night Football" home loss to the Titans. Once the Titans built a lead, it seemed clear Jacksonville didn’t think it could catch up. Against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7, the proper response now is to come out guns blazing. The Jaguars need to play with tremendous effort to show the team knows it’s 3-3 and has not given up on itself or coach Jack Del Rio. Rally around a substitute quarterback, facilitate a big game for tailback Maurice Jones-Drew, make sure Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel is uncomfortable. It’s a test of leadership, at least to a degree.

Turnover edge: The Titans are 4-0 in games where they’ve had a turnover advantage and 0-2 in games where the other team’s had it. The Titans have seven takeaways in their last two games. But the Eagles have only turned the ball over five times this year, and have had the turnover edge in five of their six games.

Get the star going: Jones-Drew has a solid history against the Chiefs. He’s scored a touchdown in three consecutive games against Kansas City. The Jaguars need to make sure the Chiefs do not get any sort of substantial lead, so they can rely on Jones-Drew's running. That's the preferred option with backup QBs Trent Edwards or Todd Bouman starting for the injured David Garrard. MJD averages 5.0 yards a carry as a starter on the road.

Dreading it: Colts fans won’t necessarily be enjoying their team's weekend off, knowing how injury-depleted the team will be when it resumes play Nov. 1 against the Houston Texans, who also have a bye. They learned this week that Dallas Clark is finished for the season, Austin Collie will miss at least a couple of games and Antonio Johnson had knee surgery. Moving forward, they can look forward to an update on Joseph Addai, who’s dealing with a shoulder injury that can cost him time, too.