Gameday Week 11; Jaguars at Titans
Hubbuch, Bart, The Florida Times Union
Byline: Bart Hubbuch
Today could mark the last time Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair faces the Jaguars in Nashville.
Next spring, McNair, 32, is due a $50 million bonus that will have to be restructured if he is to return for a 12th season with the Titans. And that assumes McNair (right) wants to come back in the wake of numerous injuries, including a blow to the sternum from Jaguars defensive tackle Marcus Stroud last year that caused the quarterback to be hospitalized and nearly ended his career.
McNair said this week that he would only come back in 2006 if he feels he's healthy. But with the Titans on pace for their second consecutive losing season, speculation is swirling that McNair could hang it up.
If so, the Jaguars wouldn't be sorry to see him leave. McNair has tormented them over the past 11 games, compiling a 9-2 record while completing 64.9 percent of his passes for 2,272 yards, 15 touchdowns (with just six interceptions) and a 94.0 rating.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
MLB Mike Peterson
RB Chris Brown
Peterson (right) had 15 tackles, one sack and an interception return for a touchdown last week as he makes a strong case for his first Pro Bowl berth. Brown, has an Eric Dickerson-like running style, had 101 rushing yards and one touchdown against the Jaguars in Nashville last season.
WR Ernest Wilford
CB Pacman Jones
Wilford (right) suffered a shoulder sprain late in last week's victory over the Baltimore Ravens, but he's expected to make his second consecutive start today. Jones, the Titans' first-round draft pick, has struggled. He doesn't have an interception and has given up several big plays.
DE Paul Spicer
OT Brad Hopkins
Spicer (right) is tied for the team lead with 5 1/2 sacks and remains in contention for NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors after missing most of last season with a broken leg. Hopkins is relatively undersized at 295 pounds, but he's a two-time Pro Bowler and one of the NFL's most durable linemen.
Rankings: Titans -- 17th overall, 19th in rushing, 12th in passing. Jaguars -- tied for 18th overall, 11th in rushing, 23rd in passing.
Breaking it down: The Titans' running game is as reliable as ever, and their stagnant passing game should receive a boost with the expected return of No. 1 receiver Drew Bennett. …