All four teams in the AFC South were 3-2 heading into Week 6. With the Colts and Texans both winning on Sunday, and the Titans and Jaguars playing tight, obviously only three of the four teams will still be tied after tonight’s Monday Night Football game. Can the Titans improve to 3-0 on the road tonight, or will the Jaguars continue their solid turnaround after abysmal losses in Weeks 2 and 3? We’ll find out in a few short hours!
Titans head coach Jeff Fisher joined WFXJ in Jacksonville with Pete Prisco to talk about how tightly bunched the AFC South is and likely will continue to be, his team’s much-needed win over the Cowboys last week after losing a winnable game against the Broncos in Week 4, how Chris Johnson is actually ahead of where he was in rushing yards through five weeks from a year ago, the play of Vince Young, how he dismisses any talk about his team playing ‘dirty’, and his thoughts on tonight’s opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
On just how tightly bunched all four AFC South teams were heading into Week 6:
“Well I think everybody in the division felt like the other three teams were going to improve, and saw improvement over the offseason through free agency, through the draft, through everything. I think it’s obvious that all four teams have improved, and this is going to be a division race that I think we all expect to come down to the very end.”
On his team’s ability to hold on and win a tight road game last week against the Cowboys:
“Well, I’ll go back a week. We didn’t play particularly well here against Denver and had a chance to win that game and did not. So I think the best thing about the next week was the team’s ability to bounce back, put the loss behind them, move forward, carry in a great deal of respect for the Cowboys – they’re a very, very talented team. We kind of sensed that they may be just a little bit out of sync because of the bye week just because those things happen. So we took advantage of a few things early, and then held on.
On it taking Chris Johnson a bit longer to get going this year:
“Well I think, first off, his carries are up but he has more yards than he had through five weeks last year, so he’s ahead of that. He’s had a 85 yarder called back. So I’m not too concerned. But I think typically what happens your first two or three opponents are going to look ahead in the offseason and say guess what, we’re not going to let him beat us. And then you know, he’s just had some things happen. But I thought he had his best game against the Cowboys, and that’s a very talented defense, and he had well over 100 yards and made some big plays for us.”
On the grumblings around the league that Fisher’s team is playing ‘dirty’:
“Well, it came just from the Denver organization, and I didn’t see anything on the tape. We’re an aggressive team like the other teams in our division. You don’t hear that kind of talk within our division, and that’s the most important thing. We’ve got respect for each other, we know each other, and we all play hard, and play between the snap and the whistle. I think it was just a case where maybe they thought they saw something that they didn’t, and maybe because of the fact that we had sacked Orton five or six times and hit him a bunch more others, and they had difficulty protecting him. So he’s frustrated after the loss, makes the comments and his head coach backed him up. But we didn’t pay any attention to it, it’s kind of like one of those wildfires – it spreads a bit then it goes away. We didn’t have any issues in any other games, and certainly didn’t have any issues or personal fouls in the Dallas Cowboys game.”
On the Jags-Titans rivalry and if he thinks it’s still as intense as it was several years ago:
“Well you look at last year, we split games and we got it handed it to us pretty well in the game down there, and then we hung on in the game here. Maurice had two long TDs against us. I think we’re just minding our own business and just trying to win the football game. I think both football teams know each other pretty well, they have respect for one another, and I know many of the players train together in the offseason together. It’s more of a respect thing, and trying to focus on winning the game, and I think the three of us are all trying to catch the Colts.”