Philadelphia Eagles News

Key Matchups: Eagles-Titans

Here are some of the key matchups to watch as the Eagles travel to Nashville to take on the Titans this Sunday in a clash of two 4-2, first-place teams ...

FS Nate Allen vs. QB Vince YoungThe Eagles are used to pitting a mobile quarterback against their opponents. Well, now the Eagles have to deal with a talented mobile quarterback in Vince Young. The Titans don't ask Young to do a whole lot. They limit his pass attempts and try to give him as many high-percentage throws as possible. The challenge for Nate Allen is if he gets pulled up to defend Young's ability to run, Young has the arm strength to unleash a deep ball by him for a big gain. Young suffered a knee injury in Monday night's win over Jacksonville, when his leg got caught in a pile. Young was cleared to return to the game, but only in a limited capacity. If Young can't play, backup Kerry Collins played very well against the Jaguars.

LB Moise Fokou vs. RB Chris JohnsonLast year, Chris Johnson rushed for over 2,000 yards and he remains the focal point of the Titans offense with 596 rushing yards and seven touchdowns so far this season. Johnson's home run ability makes him so dangerous as he unleashed a 76-yard scamper for a touchdown earlier this season. Johnson's breathtaking speed allows him to get to the edge and up the field before defenses can seal it. Moise Fokou has played well since he took over as the starting strongside linebacker, but expect the Titans to run a lot of stretch plays and misdirection to get Johnson rolling.

WR Jeremy Maclin vs. CB Cortland FinneganWith DeSean Jackson likely sidelined after suffering a concussion, Jeremy Maclin takes over as the team's top wideout. Maclin has a team-high 416 receiving yards and a career-high six touchdowns already this season. He added two more scores in Sunday's win over Atlanta - one in the red zone and the other was the game-sealing 83-yard catch-and-run. Finnegan has no interceptions this year, but he's a very physical corner who will look to make sure Maclin doesn't get comfortable.

Special Teams vs. KOR Marc MarianiMarc Mariani is a rookie seventh-round pick out of Montana who was a teammate of Titans coach Jeff Fisher's son, which is why some thought he was drafted. But he has made a dynamic impact on special teams averaging 28.0 yards per kickoff return with 15 returns of 20 yards or more and three of 40 yards or more including a 98-yard touchdown. However, Mariani has lost two fumbles on kickoff returns. The last time these two teams squared off in 2006, special teams was a crucial factor as the Eagles allowed a punt return for a touchdown. Special teams could be the difference this time around as well.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:00 a.m., October 19

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