The Tennessee Titans need a win in the worst way after two bad back-to-back losses. The next opponent on the schedule is the Atlanta Falcons. Like the Titans, they are looking to get things on the right track. Both 1-2 teams have high hopes to make the playoffs, and this game could get one team headed in the right direction while allowing another to continue the fall from grace. The question is who will it be first? Will it be the Titans or the Falcons? No one knows, but the answer could be in the Titans favor with these six points.
1) Utilize Delanie Walker
With Falcons safety, Keanu Neal, out for the season this is even more paramount. Delanie Walker is the best weapon the Titans have on offense in the passing game and he should have the advantage this entire game. Marcus Mariota should definitely be looking his way early and often. The more he is involved and the earlier he is involved, the easier things are for the Titans offense.
2) Get Derrick Henry touches
Derrick Henry is a monster at running back, but he cannot be that monster unless he is involved in the game plan even. When he was involved in the week one game plan with 20 touches, the Titans won the game. In the last two games, he hasn’t cracked 20 touches. The more he touches the ball, whether it be in the screen game or the running game, the more he has a chance to make that game-breaking run.
3) Open the offense
The Titans haven’t given us much offensively this season. Part of that is due to the offensive line not being up to par and Mariota missing opportunities, but some of that can be attributed to not opening up the offense. When things aren’t working, then you make some adjustments. After three games, offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, has to make some adjustments to what he has to work with and manufacture some explosive plays in the passing game. Smith can do that through play design for this team. Ultimately it’s up to Mariota and the offense to execute it, but he can play a major role in helping the offense get better.
1) Control the others
Julio Jones is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. He is going to make some things happen and he is going to get his numbers. The Titans understand that, but when Falcons tight end, Austin Hooper, and wide receiver, Calvin Ridley, get involved, things really open up for quarterback, Matt Ryan. The task at hand for the Titans is to make sure the “others” don’t create issues for them. If they do, then the Titans will have a whole new set of issues to deal with outside of Julio.
2) Control the running game
The Titans have been good defensively for the most part, but the one area that could hurt them is the running game. Statistically speaking, they are middle of the pack against the run. The Falcons have not exactly been outstanding in the run, but if the Titans don’t sure this up this game, Devonta Freeman and crew could get it going on the ground. Just like getting other people involved, the Titans would have more issues to take care of if Freeman and crew get going on the ground. Jurrell Casey and crew will be paramount in making sure that doesn’t happen.
3) Who’s rushing the passer?
The man leading your team in sacks (Cameron Wake) hasn’t had a sack in two games, and the second-leading guy in that category is a defensive back (Logan Ryan) . That is a huge issue. The Titans have not got to the quarterback and it’s going to hurt them in this one if they cannot do so. Matt Ryan is dangerous when he gets time. Defensive coordinator, Dean Pees, can design all he wants, but someone has to step up rushing the passer. Will it be Jurrell Casey? Will it be Harold Landry III? We shall see, or we may not see at all.
1-3 stares both teams in the face should they lose this game. For the Titans, it could be even more deadly for them. Will the Titans step up in crunch time? We shall see.
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