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Front Page - Friday, October 27, 2023

Titans vs. Falcons: What to watch

After a week off for the bye, the Titans are back in action and, truthfully, probably needed every day of that because in all likelihood they are going to be playing someone other than Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. Tannehill suffered an ankle injury against Baltimore and could easily miss multiple games.

First down

Feed Derrick Henry. It feels like the Titans are trying to transition away from Henry as a bell cow back, as rookie Tyjae Spears has had about half the snaps this season. But with the possibility of Will Levis or Malik Willis being under center, the Titans are going to need Henry and the running game to lead the way to take pressure off them.

Second down

Fix the pass rush. Mike Vrabel lamented the Titans pass rush’s lack of success in recent weeks, when he said the defense had only hit the quarterback three times in the last two games. That has to change, and could with the return of nose tackle Teair Tart. But no matter who is on the line and the edge, the Titans have to find a way to affect the opposing quarterback and help their shaky secondary.

Third down

Score touchdowns. The Titans have finally solved their kicking problem with the acquisition of Nick Folk, who is perfect on 16 field goal tries this season. The problem is that the Titans only have half that many touchdowns through six games. The Titans have to solve their red zone problems in order to compete. Scoring 16 points a game is not a recipe for success.

Fourth down

Be more explosive. The Titans lack of big plays is something that also has killed them this season. The days of 12-play, 80-yard drives are no longer the rule in today’s NFL. Tennessee is getting Treylon Burks back this week, and no matter who is at quarterback, they must find some chunk plays to make the offense more efficient.

-- Terry McCormick