Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 10, 2023

Titans at Bucs: What to watch

Sunday, November 12 | 1 p.m.

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.


The Titans come off their mini-bye with their season again at a crossroads. Do they continue to limp along and pretend they’re on the cusp of contention, or do they finally embrace a rebuild and turn the page toward 2024?

As they get ready to travel to Tampa Bay, it will be interesting to see which direction Mike Vrabel steers the team.

First down

Pick a quarterback. It would seem that it is Will Levis’ time in Tennessee. But you never know, considering Vrabel’s loyalty to veterans. He might decide to stick with veteran Ryan Tannehill when he is pronounced healthy enough to play again from his ankle injury. Levis showed in two starts that he belongs and could be the future of the franchise at the position. It would seem to be time to give him a head start trying to be just that.

Second down

Figure out the defense. Defense was supposed to be the Titans’ strength this season, especially against the run. But of late, the Titans have been a sieve in that area – allowing 100-yards plus on the ground in four straight games. That has to change, because everything is predicated on that.

Third down

Fix the red zone. Last year, the Titans were the most successful red zone team in the NFL. They didn’t get there very often, but they cashed in when they did. It was one of the few things Todd Downing could hang his hat on as offensive coordinator. This year, under Tim Kelly, the Titans offense is better in several areas, but the red zone has become a bugaboo, and needs to be remedied soon.

Fourth down

Go for it. The Titans haven’t won a road game in a calendar year. They travel to Tampa Bay as the middle game of a three-game road swing and face a Bucs team that was shredded by rookie QB C.J. Stroud of the Texans for 470 yards and five TD passes. What do the Titans have to lose at 3-5 overall and 0-4 on the road? They, like the Texans, need to take advantage of the Bucs’ porous pass defense.