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Front Page - Friday, December 2, 2022

Titans at Eagles: What to watch

There will be only one thing on the minds of Titans fans this week, and you can be sure that by kickoff the players and coaches will be sick of talking about it: A.J. Brown.

Brown, of course, was the most dynamic receiver the Titans had employed in many years until he fled the scene in a contract dispute that resulted in his being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles on draft day. Here’s a rundown of what to expect when the Titans travel to Philly next week.

First down

What else? Stop A.J. Brown. The advantage the Titans have on Brown is they know him better than anyone else, and should know how to slow him down. The down side of that, of course, is that Brown also knows the Titans tendencies and personnel as well. One unknown is how much Brown will want to play the “disrespect” card, since the Titans did not give him the contract extension he so badly wanted.

Second down

Keep Hurts contained. With Brown and an array of other weapons around him, Jalen Hurts’ development as a passer and a true dual threat quarterback has accelerated rapidly. The Titans need to slow down Hurts not only as a passer but also as a runner.

Third down

Find balance on offense. The Eagles have a stingy defense, one of the best in the league in terms of points allowed. Derrick Henry has to get going early for the Titans to make the play action work. If Henry gets going, then the Titans can balance that by continuing to incorporate rookie Treylon Burks into the offense as a big-play threat.

Fourth down

Fix special teams. Against top-flight teams like the Eagles, the Titans cannot make the dumb special teams mistakes they made against Cincinnati (missed 35-yard field goal, personal foul to end the game) and expect to stay close at Philadelphia. The Titans have some weapons on special teams, such as punter Ryan Stonehouse, but they have to win the special teams battle Sunday.