Many Tennessee Titans fans were looking forward to seeing how they would come out of the blocks in their first preseason game. They knew that the starters would not be playing a long time, but they at least expected something better than what they got. The Titans lost to the Jets 7-3, but within that, they did not look very good. Of course many are glancing over it, saying it was just their first preseason game and it did not mean nothing. Others, however, are definitely paying more attention after that first dress rehearsal for the regular season. The opponent this time is not the New York Jets, who will more than likely be one of the worst teams in the NFL. This time the opponent is the Carolina Panthers, who aren’t too far removed from their Super Bowl appearance in which they lost to the Denver Broncos. So with the performance of the first preseason game in the books, what should Titans fans expect and want in the second preseason game of the year? Well hopefully they get a better offensive performance in this game.
One thing that should be expected in this second preseason game is better execution offensively. The Titans seemed to be out of sync the entire game. Receivers were not exactly on the same page as the quarterbacks, blocking schemes were not executed well and there were blown assignments all over the place. With the subpar performance in the first game, the Titans should be looking to come out better than they did in the previous game. One thing that will help their performance will be the presence of one of their offensive leaders, DeMarco Murray. While he may not play long on Saturday, he is expected to be present and his presence brings a sense of importance, alertness, and purpose even though this is another dress rehearsal. The Titans offense and defense should be looking to atone for last week and what they put out there on film. That small appearance by the first team defense and offense did little to instill confidence in Titans fans about this season and they will need to come out with the focus that thy have on game day.
While we are speaking on the execution of the team, let’s talk about the wide receivers for the Titans. There is a lot of competition at that position to make the roster. Just to give you an example, Tajae Sharpe was a starter for the Titans last season as a rookie wide receiver and plenty thought that he could be in a Titans uniform for years to come. Well, one year after those words were uttered by some, Sharpe may not even make the roster. The Titans have gotten deeper at that position with the acquisition of former New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, 2017 1st round pick Corey Davis and Titans 2017 third-round pick Taywan Taylor and Sharpe’s spot is not even guaranteed once he is able to take the field healthy. Sharpe may be out injured right now, but there are others out there right now that missed an opportunity to shine on this past Saturday. Backup quarterback Alex Tanney may have been a little off target with his passes, but his receivers surely did not help him. Jonathan Krause, who is fighting to make this roster, had a chance to make a big catch, but instead he did not secure the catch thru the fall to the turf. Catches like that and players on the edge have to be error-free and make those catches. Additionally, the other wide receivers need to pick it up and be better if the Titans want to be better this year. Harry Douglas, much to the chagrin of many Titans fans, was the most consistent receiver in the first preseason game outing and that is something the Titans would probably prefer not happen.
The defense will get better over time, as the mad scientist Dick LaBeau will create some pressure and the Titans hope cornerback Logan Ryan gets better than he was in the first game. Also, I expect their execution to be better. But let’s be honest, the offense will carry this team and set the tone for the Titans season. They must get better in execution and the receivers have to be better or else this season will be one of high expectations, but even higher falls from success. We shall see if the Titans learned from last weekend with how they perform this weekend versus the Panthers.
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