The Titans had a good chance to go on the road and do what they were supposed to do: beat a bad football team. Well, that unfortunately did not go the way they thought it would. The Titans offense played sloppy football and while the defense did play good, they could not overcome the bad offense of the Titans last Sunday. With the thoughts of last week still fresh on their minds, the Titans now head to Santa Clara to take on a suddenly better San Francisco team. The 49ers have won two straight and are starting to look better under the offensive leadership of Jimmy Garoppolo. While this may have seemed like an easy game to start the season, it may not be as easy as first thought now. The bigger question in this one is which Titans team will we see? Will we see a Titans team that is focused to make a run to the playoffs or will we see the same lackluster performance of last week? We shall indeed see what happens, but these six things could help them emerge victorious.
1) Marcus Magic Please
The Marcus Mariota experience recently has not been a good one for Titans fans. The talented and dynamic quarterback has not been playing as well in the last three games, only throwing two touchdowns while throwing four interceptions. In this one, Mariota has to be better. That improvement will have to do with his mechanics in the pocket being better and also with the way he sees the field. If the Titans get that laser-focused Mariota, then you could definitely see a better Titans team.
2) More Derrick Henry Please
The Tennessee Titans may as well start giving Derrick Henry more carries. Besides Delanie Walker, Henry has been the most consistent force on the team recently. So with that being said, can anyone explain why he only had eight carries versus the Cardinals in a close game? The Titans need to forget about trying to figure out what’s going on with DeMarco Murray and get Henry the football. The second-year back leads the team in rushing despite not being a starter and has earned more carries at this point. Terry Robiskie, time to make that adjustment.
3) Where Are The Bullies Up Front?
The Titans were bullies up front last season, running the football anytime they wanted and taking what they wanted on the ground. They were feared when they got it going. That effort was led by the offensive line and they brute mentality. Well this season, they have not consistently brought that mentality and it shows. The Titans run game has stalled more than last season and these five men up front are the main reason why. The playoff run has come and the Titans need their offensive line to own the trenches again. They should be able to do that against the 49ers if they choose to.
1) Bring The Noise
The Tennessee Titans had a power surge in the sack department last weekend. Not known as being a team that sacks the quarterback a lot, the Titans had eight sacks against the Cardinals and kept the Titans in the game. Against the San Francisco 49ers, the Titans have to keep that heat comings. The more they are able to bring the heat, the more the Titans will be able to keep the 49ers off-beat offensively.
2) Keep Jimmy G Guessing
The 49ers offense has got a jolt recently and that is all courtesy of Jimmy Garoppolo. The former Tom Brady backup, who was acquired via trade this season, has made all the right reads and made the tough throws in San Francisco’s two-game winning streak. The challenge for Dick LeBeau in this one will be to try to throw Jimmy G off. The way he can do that is to make him have to find where the blitz is coming from. The more Jimmy G has to do that, the less time he has to audible. And with a limited playbook for him so far, Garoppolo will not have much to turn to in these type of situations.
3) Byard With The Big Play
The Titans defense has been physical and has been getting better all season. While they have done well, Kevin Byard has gone quiet. If the front line gets it going like they did last week, Byard will get his opportunities to make some things happen. If Byard is able to make a play, that will end up being a great thing, especially if he is able to set up the offense in scoring position.
The Titans have a big three weeks left in the season. It starts with the 49ers in a game that could help them or cost them. For the Titans and their fans, they better hope they show up and show out for the right to make the playoffs.
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