The Tennessee Titans did not handle success well going into Buffalo. The team came out and just seemed to be off all game long in losing on the road to the lowly Buffalo Bills. The loss seemed to bring down the emotional high that was present after the big win versus the Philadelphia Eagles. The loss to Buffalo stung, but the Titans have to move on because the next team up on the slate is the Baltimore Ravens. The rivalry between the Titans and Ravens goes back to the days of Eddie George, Steve McNair and Ray Lewis and this is just the latest chapter. The Titans are the underdogs coming into this one, so they undoubtedly have to play better than they did before. The question is what do they have to do to win? The answer could be within these six suggestions in this Pick Six.
1) Dig in the trenches
The Tennessee Titans did not do as well in the trenches last week. Mariota was constantly on the move an the running lanes were not there at all. For the Titans to win this game, their offensive line has to show up and show out. The more they are able to control the line of scrimmage, the better they will be able to control time of possession, which has been key in the games they have won this season.
2) More Dion please
Over the last few weeks, Derrick Henry has not been as effective as the lead back. Some of that is due to the offensive line not sustaining blocks, but the other reason is he isn’t as effective in the passing game. For this reason alone, more Dion Lewis is needed. For the style of offense the Titans want to run, he can run the football and make things happen in the passing game. The more he is in there, the better the Titans offense will be.
3) Where is the tight end?
The Titans have not gotten much from the tight end spot after Delanie Walker suffered a career-ending injury. In this game, they need someone to step up. Jonnu Smith is the guy that should step up but he has been non-existent. If not him, then Tennessee has to explore option because the production at that position is unacceptable right now.
1) Plug it up
The Titans are facing a Ravens team that has not been good at running the football. They have not been exactly great at stopping the run, but they must be in this game. The more they are able to force the Ravens to be one-dimensional, the more Joe Flacco will have to drop back and pass. If that is the case for the Ravens, then that means the pass rush of the Titans will get to go after a guy that isn’t the greatest at escaping pressure.
2) Where is Brian Orapko?
The Titans have been bringing pressure, but one guy has been noticeably absent in doing so. Outside linebacker Brian Orapko has been starting games, but he has not made as much of an impact. He currently has not registered a sack on the season. For the Titans pass rush to reach its full potential, he has to show up. If he doesn’t, then maybe the Titans should think about starting Harold Landry sooner rather than later.
3) Safety first
The safety play has been solid this season with Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro, but with Vaccaro on the mend, it’s time for Byard to step it up. Stepping up doesn’t necessarily mean he has to make every single play. What he does have to do is make sure to get everyone in the right alignment and confuse Joe Flacco. The more he can get in his head, the better the outcome of the game for Tennessee.
After a tough loss, this game wasn’t exactly the game the Titans wanted to see on their schedule. The so-called “experts” are not picking them to win this game, but with the odds stacked against them, it always seems the Titans come out and play their best. We shall see if they do that again in this game.
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