Four years ago the Titans met up with the Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest. The Titans fought hard and played physical, but they ended up losing the game 20-13 as the Seahawks scored 13 straight points to win the game. The tone of the game was physical and the Titans matched the Seahawks for the most part, but they just could not make enough plays to win. Fast forward to now and the Seahawks are still a physical team, but some things have definitely changed. One thing that has not changed is the presence of that incredible defense. While some have cooled on the Seahawks after their 1-1 start, there are some including the Titans that know the Seahawks come in with bad intentions to not only beat you but to beat you down physically. The Titans are coming in this game with a little more confidence than they left the first game with. Can they keep the good feelings going or will it be just a one-game winning streak for the Titans? Well, that is why they play the games but here are six keys for the Titans to pull off the win at home versus one of the NFC’s title contenders.
1) Keep The Ball Rolling
In the first half of the Jacksonville game last week, the Titans could not get anything going, as they only scored six points. They looked listless and uninterested in what was a huge game for them. Well, in the second half, the team woke up and got rolling, scoring 31 straight points and dominating the Jags in their own stadium. The Titans got some confidence going in that game and they need to carry that offensive confidence into this game again a defense that is always confident in Seattle. The better mindframe the Titans are in, the better they will be able to attack the Seahawks offensively. Usually when the Titans are confident, that means they are chewing up clock, which will also be beneficial to them winning the game.
2) Let Delanie Be The Guy
The Tennessee Titans have multiple weapons they try to get involved. We know they love to run the football with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry and they like to throw to their wide receivers like Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker. Well, giving those guys the ball may be nice, but tight end Delanie Walker is the guy that needs his touches. He was given impact touches last week versus Jacksonville and he helped to turn that game in the Titans favor with his excellent play. Against a familiar foe from his football past, Walker has had some moments and it would not at all be surprising if he is able to make some plays in this one. The Titans need to give him at least six touches of the football in this game. Good things happen when he touches the ball not only for Delanie but for the good of the team.
3) No Brakes On The Henry Train
Last week, DeMarco Murray was not able to get going. Later we found out that he was dealing with a hamstring issue. If that is the case, we know those hamstring issues don’t heal overnight or in one week. So with that being said, it is time to give Derrick Henry more carries. We all saw what he could do last week (14 carries, 92 yards and a touchdown), as he grinded out the rest of the game with his physical runs that punished the Jags. The Seahawks are a tough defense, but they can be taken advantage of at times for big plays. I’m sure the Titans watched what Carlos Hyde of the San Francisco 49ers was able to do to them last week ( 15 carries, 124 yards, including a 61 yard run) and there is hope for this big bruiser of a back with speed to do some of the same things. Of course, the Titans have to hold their blocks this week and are going against a better defensive line than Jacksonville presented, but anything is possible.
1) Pin Ya Ears Back Fellas
The Seattle offense has been stumbling out the blocks this year. Just last week, they scored their first touchdown of the season, which is disturbing for them. The big thing that has been alarming is Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been running for his life behind his line that cannot seem to protect him. With those chinks in the armor being shown already through two weeks, the Titans should be foaming at the mouth to get at them. The guys that should be foaming at the mouth the most in this equation are outside linebackers Brian Orapko and Derrick Morgan along with defensive end Jurrell Casey. These three defenders combined with the mind of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau could be yet another scary proposition for the Seattle Seahawks offensive line.
2) Keep Them In Check..Running The Ball
The Seattle Seahawks have not exactly been the dominating running team they were in the last two games. In the first game against the Green Bay Packers, the leading rusher for the Seahawks was Russell Wilson with 40 yards rushing. Against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2, they got a good performance from running back Chris Carson (20 carries for 93 yards). What you can gather from that is the Seahawks ran well against a 4-3 defense but did horribly against a 3-4 defense. Luckily for the Titans, they play a 3-4 defense. If the Titans can create some push up front along with some confusion for Seattle, then the Seahawks will not be able to get the run going and it will make their job on offense that much harder.
3) Don’t Get Caught In The Magic Tricks
The Magician that is Russell Wilson can be hard to contain. He may not be the quickest guy, but he is crafty and can make defenders look silly at any given point in time. In this game, the contain of Orapko and Morgan will be huge. They must keep Wilson in the pocket to increase their chances against him. And when they rush him, they must make sure to be under control. If they are not under control, then Russell can escape the pocket for either a run that will compromise your defense or break contain to find a wide-open receiver. The Titans also might want to put a linebacker on Wilson to spy him on the field. Anything they have to do, they must do so to contain Wilson because he is the only consistent weapon that can tear your defense apart at this point. The more he is under control, the uglier the Seattle offense looks and the better the Titans chances are to win the game. Like stated in defensive point number one, they can pin their ears back because of that Seattle line, but they also have to be smart and execute to get Wilson down on the turf.
The Titans are in a good position to make a statement in the NFL. Plenty think they are ready to make that next step and become a playoff team and a win against Seattle would go a long way towards making that happen. Will they do so or not is totally up to them, but if they follow some of these points to success, they could be looking at 2-1 on the season. Let’s see what happens Sunday.
More stories you might like