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VOL. 45 | NO. 41 | Friday, October 8, 2021

Titans at Jaguars: What to watch

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Coming off a stinging upset loss to the previously winless Jets, the Titans now face division foe Jacksonville, which has lost 19 consecutive games dating back to last season. They have to hope their letdown against the Jets is a lesson learned as they approach another winless team in Week Five.

First down

Don’t give them life. The Titans set a bad precedent in the first half against the Jets by settling for three field goals. If they convert even one of those opportunities and get a touchdown, it completely changes the complexion of the game. The Titans need to start fast and get into the end zone so they don’t give the Jaguars the same type of confidence to hang in that they gave the Jets.

Second down

Protect the quarterback. Seven sacks in one game is ridiculous. It came three weeks after they allowed six sacks in the opener against Arizona. The offensive line has to do a better job in pass protection, and offensive coordinator Todd Downing is not without culpability here. He needs to call more screens, quick slants and the things that can be executed out of the shotgun with a three-step drop in order to keep Ryan Tannehill and the pocket clean.

Third down

Quit giving up big plays. Explosive plays by the Jets turned rookie Zach Wilson into Terry Bradshaw as he kept chucking the ball deep for big chunks of yardage against a porous Titans secondary. That secondary could benefit from a consistent pass rush and better communication to prevent such breakdowns from happening in the first place.

Fourth down

Don’t rely on the kicker. Randy Bullock had been pretty good up until the overtime Sunday when he shanked a 49-yarder that never had a chance. The Titans are good enough that if they play consistently and don’t turn the ball over, they should not be in a situation where a field goal is needed to bail them out.

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