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VOL. 41 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 18, 2017

Panthers at Titans: What to watch

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Coming off a lackluster performance in the preseason opener against the Jets, the Titans hope to redeem themselves in the preseason home opener against the Carolina Panthers (2 p.m. Saturday. TV: WKRN, NFL Network).

The two clubs should certainly be familiar with each other as they conducted two days of workouts on Wednesday and Thursday prior to Saturday’s game at Nissan Stadium.

Here are some areas to keep an eye for the Titans win preseason week two:

More explosiveness from the offense

The Titans offense was not as advertised against the Jets. Other than one long pass reception by Taywan Taylor and a good run from Akeem Judd (who?), the Titans offense was lifeless. That should change if Marcus Mariota gets more than two series on the field, but the Titans need a better showing from all on offense against Carolina.

Better protection from the offensive line

Eight sacks. It doesn’t matter if it is the starters or guys who will be ending their careers on Labor Day with final cuts, eight isn’t enough, it’s way too much. Alex Tanney struggled behind a line that had a poor performance overall against the Jets and won’t find the going any easier against the Panthers.

Logan Ryan redemption

By his own admission, Ryan, the Titans’ big free-agent pickup of the off-season, was not good in the opener, giving up a 53-yard completion. Ryan has to bounce back, because the Titans are counting on him to shore up a secondary that was porous a year ago.

Rookie contributions

In the opener, Taywan Taylor and Jayon Brown were among the rookies to make an impact. The Titans would love to see Adoree’ Jackson make a big play on defense or special teams and some offensive punch from tight end Jonnu Smith might not be too far away either.

Terry McCormick