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The Tennessee Titans are off to their best start under head coach Mike Vrabel, entering this week’s game at 6-2. As they prepare for their game tonight versus AFC South foe, Indianapolis Colts, the Titans enter one of their toughest stretches in the season.
With this stretch, they take on the Colts twice with a Ravens game sandwiched in between. The Titans will know a little bit more about themselves after these three games and for them to have the best chance to escape this stretch successfully, there are a four things they have to do.
For most of the season, Tennessee has been slow out the blocks the last three games, taking a while to get going offensively. In these next three games, it will be important to get going from the start. That will allow the Titans to get in a rhythm quickly and hopefully be more efficient and into the game than they have been in the last three contests.
Feed Derrick Henry
The Titans have not gotten Henry going the last three games. Sure, he ran for over 100 yards in the game versus the Cincinnati Bengals but he still hasn’t gotten into a rhythm. Getting off to a fast start means getting Henry the ball early and often so the play-action can be mixed in there for the explosive plays.
It will be imperative that Titans’ offensive coordinator Arthur Smith make sure this happens instead of starting the game again this week with a play-action pass.
Dominate Third Down
All season long, the Titans have had issues stopping teams on third downs, no matter what the distance has been. Last week against the Chicago Bears, they did much better but this week, the Colts face a stiffer challenge.
They must be aware of the sticks, be sure when they come up to make tackles and be in the correct positions to make the play. The more they stop the Colts on third downs, the better the Titans’ chances are to win along with more chances for the offense to score or wear on Indianapolis’ defense.
Tennessee is near the bottom of the NFL in sacks this season. That isn’t going to change overnight but they do need to get more pressure on the quarterback. Not only sacks but hurries and quarterback knock downs. That will relieve some pressure on the defensive backs and it will also help generate turnovers for this more opportunistic defense.
The Titans would love to win all three of these games but winning two out of three would be acceptable. These four points will be key in making that happen. It all starts against the Colts tonight.