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The Tennessee Titans have given us two different looks after two preseason games. While the first one wasn't really a great barometer due to the monsoon-like conditions, it can't be completely written off given the Packers had no major issues.
Against the Saints, we saw definitive progress on both sides of the ball. Jake Locker looked better in some aspects and the defense showed glimpses of improvement thanks to Jurrell Casey and Wesley Woodyard. This week's matchup against the Atlanta Falcons will provide perhaps the best gauge of what to expect because we will see the starters in extended time.
Here's what to look for during the Titans/Falcons game:
--Jake Locker: Although the stat line shows he did well, there were some accuracy issues. Several of his completions were thanks to the receiver's ability to come down with a jump ball or passes off the mark. We also haven't seen him throw his wideouts open. He's often holding the ball and waiting until a receiver breaks clear. Rookie Zach Mettenberger has show this ability and it's one which could push Locker to the next level given he has a great wide receiving corps. He just hasn't looked to be in-command of Whisenhunt's offense yet and hopefully he crosses that bridge this week.
Locker is a phenomenal athlete, but there are still some aspects to his game which need re-tooling in a critical year for both he and his team.
--Defensively, Jurrell Casey and Wesley Woodyard have been the only two players to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Someone along the front seven needs to step up and assist these guys, especially off the edge. The Titans have talented cornerbacks, but the NFL's emphasis on keeping defensive backs off wideouts combined with a lack of pressure will be too much to handle. Even the best in the league can't do their jobs effectively without that pressure up front.
--The defense as whole thus far has played like a bend but don't break defense. Maybe this is part of the plan in a pass-happy league, but being more aggressive up front will produce the turnovers which sorely lacked last season.
--Is Travis Coons the answer at kicker? The rookie out of Washington belted a 50 yard field goal against the Saints and nailed all three of his extra points. Fellow rookie Maikon Bonani hasn't had a field goal attempt and has made two of three extra point attempts. There's a feeling the Titans could look elsewhere for a seasoned veteran kicker, but if Coons shows he's capable, he could surprise.
|08/09||Titans||Green Bay Packers||LP Field-7pm (Preseason)||W: 20-16|
|08/15||Saints||Titans||Mercedes-Benz Superdome- 70m (Preseason)||L: 31-24|
|08/23||Falcons||Titans||Georgia Dome- 6pm (Preseason)||W: 24-17|
|08/28||Titans||Vikings||LP Field- 7pm (Preseason)||L: 19-3|
|09/07||K.C. Chiefs||Titans||Arrowhead- 12pm (Regular Season Starts)||W: 26-10|
|09/14||Titans||Dallas Cowboys||LP Field- 12pm (Home Opener on FOX 17)||Loss: 26-10|
|09/21||Cincinnati Bengals||Titans||Paul Brown Stadium- 12pm||Loss: 33-7|
|09/28||Indianapolis Colts||Titans||Lucas Oil Stadium- 12pm||Loss: 41-17|
|10/05||Titans||Cleveland Browns||LP Field- 12pm||Loss: 29-28|
|10/12||Titans||Jacksonville Jaguars||LP Field- 12pm||Win: 16-14|
|10/19||Washington Redskins||Titans||FedEx Field- 12pm||TBD|
|10/26||Titans||Houston Texans||LP Field- 12pm||TBD|
|11/09||Baltimore Ravens||Titans||M&T Bank Stadium- 12pm||TBD|
|11/17||Titans||Pittsburgh Steelers||LP- 7:30pm (Monday Night Football)||TBD|
|11/23||Philadelphia Eagles||Titans||Lincoln Financial Field- 12pm||TBD|
|11/30||Houston Texans||Titans||NRG Stadium- 12pm||TBD|
|12/07||Titans||N.Y. Giants||LP Field- 12pm (On FOX 17)||TBD|
|12/14||Titans||N.Y. Jets||LP Field- 3:05pm||TBD|
|12/18||Jacksonville Jaguars||Titans||EverBank Field- 7:35pm (Thursday Night Football)||TBD|
|12/28||Titans||Indianapolis Colts||LP Field- 12pm||TBD|
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