A wish list of some things the Titans’ offense wants to do against the Falcons:
1) Finish possessions with points — The Titans successfully moved the ball last week at Cincinnati but reaped too few results on the scoreboard. Tennessee converted 10 of 19 third downs (53 percent) and netted 412 yards of offense but was 1-for-3 on trips to the red zone, thanks to a couple of dropped passes and three missed field goals. The Titans had the ball inside the Bengals’ 30-yard line six times but only had 12 points (two field goals and a short TD pass to show for it) on a frustrating night that was eerily reminiscent to Tennessee’s game at Jacksonville last November.
2) Seize momentum when opportunity knocks — Like the game against the Jaguars last season, the defense forced a turnover on the opponent’s first possession and got the ball inside the 30-yard line. The Titans moved the ball seven yards before settling for a field goal last year, and eight yards before a field goal attempt that was wide left last week, missing an opportunity to build on an early 3-0 lead. Those are critical types of moments that can allow teams to seize momentum early and better dictate the flow of the game. They understandably are a point of emphasis this year at home or on the road.
3) Continue to protect the football — One of the most encouraging aspects through two preseason games is Tennessee hasn’t given up the pigskin via fumble or interception. It’s likely that the Titans will need to average more than 20 points a game most weeks during the regular season, but protecting the football reduces stress on the defense. The Titans lost the ball via 16 interceptions and 12 of the 21 times they fumbled in 2012. The stronghold they’ve kept on the football so far has led to some long, run-intensive possessions and Tennessee keeping the ball for 30 minutes, 25 seconds per game this preseason. Last year, the Titans struggled in that category, holding it for a league-low 27:18.
4) Identify starting center and “swing guy” — The Titans placed a major emphasis on improving the interior of their offensive line this offseason. Tennessee found its left guard by adding free agent Andy Levitre and its right guard with first-round pick Chance Warmack. The Titans have had the benefit of great competition at center between free agent additions Rob Turner and Chris Spencer, 2012 starter Fernando Velasco and rookie Brian Schwenke. Turner started against Washington, and Velasco started at Cincinnati while Turner played guard and Spencer relieved Velasco at center. Titans coach Mike Munchak said Turner will start against Atlanta and is expected to play into the third quarter with most of Tennessee’s starters before Schwenke, who has recovered from a hamstring, makes his NFL debut. Velasco and Spencer will play at guard this game. The Titans want to identify their starting center but also the “swing guy” who will be active on game days as a replacement in case there’s an injury at center or either guard position.
Tags: Andy Levitre, Mike Munchak, nfl Preseason, Tennessee Titans, Titans
Posted in titansonline.com Blog | 1 Comment »