House money? In great win, Mike Vrabel's field-goal refusal felt reckless

ATLANTA – How many times do you think NFL teams have gone on a 14-0 run in a span of 13:09 in an NFL game?

A ton, right?

And how about teams run by one-time NFL MVP quarterbacks?IMG 0223

Even more, for sure.

Heck, Marcus Mariota has been struggling and the Titans got two TD passes in a span of 9:31 in Sunday's 24-10 win over the Falcons.

And a week ago in the Falcons' 27-24 loss in Indianapolis, the Falcons scored two touchdowns in a 9:40 span in the fourth quarter.

All of which is the context for a very odd Mike Vrabel decision that he pretty casually sluffed off after the Titans’ Sunday win.

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Julio who? For a day, in a much-needed win, Titans' receivers steal the stage

ATLANTA – Drafted sixth overall in 2011, Julio Jones is consistently the receiver I point to when the conversation turns to premium draft picks and the position.CD AB

He’s an unreasonable standard, sure. But you use a top 10 pick on a position you shoot for the gold standard, and he’s it. For five healthy seasons from 2014-2018 he averaged 105 catches for 1,598 yards and six TDs.

For the Tennessee Titans, a virtual wide-receiver black hole for their entire existence, those number are unimaginable. (Last year, six wideouts combined for 150 catches, 1,867 yards and six TDs; six guys combined had just 45 more catches for 269 more yards and the same number of touchdowns as Jones’ five-season average.)

We do not know if the Titans truly want to emerge as a substantial passing offense, but Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium they did so, executing a near-perfect formula in a faith restoring, record-evening 24-10 win.

And after a sometimes-miserable first quarter of the season, they sit tied at the top of the AFC South at 2-2, though their 0-2 AFC South record is still a killer.

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ATLANTA – The Titans will stick with Jamil Douglas at right guard at the start of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Falcons, but Nate Davis will take over the position at some point and could finish there if he plays well enough.NateDavis

Why the Titans are taking that strategy rather than starting the third-round pick out of Charlotte isn’t clear. But they need a boost on the offensive line where Douglas has been part of a line that’s given up 17 sacks thorough three games. He was manhandled by Calais Campbell in Tennessee’s last game, in Jacksonville.

The Titans are likely to keep eight offensive linemen active to give themselves enhanced options.


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Yazoo Mailbag: Titans' player development, present and future

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Thanks for your mail this week. It will certainly be a telling game at Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday.


We had a quality podcast which you may need to catch up on.

And of course, a big Periscope/Facebook Live session.

Now we forge ahead to your questions in advance of Sunday.

Jamie Zaleski Do you trust this coaching staff to develop a new qb next year, if that is the route they go? Who in the building has the knowledge/track record to help a new qb?

PK: I don’t know. We have not seen them do it.

But I’d like to think the guy they’d be developing comes in with some really good traits and has some different qualities than Marcus Mariota has had.

Pat O’Hara coached quarterbacks in Houston when Deshaun Watson was a rookie, so he had a hand in getting that good quarterback

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Scout's Take: How the Titans will try to slow Falcons' dangerous WRs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This is a must-win for both 1-2 teams. The Falcons have a potentially dynamic offense built around arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL in Julio Jones.

The Falcons offense has three very good receivers in Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu, a receiving tight end in Austin Hooper and a running back in Devonta Freeman that has run and pass receiving skills. TitansPatchThe weak link for the Falcons is the offensive line.  Both guards and the rookie right tackle Kaleb McGray can be beat. This is a game for Harold Landry, Cameron Wake and Jurrell Casey to get their pass rush going.  

The biggest matchups for the Titans defense:

Julio Jones vs. the Titans’ corners

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No yeller: Mike Vrabel tries to take calm, teacher approach with Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mike Vrabel makes it clear he’s upset with himself, always putting “I’ve got to coach better” at the head of the line when he discusses Titans’ issues.

But after dreadful results like the Titans have gotten in their last two games, losses to the Colts and at Jacksonville, I imagined the high-energy coach could get high-volume.VrabelScream

We’ve seen him lose his cool with a media member who was filming something he didn’t want filmed -- not a major event in the big picture. He later apologized in front of the whole press corps.

So what might a dropped pass or a missed tackle that had big consequences prompt?

To hear his players tell it, such an outburst from Vrabel is a rarity in the locker room or the meeting room.

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Five things I don't really understand as the Titans get ready for Atlanta

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Things I don’t get as the Titans get ready for Week 4 in Atlanta…

TitansScoreboardLogoCam Wake’s snap count: He played 23 very impactful snaps in Cleveland then 16 against the Colts and 14 in Jacksonville. That is trending in the wrong direction.

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Yazoo Mailbag: Many Marcus Mariota questions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Welcome back to work. I know you are excited. 

On the bright side I know you are now completely over the Titans Week 3 Thursday night debacle at Jacksonville.

And so we begin the week with a mailbag in which none of you have any questions looking back on any of that. (Sarcasm.)

PK: I’m surprised how many people think the general manager would be deciding this. Jon Robinson decides on the roster. Mike Vrabel decides on the playing time. I’m sure they’d talk about it and strive for consensus and all of that. But ultimately who’s active on the 46-man roster and who’s playing and who isn’t is Vrabel’s to decide.FansInJax19

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