Titans' left tackle lockdown: Three guys, 25 years and counting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Drafted by three different general managers, they made room for 62 players who took handoffs and protected 19 different quarterbacks.

So far.

For all the talk about wide receiver, the position the Titans have failed to figure out, there is a spot the franchise has nailed three times in a row. Perhaps no team has fielded back-to-back-to-back Pro-Bowl caliber left tackles the way the Oilers and Titans have.

They drafted Brad Hopkins in 1993, who overlapped for a year with Michael Roos in 2005 who was a teammatebof Taylor Lewan in 2014.

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"That might be as good as it gets,” said Gil Brandt, the longtime Cowboys' executive who now writes for NFL.com and is Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist in the contributors' category.

“I think the three positions you want are QB, defensive right end and left tackle. I’m not sure who comes second and who comes third. But having a left tackle is a monumental help to your line.”

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How the 2018 schedule has shaped the AFC South standings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The NFL’s scheduling formula only gives divisional foes two different games each season. Those two are based on the previous year’s finishes.AFCSouth

So the AFC South’s plays another AFC division, the East this year, and then the first-place team gets games against the first-place teams from the two other AFC divisions, the second-place team gets the second lace teams, and so on.

Often times, in the year-to-year changes of the NFL, those games may not reflect much of a reward for the bad team or punishment for the good teams.

But this year for the Titans and their closest foes, it has.

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Scout's take: Titans used numbers to slow Saquon Barkley

BY BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Scouting notes from the Titans 17-0 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium....

A promising first drive by the Titans was halted by a Taywan Taylor third-down drop, a missed field goal by Ryan Succop and Derrick Henry being taken out of the game after runs of 10, 6 and 6 yards.TitansFlag

No reason to take Henry out and stop the momentum the run game was creating.

Excellent third-down pass by Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis. Great throw but a very good route and catch by Davis vs. tight coverage by Janoris Jenkins.

A combination of Derrick Henry creating yardage after contact and Mariota converting big passes on third down gave the early lead to the Titans. 

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Titans not anticipating good news on Logan Ryan, Sharif Finch

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – In Week 14,the Titans lost two starters on offense to injuries.

Indications are that in Week 15 it was the defense’s turn to lose key players.

The Titans are not expecting good news on cornerback Logan Ryan, who suffered a left ankle injury against the Giants, or outside linebacker Sharif Finch, who was carted off the MetLife Field with a shoulder injury. Both players could be lost for the remainder of the season.

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Titans should stick with the formula now: Derrick and the defense

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – With Mike Vrabel as the coach, the Titans wanted to move away from formulaic football and play more week to week. Instead of shoveling a nearly identical game plan into the furnace each week and spitting out a this-is-what-we-do effort, the franchise wanted to produce variation.IMG 8046

When it made Tom Brady look old and ineffective, it was genius. And when it made the Titans’ offensive line look confused as Marcus Mariota was sacked 11 times, it was insane.

But now, halfway through the final month of the regular season, the Titans do look to have settled into a formula. And it’s not Mike Mularkey football. It’s traditional, hard-to-get-away from December football. For Nashville purposes after a 17-0 cakewalk over the Giants, we’ll call it “Derrick and the defense.”

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Pickers mailbag: The long-range forecast for Jack Conklin

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Greetings from Music City, or if you're reading this Saturday or Saturday, the great State of New Jersey.

Hope you're doing well and ready for Week 15.SwordFanJaguars

While we wait on Titans at Giants, here are my thoughts on some of your best questions. 

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Scout's take: Giants a perfect team for Titans to attack deep

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Giants are no longer an Eli Manning-run team. This offense, and ultimately the team, will have success if the rookie running back, Saquon Barkley, is going well.

Barkley can run in between the tackles, and outside the perimeter of the defense, but he is also extremely dangerous as a receiver.MariotaLogoJets

The type of production Barkley is having rivals Marshall Faulk and Le’Veon Bell. The Titans will need to limit his touches as a receiver and gang tackle and be physical when he is a runner.

Odell Beckham Jr, is out, which means the Titans will be able to focus their attention on Barkley.

Beckham and Barkley are a tough duo and when they both play, the combination opens up both the screen game to Barkley and the vertical game to Beckham.

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Derrick Henry has followed-up previous 100-yard games with-1.8 yards per carry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For Derrick Henry, domination has been followed by disaster.

Before his 238-yard outburst against Jacksonville last week, Henry had three 100-yard NFL games on his resume.

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He's going to get an opportunity to pick up where he left off against the Jaguars Dec. 6 against the Giants at MetLife Stadium Sunday. But the Titans are going to need him to break the trend of follow-ups to his big games so far.

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