Escorted runs opening things up for Marcus Mariota

MariotaRunSEANASHVILLE, Tenn. – Marcus Mariota’s run 16 times through three games, for a total of 77 yards. The non-scrambles have been safe, smart runs and they feel like an enhanced feature of the Titans’ offense.

Coach Mike Mularkey said that on some, but not all, of Mariota ground gains, the Titans try to create what FOX broadcaster Charles Davis called “escorted runs.”

The Titans have to be clever when calling those plays for their quarterback without telegraphing that someone is about to lead Mariota.

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The solution to the NFL’s pregame problem

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fair or not, the repercussions the NFL and its players will feel as a result of protests during the national anthem are potentially severe, and they aren’t going away.FLAG 1

I thought things would calm down, but the phones have been ringing like crazy at the Titans' ticket office and a good share of fans appear to be ready to follow through with pledges to stop going to games and to stop watching them. I’ve heard about some ramifications for players with marketing opportunities as well.

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How often the Titans used tight formations against Seattle, and what they did out of them

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans seem to line up a great deal on offense in tight formations, without much of a perimeter presence at the snap.

At least that was my thinking from watching their first three games.

I went through their 33-27 win over Seattle on Sunday at Nissan Stadium to get a better sense of how they did, and didn’t, spread out to learn if my general feeling aligned with the evidence.HuddleSEA

Every play was included in my review, even if it was undone by penalty.

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Mike Mularkey: Expect retaliation for plays like Richard Sherman's hit on Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s sideline hit on Marcus Mariota deserves more repercussions than it got, Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Monday.

That’s going to prompt the Titans to put the topic of such situations in front of the NFL’s competition committee.LewanShermanSEA

“Unnecessary, totally unnecessary,” Mularkey said of Sherman’s play on the boundary. “The outcome of what happened, to have two penalties nullify each other, basically he got a clean shot on our quarterback and there was no penalty, There was no negative ramifications for their team with that hit he put on our quarterback.

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After success against Russell Wilson, Titans are 'taking all challenges'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Derrick Morgan had him at least three times, Brian Orakpo missed at least once.

Slippery Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had a remarkable game Sunday at Nissan Stadium, regularly dodging Titans pass rushers to make plays. The Titans won 33-27 despite Wilson, who hit 289 of 49 passes for 373 yards and four touchdowns, while running seven times for 26 yards.MorganRushSEA

“Wilson is going to make his plays, but the great thing about it, we kept him contained somewhat, and we kept him corralled,” Orakpo said. “We kept the clock ticking, we kept getting possession back to our offense and we scored more points than them. It was just 

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Superb downfield blocks producing long TDs for Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The big-play Tennessee Titans have touchdowns of 32, 55 and 75 yards in the last two weeks and the guys scoring them haven’t hard a particularly hard time finding open space.

That’s because the team has done some remarkable work getting downfield and making blocks. Last week guards Quinton Spain and Josh Kline were ahead of Jonnu Smith on a 32-yard catch-and-run and could hardly find any work to do.RDR20170924 0739

Sunday at Nissan Stadium, Rishard Matthews got a great block from Phillip Supernaw to help him finish a 55-yard TD catch and DeMarco Murray benefitted from great work by fullback Jalston Fowler as well as receivers Taywan Taylor and Matthews.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It was a first-half slugfest, reminiscent of the sort of games the Titans and Ravens played near the turn of the century.

And then, in the third quarter, the Titans big-play potential turned into big plays: A 55-yard catch and run TD by Rishard Matthews, a play-action 24-yard TD toss to Jonnu Smith and a superb 75-yard scoring run by DeMarco Murray.

The offensive explosion catapulted the Titans to a 33-27 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Like the Jaguars, who the Tennessee beat in Florida last week, the Titans are 2-1.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Before every game last year, ESPN reporters were asked to monitor any sign of protest connected to the national anthem, and send word of it to HQ. Editors gathered it all and put out a roundup in a file we were told got a lot of traffic.

And the Twitter timelines of the contributors filled up. Enough already, many of you told us, we don’t care, we don’t want this as part of our NFL coverage every Sunday. We passed on that sentiment and continued to get the assignment.AnthemCAR

On my own, I’ve written one piece about the “anthem issue,” as Titans defensive linemen DaQuan Jones felt he was misportrayed when he spoke to ESPN and they blew up a story about how he didn’t want to get labeled as the next Colin Kaepernick.

Otherwise, in the efforts of this site to steer clear of the political and as there has been nothing new, I’ve left it alone.

But President Trump’s comments in Alabama on Friday night ignited the whole issue in a way where he’s made it inescapable. He said players who kneel during the national anthem

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