Luke Stocker call was a killer on the night the Titans gave up any chance at the AFC South

HOUSTON – Facing a crucial situation, still trying to form an identity, give the ball to your best player.

For the Titans, it might not be entirely clear who that is on offense.

It’s entirely clear it’s not Luke Stocker, not as a running back. The Titans tight end has not carried the ball since he played at Madison Southern High School in Berea, Ky.StockerHouston

Mike Vrabel can tell us all about how the Texans were susceptible to such a thing on film, how he and Matt LaFleur has seen something similar work. Well, apparently Houston patched up that hole.

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HOUSTON – After an ugly 34-17 loss to the Texans at NRG Stadium and now with a 5-6 record, the Titans’ playoff chances are slim with five games left to play.Wild Card rgb

They are now three games behind 8-3 Houston with a split in the season series, and Houston is 3-1 in the division compared to 2-2 for the Titans.

That's going to be too much ground to make up and too much help to expect.

The wild-card route rates as just as difficult, as they stand 11th in the AFC.

"We have no reason to think about playoffs," Kevin Byard said. "What are we thinking about playoffs for? The only thing we can think about is the Jets, coming into Wednesday as best we can, correct the mistakes. At this point, we can only think about what's right in front of us right now."

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HOUSTON – Brian Orakpo said something last week that got me thinking.

“Individual guys are not having the previous success that they’ve normally had, me being one of them,’ he said. “But it doesn’t take away from what we’ve done defensively, collectively.”JacksonPickTexans

Heading into Monday Night Football against the Texans, no one on the 5-5 Titans’ defense is having a very good statistical season. [Unlocked]

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Pickers mailbag: Business interest vs. rooting interest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Greetings as we conclude Thanksgiving weekend and prepare for the Titans' second Monday Night Football appearance of the season.Titans3logos

They've been good in high-pressure situations, so we will soon see if they can continue that. In the meantime, here are some of the best questions you've submitted this week.

For non-members, there has never been a better time to join this fine site which is different than anything else out there.

Yearly memberships are 25 percent off through Monday, so get yourself one or buy one as a gift for the big Titans' follower in your life. It's as easy as heading right here

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Scout's take: Struggling Titans' interior OL now faces bigger, better players

Blake Beddingfield was a Titans' scout for 19 years, through the 2017 draft. He was the team's director of college scouting for his final six years. Follow him on Twitter at @BlakeBeddingfi1. He’s brought to you by Party Fowl. Eat hot chicken and drink boozy slushes in The Gulch, the Boro or in Donelson.

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Scouting notes as the Titans head to Houston for a must-win game…

The Texans have won seven straight games and the Titans can’t find their consistency as a team. This matchup will be much different this time around.CruikshankTexans

The last time the Texans and Titans played, Tennessee had a special teams touchdown pass by Kevin Byard and Blaine Gabbert was the quarterback. Also, Jadeveon Clowney did not suit up for the Texans. Deshaun Watson threw an interception and fumbled twice. The Titans leading receiver was special team’s player Dane Cruikshank.

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YAZOO PODCAST: The curious case of compliments for Ben Jones

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The compliments of Ben Jones are an interesting case, as they are about a lot of things, none of which tend to be his blocking.

In this week's podcast we cover that, what Eddie George recently told us, the idea that Victory Mondays have had a negative bearing on the Titans, the national obsession with NFL player food preferences on Thanksgiving, Vrabel's remaining advantages against Houston and Titans' fans who've had enough of the ups and downs. 

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Part 1 if for everyone and Part 2 is for members only.

You can find Part 1 it on iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here. Feel free to hook us up with a rating and review on iTunes.

Members can listen to it all below.

Thanks for your continued support.

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Brian Orakpo: Individual numbers don't take away from what Titans have done defensively, collectively

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When he hit the practice field as a younger man, Brian Orakpo used to hurdle the gray garbage cans that are spaced out for drills to represent linemen.

“Before, I was the guy leaping over them getting ready for practice, that was my routine,” Orakpo said. “Now I look at them and there is no way I am jumping over the things. I just walk around them…”OrakpoRavens

“My jumping is not there anymore. I had a 40-inch vert. I don’t know what it is now. I used to be able to jump all over the place. Bat balls down, touch the rim.”

Orakpo, now 32, has come to terms with the facts. While some aging players engage in denial, this veteran is fully engaged in the process of trading some physical game – perhaps unwillingly – for the sort of mental edge that comes from 10 years of NFL knowledge.

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Eddie George thinks the Titans' locker room must mature

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans' ability to play great one week and horribly the next is a maturity issue that the locker room has to get a handle on, Eddie George told me during a great members-only Periscope/Facebook Live on Tuesday.

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In a wide-ranging conversation, we covered those leadership questions, the Titans' maturity and approach, the way Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry are being used, whether he's at peace with the conclusions about Steve McNair's death, Le'Veon Bell's business decision, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, George's biggest flub as an actor and his expectations for Ohio State and Vanderbilt this weekend.

It was a fun conversation that I think you'll really enjoy, just head below and I will point you to it. It's the sort of thing you should become a member to see

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