Bad idea mailbag: Marcus Mariota as a WR, Cam Newton as the next QB

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Greetings as we await Sunday of Week 10. 

I hope we get a tremendous LSU-Alabama game on Saturday while we await Sunday football. If we get the result I want, Joe Burrow's stock will rise out of range for where the Titans will end up drafting, if he isn't there already,

On to your fine questions.

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Scout's Take: Chiefs will give Derrick Henry room to run and he keys Titans' upset chance

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This is a must-win game for the Titans.

The Chiefs will mostly get their elite QB Patrick Mahomes back from his dislocated knee cap.SharpeCatchBucs

There is no chance Mahomes will be at full speed and the Titans defense should use that against him.

Mahomes had an ankle injury right before he injured his knee and he was struggling with inside pressure when he had to stay in the pocket.

He is the type of QB that will hold the ball too long at times and wants to move in the pocket.

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Pondering the Titans' offensive leadership, and Derrick Henry's role in it now

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans up-and-down tendencies, with more down than up, and another uninspired flop in Carolina leads us to further examination of the offensive woes.

Leadership is a real question on that side of the ball.

I concede there is certainly some that goes on that we don’t really see. Ben Jones is clearly regarded as a key leader by the offensive line and the team, which extended his contract before the season. But he doesn’t lead in a team spokesman kind of way and is generally disinterested in any public-facing element of leadership.JonesCelebrateEagles

Particularly with Delanie Walker missing time and minimized by injury this season, on offense these Titans don’t have a Kevin Byard, a Logan Ryan, a Wesley Woodyard or a Jurrell Casey – productive players with the gravitas to speak up at any time to anyone.

It’d be absolutely foolish for anyone on the Titans’ defense, or the Titans at all, not to snap to attention and respond to a message delivered by any one of those guys.

It’s fair to wonder how many they are delivering, and if they are common enough. My feeling is locker room cohesion is being valued above all else, and the Titans think everyone getting along and respecting each other is more important than any of the team’s large number of underachievers getting called out on it. Friendship has replaced leadership. Unity will solve it all.

Except it’s not doing so.

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Titans' playoff path looks near impossible, but they are saying what they have to at 4-5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Eight teams in the AFC have fewer losses than the Titans.

Tennessee is one of three AFC teams with five. They’ve lost to one of the other two, Jacksonville, and beat the other, the LA Chargers.

The Titans have a rematch with the Jaguars, but for now, in the conference, they are ahead of only the Chargers, Denver (who they lost to), Cleveland (who they beat), the New York Jets, and Cincinnati.

The Titans are technically 1.5 games out of a Wild Card spot (though they've lost to the Colts who hold the final spot), but they have four teams to leap.

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Titans have already matched most field-goal misses of Nashville era

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For all the iterations of Titans’ badness and mediocrity, their specialists have typically been quite good.

Ryan Succop’s offseason knee issues put them in a bind this season and set them on a path that had changed that.SuccopCAR

They nonchalantly acted with no concern about kicker in the preseason. When Succop told them he didn’t have his strength back and couldn’t at the start of the season, they picked Cairo Santos over Cody Parkey, until he bombed out.

Against the Colts in a 19-17 loss, Santos missed a 45-yard attempt wide left.

Against the Bills in a 14-7 loss, he missed a 50-yarder wide left, a 36-yarder wide right, had a 33-yarder blocked and missed a 53-yarder wide left by a mile.

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Scout's Take: Decline in Titans' player production is alarming

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans offense couldn’t get going in the first half because of penalties by the offensive line or pressure given up forcing quick throws.

The game plan that was put in to use RB Dion Lewis looks good on paper but not in actual execution because of Lewis' inability to be a threat as a runner or receiver anymore.TitansCeiling3

The Titans used Lewis early in the game to chip against rookie OLB Brian Burns.

Lewis played a lot in the first half and had some successful runs and plays but ended a positive drive with a fumble.

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CHARLOTTE – The Titans are no first-half team.

In their five losses, the Titans’ first-half averages: 26.8 plays, 99.8 yards, 36 rushing yards, 63.8 passing yards, 13.3 percent on third down and 1.4 points. They’ve been held scoreless in four of the five and scored a first-half TD against the Colts.IMG 1800

Sunday at Bank of America Stadium they had a four-play drive end with a missed field goal, a three-play drive end with a punt, a three-play drive end with a fumble, a two-play drive end with a pick, a three-play drive end with a punt and an eight-play drive end with a missed field goal.

“Starting slow, those penalties killed us,” Derrick Henry said. “Self-inflicted wounds, we can’t start off like that against a team like this. We just gave them all the momentum with all of those penalties.

“We’ve got to start faster, be better as a whole, just be focused.”

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Mike Vrabel should take the defibrillators to this team. Stat.

CHARLOTTE – Mike Vrabel stood at the podium speaking in the future tense, about the things the Titans need to work to fix.

But here the Titans were at 4-5 after a 30-20 loss to the Panthers, the first to an NFC opponent under Vrabel’s guidance, in dire need of a look back.Panther

This team just sleepwalked through another first half offensively, turned the ball over three times, committed 11 penalties for 99 yards, missed three field goals and gave its feature running back two touches in the first half.

I want to know about the things Vrabel has spoken about needing to fix after previous losses that showed up, again, during this game.

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