YAZOO PODCAST: What can Marcus Mariota withstand and how Brett Kern showed me a bit of the Titans' special ingredient

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- To me, the question isn't so much is Marcus Mariota starts as if he finishes.

Madison Blevins and I discuss that as well as some offensive improvements for the better since the first Colts-Titans game, the penalty problem from that game, Adoree Jackson's struggle in Game One vs. T.Y. Hilton, the Nissan Stadium field after the bowl game, Ryan Succop's recent PAT trouble and how, on the same topic, Brett Kern showed me a bit of one of the Titans' special ingredients.


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

If you're a member of the site, Part 1 and Part 2 are together, and all you have to do is head below the line. 

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Brian Orakpo on Colts-Titans: 'It comes off like a David and Goliath-type deal'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – That the Colts are the final hurdle for the 2018 Titans is fitting, as the Colts are always the Titans’ primary hurdle.SnapIndy

Since the two teams were paired as relocated franchises and bundled with two expansion franchises as the AFC South in 2002, Indianapolis holds a 24-8 series lead over Tennessee. They’ve won nine division crowns to the Titans’ two. The Colts have been to two Super Bowls, winning one. The Titans have been to one, winning none.

While Colts quarterbacks Peyton Manning (13-5) and Andrew Luck (10-0) have had great success against Tennessee, the Titans also lost to Curtis Painter while he wore a horseshoe on his helmet.

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Absent Logan Ryan, Jurrell Casey, Titans can't start 'freelancing, running wild'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With Logan Ryan and Jurrell Casey down, the Titans are arguably without two of their four most sound defenders.

I’d group those two with Wesley Woodyard and Kevin Byard as the team’s most complete guys on defense. When missing guys of that caliber, there can be an automatic pull to try do more to try to fill the holes.CaseyEagles

Without Ryan against Washington, the secondary did well against not to over-extend, they just played very well. Kevin Byard had 16 tackles and Ryan’s replacement, LeShaun Sims, didn't make a mental error.

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Adoree' Jackson on Round 2 with T.Y. Hilton: Be focused, be sharp, be detailed

JacksonIndyNASHVILLE, Tenn.  Adoree' Jackson was still majorly in the Christmas spirit as you will see in this conversation I had with him before practice on Wednesday when I asked him about a rematch with T.Y. Hilton.

Hilton caught all nine passes Andrew Luck threw his way in the Colts' 38-10 win over Tennessee at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 18. Hilton finished with 155 yards and two touchdowns.

"Shit, that was all me," Jackson said that night. "You can’t put that on nobody else but me. He was on fire. That’s as bad as it’s going to get. I don’t care if we won. That’s still terrible.”

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Titans' biggest cause for hope: Four smart game plans we've seen this season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans best hope for an upset Sunday night in what’s effectively a home playoff game against the Colts unfolded the last few days in the coaches’ offices as they game-planned.

I’m not sure how they worked around Christmas, but I am sure they still put in the hours.VrabelIntense

To win this game, I believe Mike Vrabel, Dean Pees and Matt LaFleur need to win the plan like they did Sept. 16 against Houston, Sept 23 at Jacksonville, most notably, Nov. 11 against New England and Dec. 2 at the Giants.

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Titans have the stage, now they've got to beat Andrew Luck for the first time

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Things have set up perfectly for the Titans.

They are in the coveted game 256, hosting Sunday Night Football in Week 17, playing a win-and-in, lose-and-go-home playoff game.

The city will be abuzz, Nissan Stadium should be full.LuckLandryIndy

The big issue, of course, will be the guy wearing No. 12 on the other side, for the archrival Colts.

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Scout's take: Marcus Mariota struggling with delayed blitz from middle of the field

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 contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Washington played about as well as it could have with a fourth-string QB.  

Josh Johnson was calm in the pocket for most of the day but struggled to make the easy short to intermediate throws to sustain drives. Open receivers struggled to get the ball in their area to make the completion.GabbertThrowWash

Johnson did a good job of escaping the rush in the pocket and buying himself more time to see the field.

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With potentially massive game looming, Titans again left to wonder: Can they count on Marcus Mariota?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Injured, again, Marcus Mariota wasn’t on the field with the Titans in the second half at Nissan Stadium Saturday evening.

It struck me that he wasn’t out there at all.

Hey, if the doctors felt he needed treatment inside, so be it.MariotaHurtWash

I understand there are all sorts of different degree of stingers, and if he had one that numbed his throwing arm or hand and he couldn’t throw or grip a ball he simply couldn’t play through it.

But this marked the seventh game in his career that he was knocked out of (and the first of the seven the Titans won). He’s also missed seven starts.

So in 63 games he either hasn’t started or hasn’t finished 14. That’s 22 percent. It's not in his control. But it's way too much.

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