Scout's Take: Peaking Jurrell Casey key component of Titans' plan against Patrick Mahomes

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- My preview of the Titans-Chiefs AFC Championship Game...

Derrick Henry has been the unquestioned Titans MVP of the team’s late-season run. I won’t even speculate what this team would be without him.CaseyCelebrateChargers

But No. 2 on the MVP list throughout the late season and the playoffs has been DT Jurrell Casey. Casey has been a consistent and at times dominant defender for the defense. He has impacted critical-down situations in both the run and pass game. Casey is playing his best at the right time.

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Titans' red-zone ridiculousness a big reason they are in final four

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ryan Tannehill as led the Titans’ offense inside the opponent’s 20-yard line 35 times in 12 games.

Only four times did he walk away without celebrating a touchdown first.

That 88.5 touchdown rate is another stunning offensive number attached to Tennessee’s 2019 season. 

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The remarkable red-zone TD work got the Titans off the hook for their one largest weakness, a .444 field goal percentage that three kickers strung together. Their current kicker, Greg Joseph, hasn’t been asked to try a single field goal in his four games on the roster.

How has Tennessee fared so well in tight quarters, where good defenses can often tighten up and force field goals at a reasonable rate?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jeffery Simmons didn't deny or admit to Marshal Yanda's accusation that he spit on him in the Titans' 28-12 win in Baltimore on Saturday night.SimmonsChargers

But Yanda's charge carries less heft -- victim or not -- considering he himself has been caught on film spitting on a player in the past.

Saturday night Yanda went in detail as he spoke to Ravens media about Simmons. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bud Adams, who created the Houston Oilers, helped forge the AFL-NFL merger and turned his team into the Tennessee Titans, was not selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of three contributors in the Centennial Class.bud cover 2 crop copy

The three new Hall of Famers in the contributor category are:

  • Steve Sabol, Administrator/President – 1964-2012 NFL Films
  • Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
  • George Young, Contributor/General Manager – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League

Tagliabue is the controversial selection, as he's been voted down four times previously by the regular selection committee in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2017. My time on the selection committee began in 2015 and I did vote for Tagliabue in 2017. But from the start the blue-ribbon panel set up for the extra 15, skeptics viewed the blue-ribbon panel choosing the Centennial Class as an end-around to benefit the former commissioner who critics say was late to act on the league's concussion issues.

Sabol is the second member of his family to make the Hall. Ed Sabol, the founder, president and chairman of NFL Films was inducted in 2011.

With three other contributors knocked off the list, it’s not all bad news for the father of the franchise, who died on Oct. 21, 2013, and who’s daughter Amy Adams Strunk is now the Titans controlling owner.

Adams is now bumped up on the list of worthy candidates in the category. [Unlocked]

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Enjoy it, and don't worry about national picks or 'disrespect'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans are a remarkable team nearing the conclusion of a remarkable season.

Two games away from a Super Bowl title, they are 7.5-point underdogs in Kansas City Sunday, per SBD. If they win, they’ll be underdogs in Miami too, to the 49ers or Packers.FansBAL

That’s the life of a No. 6 seed, no matter how good it’s looked in dethroning the Super Bowl champion Patriots and in tossing aside the NFL’s best regular-season team in the Ravens.

So people are going to be picking against them.

Many people who are just fully tuning in, be they random tweeters, lesser reporters, former players or so-called experts, don’t fully comprehend what this team has done.

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The NFL on Mike Vrabel: 'Has Titans playing like he played'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – At times when his team was struggling, he looked shaky, even if analytics supported some of his decisions.

Mike Vrabel had Marcus Mariota and the offense try to draw the Colts offsides for a few seconds, then run out the play clock while looking cluelessly to the sidelines. The half-hearted attempt to draw a penalty looked especially bad compared to what Indianapolis attempted in a similar situation, where it felt like the Colts might actually snap it.VrabelBAL2

Up 14 points with over 13 minutes left in Atlanta he had the Titans’ offense try to convert a fourth-and-1 instead of kicking a field goal for a three-score lead, a decision he said was a mistake the following day.

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Scout's Take: Ravens' stubbornness helped Titans roll to AFC Championship

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Another game with Ryan Tannehill throwing for less than 100 yards passing (88). The “devaluing” of the running back in the NFL is a myth.

I have heard that nonsense for years, but it doesn’t apply.

You must run the ball in the playoffs to win.HenryBAL

And you must be able to stop the run in the playoffs to win.

Lamar Jackson attempted 59 passes in this game.

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