Scout's take: A strong feeling on the outcome of Jaguars-Titans

Scout's take: A strong feeling on the outcome of Jaguars-Titans

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Jaguars’ team that was destined for the 2021 first pick in the NFL draft win its first game of the season.

Numbers from the first game vs. division opponent Indianapolis would indicate that the Colts won the game easily.

Total Yards: Colts 445, Jaguars 221. First downs: Colts 27, Jaguars 17.

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But the big stat that the Jaguars won was turnover margin: 2-0

The Jaguars defense is built on speed and quickness…

Jacksonville attacked the Colts’ run game and their strong offensive line with movement along the defensive line and added extra defenders in the box. This was available because of the inability of QB Philip Rivers to run and use his legs against the fast-flowing defense. The other factor was the Colts do not threaten defenses downfield because of the lack of Rivers ability to consistently push the ball downfield anymore.

A big loss for the Jaguar defense is safety Jarrod Wilson who landed on the IR after the game with a hamstring injury. Wilson is a solid player with speed and cover ability and the Jags do not have a viable replacement.

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How DaQuan Jones' lengthy pregame warmup gets him ready

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Matt Pees left a quality control job after two years with the Titans for a high school coaching job in Ohio as his dad retired as defensive coordinator, he left DaQuan Jones in need.

The Titans defensive lineman needed to find himself a new early warmup guy.DJonesWarmupDEN2020

Stretchers, ladder-runners, band-stretchers and goal-post punchers make their way into the end zone the Titans have for pregame work in T-shorts and shorts, sometimes headphones and ball caps too.

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If fewer holding calls become a trend, it may actually hurt the Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mike Vrabel is always aware of trends and developments and talking to his team about what’s going on.

A one-week sample size doesn’t ensure that holding is going to draw fewer flag this year, but out of a week’s worth of games the downturn was certainly dramatic.

Mike Vrabel said he thinks it’s more an anomaly at this point.

“We’ll see how it’s called, maybe everybody is just using a lot of good technique,” he said. “We just kind of have to focus on what they are calling and what they’ve kind of told us they are looking for in the past and kind of go from there.”

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(Photo: George Walker, Tennessean via pool.)

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Scout's take: How the Titans deployed Jadeveon Clowney and Jeffery Simmons in Denver win

Scout's take: How the Titans deployed Jadeveon Clowney and Jeffery Simmons in Denver win

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans’ game plan on offense in Denver was to use the run with Derrick Henry to open up the passing game with play-action. This was the same offensive approach that the Titans had so much success with during their playoff run.

If it isn’t broken, don’t change it. Henry was effective with a high number of carries (31) and continued to show strength and endurance late in the game. He is a well-conditioned athlete and will wear down any defense.GoallineDEN2021

Ryan Tannehill was efficient at times, but also escaped a turnover when a bad pass and interception was overturned by a defensive personal foul call on Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson.

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Some big problems aren't solved, but Titans start with a W in Denver

Some big problems aren't solved, but Titans start with a W in Denver

DENVER – They won, but perhaps we should never speak of it again anyway.

“We didn’t play the game we wanted,” Ryan Tannehill said.

The Titans eked out a 16-14 win over the Broncos, but it was a painstaking effort complete with two missed field goals sandwiched around another Stephen Gostkowski attempt that was blocked. He also missed an extra point.BroncosCutouts2020

Mike Vrabel saw fit to dress just three outside linebackers, and Jadeveon Clowney’s early impact dwindled as he and his mates seemed to tire. (“Getting back in shape is going to be the biggest thing,” he said.) Rashaan Evans threw a punch and got ejected in the first quarter, contributing to five penalties that gave away 37 yards and a first down.

I suppose this one goes in the basket with all the gritty wins where the team’s showed resolve, stuck with things and overcame adversity. The Titans sure lived dangerously against a team that is not that good and was missing its top pass rusher and receiver.

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Kevin Byard, Titans set about 'creating a legacy that can never be forgotten'

Kevin Byard, Titans set about 'creating a legacy that can never be forgotten'

DENVER – Tonight, they’ll be a mile high.

Ultimately, the mark these Titans make will be remembered in Nashville.

They could be like a lot of Tennessee teams before them, with moments we will remember but a whole picture that doesn’t hang higher than an average season.EddieGeorgeStadium

A year after an AFC Championship Game appearance, a team that’s posted four consecutive 9-7 records could fall back, and while an additional playoff slot could aid their entrance into the field, there is no guarantee they make the big sort of playoff push they did a year ago.

But this team has bigger expectations and they are realistic if it stays healthy. The window is wide open for a team that played some amazing offense and complementary football in 2019. If they maximize it, these Titans could earn a place in the pantheon, right along with the bunch that took the original team to Super Bowl XXXIV.

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Mailbag: Signing priorities, Jadeveon Clowney chaos, alternate universes without Jon Robinson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Hi everyone. Here we are, opening weekend. I admit I wasn't always sure we were going to make it.

But the league and teams have done excellent work and we've seen a lopsided game and get a full slate Sunday and a long wait Monday before the Titans kickoff in the nightcap.

I hope you'll give the podcast a listen before the game, and also enjoy this mailbag during the long countdown.

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(Photo courtesy Seattle Seahawks.)

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A.J. Brown's late-game fatigue improvement gets first test in Denver's altitude

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Gifted, cut and fit, it’s hard to imagine fourth-quarter fatigue being much of a problem for A.J. Brown.

But between his breakout rookie season and a second campaign that starts in the elevation of Denver Monday night, the receiver has put a heavy focus on next-level conditioning that will help ensure his late-game routes look just like the runs he runs early, making it hard for defenses to slow him late.AJBrownLeapCatchGW

(Photo: A.J. Brown by George Walker, Tennessean via pool.)

He set out with an offseason focus to clean up the steps at the top of his routes, particularly when he is tired.

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