Scouting preview: Colts' status at CB, WR favorable for Titans

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Colts are a puzzling team.

General Manager Chris Ballard has drafted very well since he took over in 2017 with draft choices and organizational building blocks like Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson, Braden Smith, Nyheim Hines, Jonathan Taylor, Kwity Paye, Marlon Mack, and trading for All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.David Quessenberry

But the Colts' front office has not done enough to fill the wide receiver or cornerback positions, and it shows up each week and has held this team back.

In today’s NFL you better have playmakers and the Colts lack those threats on offense.

The Colts rely on veteran a highly productive WR T.Y. Hilton, but he struggles to stay healthy (he’s currently on IR) as he has aged.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Through Mike Vrabel’s tenure with the Titans, he’s frequently judged his team on how it responds to adversity.

And he's generally been happy with the returns.A.J. Brown

The sample size for his current team is very small so far, but through three bad halves and one good, the question may be whether his team is a bit over-reliant on misfortune.

After their terrible showing in Week 1 against Arizona, Jeffery Simmons leaned hard on something the franchise has long used as a rallying cry. He spoke of how no one expected the team to go to Seattle and win. 

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When the Titans’ secondary was gutted by injuries and they traded for Desmond King in November last season, the team tried to go overboard with communication.

Bradley McDougaldDon’t just talk to King like he’s a new guy, they said, talk to everyone like he’s a new guy. Overcommunicate with everyone all the time in the secondary.

It was a nice theme in his first game, after just one day of practice. Several other Titans played in their first game Nov. 8, 2020 as well, and the Titans beat the Bears.

But it was hardly the end of the communication issues, a topic that stuck to the Titans like a catchy tune.

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Scouting review: How the Titans got back to their formula

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans got exactly what they wanted out of the Seahawks game, a win.

They were able to establish the run game after another slow offensive start in the first quarter.

One staple of an Arthur Smith run offense was his unique ability to stick with the run game and Derrick Henry even if it didn’t work early in the contest. He was almost stubborn that way, but it led to a lot of comeback wins.

Derrick Henry

© George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

In Week One, Todd Downing did not show that patience but in Week Two down early he stayed patient and continued to call the run plays that eventually led to some big runs and overwhelming time of possession that unleased their best offensive player in Henry and most importantly wore down the Seattle defense.

A makeshift Titans’ offensive line is less of an issue when it is run blocking. Lesser talented blockers are more exposed in a passing game than run.

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In Seattle, Titans rediscover their identity and get a W in a tough spot

SEATTLE – Through three halves of football, the Titans had given people sufficient cause for significant concern.

In 30 minutes and 5:15 of bonus time at Lumen Field, however, the Titans showed us who they think they are and expect to be.

The third and fourth quarters plus overtime produced a 33-30 win over a high-quality Seahawks team and got them to 1-1.

Julio Jones

© George Walker IV / Tennessean.com 

As things turned, they did so with a predictable dose of Derrick Henry carries and offensive patience and an unpredictable measure of MyCole Pruitt and Henry receptions. A defense that has suffered some big busts and allowed plays of 68, 63 and 51 yards clamped down. The last four times Seattle had the ball, the Seahawks managed 43 yards, three first downs and no points.

The Titans came back from 24-9. Per CBS, the Seahawks were previously 52-0 at home in games they led by 15.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Before my departure to Seattle, I wanted to spend some time answering your best questions after what I know has been a rough recovery week filled with nervous anticipation.

I'm off to the Pacific Northwest Saturday evening after, I hope, catching some good college ball.

ToddDowning

Hope you get all the results you want. Take Denver giving the points at Jacksonville.

Onto the best questions you threw at me.

Kevo Dwain If Titans fail to put up points this Sunday does that put Todd on the hot seat? Or will the Titans be patient with him? 

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Scouting preview: With play-action, Titans need to force Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams to cover

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If the Titans think they had their hands full with Kyler Murray in Week One, they will encounter a more prolific passer in quarterback Russell Wilson in Week Two.

The Titans ‘first game was concerning because they were noncompetitive and never in the game from the start. The Cardinals have been an inconsistent team with inconsistent coaching staffs for years but they were in control of the game from the start.

Julio Jones

Arizona had its issues last Sunday but never was threatened by the Titans.

The Titans looked slow and old at times.

Taylor Lewan is 30, Rodger Saffold 33, Ben Jones 32, Nate Davis 24, David Quessenberry 31, Ryan Tannehill 33, Julio Jones 32 (pictured), Derrick Henry 27, A.J. Brown 24, Anthony Firkser 26, Chester Rogers 27.

Six of the 11 starters are over 30 years old on offense.

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