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Scout's Take: Raiders' young talent can be exposed by Titans

Scout's Take: Raiders' young talent can be exposed by Titans

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Both teams need a win, but the Raiders can’t afford a loss.

The Titans need to continue to focus on the run game with Derrick Henry to allow the play-action to work.HenryRunAway

This will be the game plan for the rest of the season.

The Raiders personnel is young in a lot of areas and can be exposed. The Raiders start to rookie defensive ends in Clelin Ferrell (first-round) and Maxx Crosby (fourth-round), Trayvon Mullen (second-round), Josh Jacobs (first-round).

The defensive line is a strength of the Raiders defense, while the linebackers are the weakness.

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Of course the Titans will be able to afford both Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As the Titans prepare for a crucial game in Oakland, a lot of the conversation about them centers on the future of the two guys who have keyed the team’s resurgence.

Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry do not have contracts beyond this season, and paydays await them, with the Titans or elsewhere.TannehillFistChiefs

I’ve heard a lot of people wondering about the economics of keeping both, so let’s run through that.

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As Titans time up field-goal blocks, here's how they're preventing the same thing from happening to them

As Titans time up field-goal blocks, here's how they're preventing the same thing from happening to them

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After Joshua Kalu blocked a potential game-tying field goal for Kansas City and after Dane Cruikshank blocked one in Indianapolis that the Titans returned for a touchdown that would up providing the game-winning points, each said he timed things up over the course of the previous attempts in the game.

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The Chiefs had lined up for three field goals and three extra points before Kalu’s big play.

The Colts had lined up for three field-goal attempts and two extra points before Cruikshanks’ big play.

This left me wondering, what do the Titans do to prevent such things why would those teams not change up their timing over the course of a game to make it more difficult for an opponent to make such a play?

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After six games each, one Titans' QB is superior but the other still garners some fan sentiment

After six games each, one Titans' QB is superior but the other still garners some fan sentiment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Twelve games into the season, the Titans have reached a point where their starting quarterback time is evenly split.

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Which made it a perfect time for a comparison between Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill, one I offered Sunday evening after the Titans’ win over the Colts.

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Scout's Take: Titans' pass protection in win over Colts was better than you might think

Scout's Take: Titans' pass protection in win over Colts was better than you might think

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans simply couldn’t lose a game to the Colts when they had no playmakers.

Tennessee used the running game and special teams to overtake Indianapolis..

The Titans turned the second half around behind the running game of Derrick Henry, who was a force and continues to carry the offense.TitansvColts

Arthur Smith did a very good job calling the screen game and I like that he is using Henry in the passing game.

Fumbles started the game for the Titans with one each by Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill.

The Colts converted a touchdown on one turnover but were unable to kick field goals.

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Titans timed up another field goal block, sparking go-ahead play in Indy

Titans timed up another field goal block, sparking go-ahead play in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts’ field goal unit has hardly produced guaranteed points this season, but lined up for a 46-yarder with 5:12 left in Sunday’s game it was ready to break a tie and give the home team a lead.CruikshankColts

Then Dane Cruikshank timed things up and Margus Hunt got tied up with someone he shouldn’t have.

Cruikshank blocked Adam Vinatieri’s kick with ease, Tye Smith grabbed it out of the air and raced to a 63-yard TD. A potential 3-point Colts edge was a 7-point Titans lead.

“I just timed up the snap count as the game went by and got a good feel for it and next thing you know I just kind of came free and just tried to block it,” Cruikshank said. “It worked out perfectly for me.”

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A new hope: After clearing Colts' hurdle, maybe the Titans can really do something big

A new hope: After clearing Colts' hurdle, maybe the Titans can really do something big

INDIANAPOLIS – All that hope the Titans sold in the spring and the summer became real here at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday on the shoulders of a 31-17 win against a nuisance of a team that’s always in the way.

Tennessee avenged an early-season embarrassment to the Colts in Nashville when the Titans botched an end-of-game opportunity. Eleven weeks later the Titans have edged ahead of Indianapolis in the AFC South, 7-5 to 6-6.

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With a pair of head-to-head games still to come against Houston, the Titans have control of their fate with a quarter of the season in front of them.

The fight back from 2-4 to 7-5 has been equal parts exhausting and exhilarating for a team that has an odd formula it put on display again as it struggled through the first half with lost fumbles from both Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill and was lucky to trail by just 10-7.

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For the Titans with the Colts, it's got to be now

For the Titans with the Colts, it's got to be now

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  – There are so many reasons to believe the Titans have lit the fuse of a pack of firecrackers and the whole thing is starting to go. The Chiefs the first pop, the Jaguars the second and the Colts prime to carry on the rat-a-tat-tat it’ll take for Tennessee to take over.

But sometimes fireworks fizzle out.

For a long time, I’ve said I’ll believe the Titans can beat a good Colts' team when there are meaningful stakes after I’ve seen them do it.ColtsHatch

Sunday's game has an if not now, when feel.

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