NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For starters, the Titans need Delanie Walker in the lineup.

The tight end is recovering from a significant bone bruise suffered near the end of the Oct. 22 win at Cleveland and he did not practice Wednesday.

But it’s a pain tolerance issue and he sounds optimistic about playing, even if he may not look that way.

When he’s back out there, the Titans really have to find a way to get him going. He hasn’t scored a TD and is averaging 4.6 catches and 46 yards and has yet to score a TD.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As the Titans’ offense begins to install the game plan for the Ravens today, it will do something that’s not done my most teams on a Wednesday.

Everything.

While the team certainly won’t run through each play that’s part of the plan, it will venture further than many teams do.Murray2OAK 1

Traditional game-planning weeks feature work out of base personnel for first- and second-down stuff on Wednesdays; a focus third-down on Thursdays; and situational elements like red-zone, short-yardage and goal line on Friday.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans offense should have adapted better to a mobile quarterback turned immobile.

That said, the Titans endured a loss in Miami without Marcus Mariota after he strained a hamstring and managed wins over Indianapolis and at Cleveland with him limited.

As they return to action on Sunday against Baltimore, they should be back to doing everything they do with him healthy, and they are counting on that opening things us.MariotaRunSEA

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fresh-legged Corey Davis is set to re-emerge Sunday against Baltimore at Nissan Stadium, and he could have a bearing on things whether he puts up significant numbers or not.

Davis is a downfield threat, and the Ravens will need to be wary of him.IMG 3428

That should mean fewer loaded boxes for the run game, fewer double- and even triple-teams for Delanie Walker and more space in general for other targets in the passing game.

“We’ve all seen that he is an elite threat,” tight end Phillip Supernaw said. “I think he will add something. Our receivers have been doing a great job all year. I think Corey just adds another elite threat that we need to maybe do more stuff with 11 personnel and stuff like that. He just adds another weapon."

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We open this week’s mailbag with a bit of context that should, maybe, make us feel better about the state of the Titans offense.

Through seven games this year, the Titans faced five top 11 defenses --Cleveland, Jacksonville, Seattle, Miami and Houston. Tennessee played two bottom-10 defenses.TitansAccountability 1

Through seven games a year ago, the Titans faced two top 10 defenses --Minnesota and Houston. Tennessee played five bottom-11 defenses.

I’m not apologizing for the poor offensive showing, just providing a piece of context for it.

Baltimore was 18th before shutting out the Dolphins Thursday night. After that the Titans have Cincinnati (fifth) and Pittsburgh (second). Five of the final six opponents are outside the top 10 right now, with three 24th or lower.

If the Titans get where they want to go, odds are they will face a good defense there. Regardless of opponent, the offense needs to find more consistency.

***

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Three things I’d like to see the Titans do on offense moving forward:

Go up-tempo: A year ago the Titans would jump into a no-huddle option as a periodic changeup, which they felt like could jump start things when they go flat.TitansLogoGlass

Where has that been this year?

“We talked about it (in Cleveland), we talk about it every game, it's part of our scheme,” Mike Mularkey said. “We felt like we didn't want to go into it (against the Browns).”

Why not? Let’s see some urgency/ Let’s see an attempt to get things going when they are sputtering in the slow first halves or against a team with a clear weakness to attack (like the Browns had at cornerback).

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sunday wasn’t good evidence for the Derrick Henry side of the debate pitting him against DeMarco Murray.

Henry turned 13 carries into 13 yards and failed to get into the end zone on a big fourth-and-goal from the Cleveland 1.

murray vs henry cleveland

"It's the NFL, it going to be up and down," Henry said. "It's hard to win in this league. You've got to be patient, keep working and good things will happen. Every game is not going to be pretty. You're not going to have miraculous stats.”

Like the rest of the elements of the run game, Henry has been too inconsistent.

But the way Tennessee approached the run against the Browns led me to a theory:

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A nice info gif from @TitansTalk_ is making the round among fans as evidence for how predictable the Mike Mularkey-Terry Robiskie offense has been through seven games.

I do not disagree that the offense has been bad. No objective observer can say differently.

IMG 3367

But the graphic lacks a great deal of context. (Its authors ultimately revised it, and the new version is here.) It tells us the Titans have run 109 times on first down. But it doesn't tell us if that's a lot, or what percentage of first down plays that amounts to. Without knowing how often the Titans pass on first down, 109 runs on first down tells us nothing.

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