PK TV: Ravens 24, Titans 16

LONDON -- What a monstrous disappointment. 

Not everyone in the States gets up or figures out how to tune into the International Series games, but such games are still in a featured window by themselves. And the Titans played another dud at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, flubbing their way to a 24-16 loss to the Ravens while losing Ryan Tannehill to another right ankle injury.

PK TVThat injury was big for discussion because it may present the Titans with their quarterback crossroad.

So was Jeffery Simmons indicating he doesn't think everyone is all in.

And Mike Vrabel answering my question about whether something may not be correctable with a response that started with, "Probably, maybe, we'll see." That's majorly noteworthy, I believe. 

There were a lot of moments you'd wanted to hash out and a lot of long-range issues you wanted to sort through after getting up and taking in an early game involving your team for the first time since 2018. So I bundling up and heading back to the outdoor press box to make it happen. 

So please rewatch the excellent chat with me about all of this at the private Facebook page or on YouTube which you can find below.

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Titans' Edge? No Sign of It In London And It May Not All Be Correctable

Titans' Edge? No Sign of It In London And It May Not All Be Correctable

LONDON – The NFL transforms the international venues that host its games, so the home locker room at Tottenham Hotspur has plenty of light blue and Titans logos and even a new twist on their themes.

A couple of long signs running atop a string of lockers read: “Our Edge: Effort, Finish, Details, Technique, Fundamentals.”

Oct 15, 2023; London, United Kingdom; Fireworks mark the start of the first half of an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports
  Fireworks over Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before kickoff/ © Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

"Our team message is on the board,” Jeffery Simmons said, his eyes gesturing up to the words. “And that’s our edge. Apparently, we didn’t play with the Tennessee Titans’ edge today.”

No, not close. The result of the Titans' big game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was a 24-16 loss to the Ravens on a grand stage with a terrific environment.

Frankly, they haven’t played with this alleged edge very often. They now stand at 2-4 and some of the issues make it entirely fair to question their identity beyond Mike Vrabel’s calling-card effort. [Unlocked]

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My Experience Of An England Win And Soccer Culture At Wembley Stadium

My Experience Of An England Win And Soccer Culture At Wembley Stadium

LONDON – When England finally scored to move ahead of Australia on Friday night, I thought Wembley Stadium would erupt, friendly or not. But the noise that followed was more of a collective sigh of relief along the way to a 1-0 win for the home side during an international break in world club soccer.

PK WembleyA home match for a European soccer power trying to get things in order for the EURO 2024 tournament was a very cool thing to add to my list of sports experiences, and rooting for a country as a guest as one of 81,116 at a storied venue was something new too. 

Don’t mind me, I’m just an interloper joining in on your national fervor, wearing my red US Soccer sweatshirt. Remember us? You tend to not think much of us as a football nation, we’re here to play the other kind on Sunday, but we played you to a scoreless draw in World Cup 2022 in Qatar. But I’m with you now. 

You can’t consume alcohol when you can see the field at a national team or EPL game. That means beer-drinking is a concourse-only event and in the stroll from the Wembley Park tube station to the stadium I didn’t see people pounding drinks to get in a lather before the stadium rules slowed them down. [Unlocked]

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Titans Charm British Media on Practice Day North of London

Titans Charm British Media on Practice Day North of London

WATFORD, U.K. -- The Grove is an expansive property where the Titans are based for their London game. The hotel includes Gabriel’s Football Pitch, where they practiced, The Walled Garden, where four players chatted with the press, and The Potting Shed behind it, where Mike Vrabel and Ryan Tannehill held more formal press conferences.

Oct 13, 2023; London, United Kingdom; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) with the ball during Tennessee Titans practice session at The Grove, Watford for their upcoming NFL London game. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports
 Ryan Tannehill at Titans practice in Watford, U.K. / © Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Over 75 members of the British media with a splash of Germans all seemed delighted by Derrick Henry, DeAndre Hopkins, Jeffery Simmons, Kevin Byard, Tannehill and Vrabel, who all did well to turn up the charm.

Though the Titans started their practice week Tuesday, today was a typical Friday practice, when the only slice of practice open to the media is the stretch. So camera people and reporters rushed to the sideline to film roughly 8 minutes of players shuffling in rows and then working to loosen their hamstrings, quads and groins.


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Ravens-Titans: Will Lamar Jackson Or Derrick Henry Run Better?

Ravens-Titans: Will Lamar Jackson Or Derrick Henry Run Better?

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The sense of urgency for the Titans has to be right now.  

The Titans have been pretending to be contenders for the past five weeks. Week Six versus one of the organization’s most hated rivals is just the right time to turn it around.

The Ravens are 3-2 but lost last week in a poorly played game against the Steelers. I don’t anticipate them playing that badly again this week in London.

Lamar Jackson
  Lamar Jackson

The Ravens are very similar to the Titans.

They rely on Lamar Jackson’s running ability like the Titans do with Derrick Henry. The Ravens have drafted multiple offensive weapons for Jackson in the first round -- wide receivers Rashod Bateman, Marquise Brown, Zay Jones and tight end Hayden Hurst. Their talented left tackle Ronnie Stanley can’t stay healthy. He has just 76 games played out of a possible 124.  They continue to sign pass rushers with only marginal results. The Ravens have names who were once stars but are still relied upon to live up to the name on the back of the jersey.

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Titans' Talk With Mike Herndon on The Paul Kuharsky Podcast

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The sample size is still relatively small. But the Titans, who've traditionally been a very good red-zone offense, are not good inside their opponent's 20-yard-line this season.

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastThey've scored touchdowns on just six of 17 trips into the red zone this year, and the 35.3 percent rate is tied for 29th in the NFL.

One was with the game clock melting away with a win in hand against the Chargers. Mike Herndon looked at all the other failures in his column this week. 

Mike joined me for this week's edition of The Paul Kuharsky Podcast, and that's where we start.

We also delve into:

  • The Titans' identity crisis
  • How defensive head coaches do on offense.
  • The lack of development of Treylon Burks and Chig Okonkwo
  • Derrick Henry and Tyjae Spears as receiver

The new episode with all that and more awaits you on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, iHeart and YouTube, which is below.

The podcast is the front door to PaulKuharsky.com.

And with our new primary sponsor ZenSports, becoming a member is easier than ever. Download their app, sign up using code TNPAUL, make a $10 bet and get a free annual membership to this fine site.

If you're an existing member, sign up for ZenSports using TNPAUL and deposit $250. Once you bet at least $250, you'll be credited with an additional $250. (Be sure to use the same email there that you use here.)

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Second-Year Titans Chig Okonkwo, Treylon Burks Not Providing Expected Boost

Chig Okonkwo
  Chig Okonkwo/ Angie Flatt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One of the key elements for the Titans to make a jump on offense in 2023 was the expected growth of two second-year players, Treylon Burks and Chig Okonkwo.

But through five games the franchise has gotten minimal contributions from them following promising offseasons that suggested they could have bigger sophomore seasons.

Burks stayed in town for the bulk of the offseason, even going through great efforts to get back to town for the first day of phase three of OTAs. He was fitter through the spring and summer and had a handle on the Nashville weather and his asthma, which slowed him down as a rookie.


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Deep Dive: The Titans' Red-Zone Issues

Deep Dive: The Titans' Red-Zone Issues

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

Since Mike Vrabel took over as head coach in 2018, there have been a few themes that have come to define his teams even through the ups and downs and year-to-year variability that the NFL is designed to create. Those include a tough, physical defensive front that controls opposing running games, an elite red zone offense and a strong rushing attack.

Derrick Henry Red Zone
  Derrick Henry stuffed in the red zone

Through five games, several of those usually reliable strengths have been called into question. The strong run defense had looked to be in good shape through the first four weeks, but the dam broke against the Colts as backup Zack Moss ran wild through the Titans’ defense for 165 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns.

Time will tell whether that proves to be a blip, like the Saquon Barkley game from the opening week of 2022, or something more, but it’s concerning any time you see such a perceived strength look that helpless. And yes, it’s worth noting that nose tackle Teair Tart missed this matchup, which clearly proved to be a big loss.

The red zone offense is far more troubling. The Titans ranked first, second, fifth, and sixth in converting red zone opportunities into touchdowns over the past four seasons. Frankly, their success in cashing in these chances has probably served as perfume to mask the stink of a rotting offense for a while now.

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