Titans push Colts around, move to third in weekly AFC scramble

INDIANAPOLIS -- So often there was so much space in Derrick Henry’s lane when he took the ball from Ryan Tannehill, I thought the high-angle perch of the Lucas Oil press box was deceiving me.

Henry’s clear vision and the bug eyes he jokes about were not a requirement for him Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium, when another one of his monster rushing games put the Titans in position for big revenge and a 45-26 win over the Colts. He had that much room.HenryINDscoreboard20

Indianapolis was without DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry up front because of Covid issues and the offensive line on the other side were the aggressors from the start, moving, turning and driving people where they needed them to be to get Henry started.

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Scout's Take: How altered personnel will change quick Titans-Colts rematch

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This game is most likely for the division and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.

The potential loss of the Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to COVID-19 is as big of a loss as one team can have.

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Buckner is a dominant force inside as a rusher and run-down defender. He is a top-five interior defensive lineman in the NFL and creates a huge hole for the Colts defense that is focused on taking away the Titans’ best player in Derrick Henry.

The Titans found success in the run game last week versus the Ravens, and I expect this week they will continue feeding that identity.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Will Compton did solid work subbing for Jayon Brown when the Titans starting weakside inside linebacker went down at the end of the first half in Baltimore.

And the Ravens didn’t really seem to try to attack Compton, a smart veteran who lacks Brown’s speed.

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If it’s Compton who’s lined up in the spot Sunday in Indianapolis the Colts could go at him differently.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As the Titans prepare for their 12th game and the giant rematch with the Colts, a look at their current 10 best players with a status report on each…

Derrick Henry – Still the tone-setting key to the offense and at the head of the NFL rushing title race with 1,079 yards, 10 more than Dalvin Cook. Henry’s won two overtime games for the Titans with rushing touchdowns and leads the team with nine overall and continues to be an excellent leader. He’s still not utilized much on third down, where others have pass protected pretty well and the Titans generally have not thrown to backs.

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Photo: Alison McNabb, Tennessee Titans

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As Vic Beasley signed to the Raiders' practice squad he posted an appreciative tweet to Titans' fans.

So for about the 50th time during and after his Tennessee ordeal, I dialed his number. And for the first time he answered.

In the conversation I had with him Monday evening he declined several opportunities to really address his lack of effort during his time with the team or to move from thanking Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel for the opportunity to apologizing for his failure to do anything with it.Screen Shot 2020 11 23 at 7.23.45 PM

“I don’t want to make no stories, boss,” he said a few times.

That said, he couldn’t offer any assurances that what’s to come with the Las Vegas is going to be different. He signed with the Raiders practice squad Monday. [Unlocked]

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Scout's Take: How the Ravens played into the Titans' hands

BY BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This was a game of who wanted it the most.

The Titans proved that they wanted the game more than the Ravens. Jonathon Ogden, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed would be embarrassed by the Ravens' lack of “want to” at the end of the game.

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The Titans started hot again on offense for the second week in a row.

They did a good job on offense of exposing players like cornerback Marcus Peters that weren’t’ playing their best games.

I thought the Titans’ ability to play-action pulled the Ravens’ linebackers into the line of scrimmage. The inability of the linebackers to read the formations and down and distances really opened up the middle of the field for the Titans’ receivers and also kept the pressure off Ryan Tannehill.

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Titans expecting they've lost Ty Sambrailo

BALTIMORE -- The Titans need to replace Taylor Lewan's replacement.

The team is expecting that left tackle Ty Sambrailo, who replaced Lewan after he tore his ACL Oct. 18 against Houston, is out long-term, most likely for the remainder of the season.TitansLogoGlass

They won in Baltimore but lost Jayon Brown (elbow) and Sambrailo, whose injury was never announced after he limped off. 

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In Baltimore, Titans make noise before kickoff, find early-season formula and win again

BALTIMORE -- Before the big game started, the Titans came out of their tunnel and gathered on the Ravens’ logo at midfield of M&T Bank Stadium. It’s their common practice.

It’s also the sort of meaningless territorial act that takes place all over the league that home teams can decide is important or take for what it is -- football players standing on a piece of grass.

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In advance of his second loss to the Titans in a calendar year, Super Bowl-winning coach John Harbaugh chose to give it import, ultimately engaging with Malcolm Butler over it.

The reaction certainly seemed to symbolize leftover hard feeling from Tennessee’s upset of the No. 1 seeded Ravens here in the 2019 playoffs back on Jan. 11.

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