Scout's Take: Houston's trade track record and Texans-Titans key matchups

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Texans are one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL in 2020. It got so bad in the first quarter of the season they fired their head coach, general manager and ruler-of-all in one decision.

For the franchise that was the best move going forward.


Despite the poor record, the Texans do have talent on a number of levels on offense and defense. The issue is they have no depth.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The find a way Titans have some serious statistical faults, some that suggest they shouldn’t be 4-0, or close to it.

They are the NFL’s worst third-down defense, surrendering conversions 60 percent of the time, 6.2 percent more than the Giants who rank 31st.TitansWoodFlag

Only 1-4 Jacksonville, 0-5 Atlanta and undefeated Seattle surrender more yards a game than Tennessee.

Twenty percent of the runs against the Titans have gone for 10 yards or more and they are giving up a league-worst 5.5-yards per carry.

That’s a lot to overcome.

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Scout's Take: How the Titans outcoached the Bills

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Bills looked to be on a bye week and the Titans played this like a playoff game. The score was one indicator, but the tempo and temperament of the game was the biggest disparity.

I wrote in the preview that some teams are dangerous when they play with their backs against the wall and the Titans showed that Tuesday night.


Photo: Danny Parker, Tennessee Titans

The Titans’ offensive line set the tempo and the temperament for the game on the offensive side. Malcolm Butler had a productive game in the stat category, but his aggressive play set the tone for the defense. The first two receptions by Stefon Diggs and the hits that followed by Butler and Rashaan Evans, let Diggs know that he was in for a physical game.

Diggs responded with a number of drops after those receptions.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The recipe would require magic, most of us figured.

Two practices and a walkthrough in 16 days for the Titans would mean they’d need some miracles to pull out a win and maintain an unblemished record against the undefeated Bills.

But guess what?


Photo: Danny Parker, Tennessee Titans

It was pretty straightforward football and a pretty old-fashioned butt-whipping that produced a 42-16 rout and delivered them to 4-0 after a challenging stretch that saw them shutdown while they endured 22 positive COVID-19 tests for players and staff.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a Nissan Stadium workout on Aug. 3, Taylor Lewan offered huge props to the Titans' union representative Dennis Kelly for his mask enforcement in the locker room and around the team facility.

“Dennis would be an unbelievable dictator in any country the way he's been handling this mask thing,” Lewan said.

Alas, Kelly was just one man and as confidence that the NFL was staving off COVID-19 got higher, some Titans’ masks got lower.

Jon Robinson conceded the Titans fell below the NFL’s expected standard for mask usage during the time of their COVID-19 outbreak during a nearly 30-minute Zoom session with media on Monday.


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Scout's take: How depleted Titans can still beat the Bills

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This will be the first big test for the Titans this season.

The Titans will most likely be without a good portion of their roster due to Covid-19 protocols.

The number of players who will be missing for the game is undetermined but could significantly alter their game plan and how they attack the undefeated Buffalo Bills.BillsFans

The loss of defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons significantly hinders a run defense that is still trying to find answers after allowing Vikings RB Dalvin Cook to rush for a career-high of 181 yards in Week 3.

The difference this week will be a Bills team that has put more focus on the passing game and uses the run as a supplement to their air attack.

What will the Bills do offensively to take advantage of the depleted Titans roster?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Could this be the last one?

The Titans had a staffer test positive for COVID-19 in results that came back Sunday morning, prompting their building to be closed down the day after it reopened following an 11-day closure.


The Titans circle up around Mike Vrabel at Saturday's walk-through: Photo courtesy Titans via pool.

NFL Network reports the new positive is a coach. Did he contract the virus as part of the team's outbreak, despite an 11-day closure of the building, or did he get it elsewhere?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Given a chance to defend themselves or set the record straight, the Titans said Saturday they’ve been transparent with the NFL and NFLPA’s investigation and will wait for their summary before responding to allegations of protocol violations that may have assisted in their COVID-19 outbreak.

Mike Vrabel and Kevin Byard purposefully called it a review rather than an investigation, and it seemed like one of the points of emphasis that were discussed and planned before the Zoom press conferences which included a couple of members of the national media. (Ryan Tannehill did use the word investigation, however.)ByardAnthem2

“With all questions that are going to relate to the review,” Vrabel said, “we’ve been completely transparent with NFL, with the NFLPA during this entire process and we’re going to wait for their summary before commenting further on any of those discussions.” [Unlocked]

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