Scout's take: Titans should push around Vikings' defensive front like Colts did

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vikings will be minus their two best defensive players on Sunday versus the Titans.

Defensive end Danielle Hunter (on IR) and linebacker Anthony Barr (out for the season with a torn pectoral) will miss the game due to injuries; the Titans stand to get three weeks in a row of opposing teams that have lost their best players before they matchup.DavisHumphriesMH

(Photo by Mark Humphries, AP via pool)

Another big loss on the Vikings’ defense is run-stuffing defensive tackle Michael Pierce, who opted out before the season started.

These unfortunate circumstances for the opponent must be taken advantage of by the Titans.

Vikings Offense

Quarterback Kirk Cousins has had an up-and-down career. This season he has developed some bad habits. He is relying on wide receiver Adam Thielen too often. Thielen had twice as many targets in each of the first two games as any other receiver. He is also focusing on him on critical downs and not spreading the ball around.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The director of Nashville's health department drafted an approval letter to give the Titans and Nissan Stadium on Aug. 1 for a plan to have fans at the venue at the start of the season and was ready to greenlight it.

But Mayor John Cooper’s office squashed it, public records obtained by Nashville for a Rational COVID Policy and shared with PaulKuharsky.com show.NashvilleStadiumSkyline

Michael Caldwell, the director of the health department, wrote this email on July 30 to Bill Phillips, the mayor’s chief of staff, and Dr. Alex Jahangir, the Metro coronavirus task force chair:

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FowlerNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The family of a former Ravenwood High School football player injured in a 2019 practice collision with assistant coach Ryan Fowler has filed suit against the former Titan, who was terminated as a result of the incident.

The suit is brought by Scott Holloway on behalf of himself and his minor son, identified as “T.H.” and also names Jason Golden, superintendent of Williamson County Schools, and the Williamson County Board of Education.

It seeks $3 million in compensatory damages and $12 million in punitive damages. alleging battery and negligence by Fowler, negligent hiring, training and supervision and negligence by Golden and Williamson County Schools, and negligence by the Williamson Country Board of Education.

The lawsuit spell's out T.H.'s view of the practice play that resulted in his injury.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Pat O’Hara pointed to the underside of his chin.

“All of us have a scar, right here under our chin,” he said. “It’s called the quarterback scar. It’s kind of a badge of honor.”TannehillLineTexans

Ryan Tannehill didn’t come away with a cut to scar-up Sunday against Jacksonville, but the hit Josh Allen put on him as he let go of an 18-yard touchdown pass to Adam Humphries was a significant enough one to have done the job.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have let Jadeveon Clowney try to play himself into shape through the first two weeks, which serves as quite an indictment of Kamalei Correa.

Clowney has clearly been tired on some snaps and unable to give maximum effort, but the Titans have judged that to be better than a fresh Correa.ClowneyCorrea

Mike Vrabel played coy when asked about weighing tiredness and productivity in making substitutions.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ticket sales are underway for limited capacity Titans games at Nissan Stadium, and while the team is indicating all season-ticket holders who did not opt-out should wind up in seating pods in the building, some are likely to be upset about placement.

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There was significant social media debate about the order in which season-ticket holders were lined up to buy. [Unlocked]

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Scout's take: How the Jaguars slowed the Titans' run game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As I mentioned in the preview, Jaguars' safety Andrew Wingard is not an NFL-caliber safety and I am not sure how many touchdowns and receptions he will give up before the Jaguars look to upgrade the backup safeties.

This is personnel and coaching malpractice.

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I don’t blame Wingard that he isn’t good enough to cover tight ends or slot WRs. But he is constantly put in those situations. This is a coaching issue with how they use their personnel.

He gave up multiple big passes and multiple scores on balls thrown that a competent NFL defensive back will make a play on the ball in the air.

The Titans did a good job of attacking this weakness.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The scenario is incredibly unlikely and it takes a good bit of luck to come to fruition. But you’ve also got to be prepared for it.

The Titans were Sunday at Nissan Stadium, and it was one of the reasons they pulled off a 33-30 win over the Jags in front of seven fans, zero paid.

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The Jaguars had closed to 21-10 with 15 seconds before intermission and Josh Lambo banged a squib kickoff as is the custom in such circumstances: Force a non-returner to field the ball, eliminating the risk of a return for a score, leaving the opponent with a Hail Mary chance or, more likely, an opportunity to take a knee and head in for halftime.

But Josh Kalu was coached to watch for a chance to make a play on such a kick, and he did. Central on the front line of the Titans' kick return team, he knocked the ball down and recovered it, got his head up and gained 2 yards.

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