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Podcast: Titans' 2023 Goals' Status Report

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Back in the spring and summer the Titans talked about several areas where they hoped to improve in the 2023 season.

Looking back specifically at them now, it's remarkable how the team has failed to make progress, or even regressed, in these areas of focus -- scoring, protection, speed, takeaways and limiting explosive plays among them.

That's where we start this week's edition of The Paul Kuharsky Podcast.

The new episode awaits you on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, iHeart and YouTube, which is also embedded below.

Other subjects I dive into:

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Potential Silver Linings In Titans' Final Seven Games

Potential Silver Linings In Titans' Final Seven Games

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

The Titans looked completely overwhelmed in Jacksonville on Sunday, falling behind 27-0 before eventually falling 34-14 in a game that felt even more one-sided than the final score suggests. Tennessee ran just 38 offensive plays in this game, tied for the second least in franchise history and the lowest total for any team since 2017.

DeAndre Hopkins
DeAndre Hopkins/ Courtesy Tennessee Titans

As usual, the offensive line was a major issue, allowing pressure on nine of Will Levis’ 20 dropbacks during the game. However, something that hasn’t gotten as much coverage as it probably deserves is the struggles of the Titans' defense.

Most expected this unit to rank near the top 10 in the league coming into this season, but they’ve fallen well short of that mark. From a scoring standpoint, they’re 17th in the NFL, allowing 21.4 points per game. They’re 22nd in total yards allowed per game and rank 20th in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA).

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Titans' Analytics: Will Levis Threw Two Passes 10 Yards Beyond The Line Of Scrimmage

Titans quarterbacksBY JAKE DOWNARD

Jake Downard is a law student who creates NFL and NBA content focused on analytics on Twitter as @JakeAndBall. He also works with fanspo.com

For a glossary of the metrics and terms used in this post, please see this earlier file.

As I sit and type this review of the Titans' 34-14 loss in Jacksonville on Sunday, I cannot help but feel like I have written this piece four to five times already this season. Did the Titans play at an extremely low level on Sunday? Yes. Was it surprising? Absolutely not. 

Many of the same issues and themes that have led this Titans team to the proverbial NFL gutter throughout the season once again reared their ugly heads against a team coming off a 34-3 drubbing just seven days prior to the Panthers coming to town. Poor pass blocking, no running lanes, no consistent (or early) separation from targets, virtually no offense outside of trick plays, high snaps, getting off-schedule early…the list goes on.

Virtually everything that contributes to negative, inefficient offense was on display in Duval County on Sunday.

 

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How The Titans Got Shredded by Calvin Ridley

How The Titans Got Shredded by Calvin Ridley

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans were not the better team Sunday. And looking forward to the rest of the schedule, outside of Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, that will be the case in the rest of Tennessee's games. 

Playing against their division rival makes these comparisons even more important because they play them twice a year. 

Nov 19, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) catches a pass against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Kristian Fulton vs. Calvin Ridley/ © Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

A 2022 late-season trade by the Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons was a shrewd move giving the Jaguars and their young offense another playmaker.  

The Jaguars' addition of Calvin Ridley was exactly what Trevor Lawrence has been missing and his production of seven receptions, for 103 yards and two touchdowns is a big lift for a team needing red-zone production.

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PK TV: Reaction to Jaguars 34, Titans 14

PK TV: Reaction to Jaguars 34, Titans 14

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The losses tend to blend and a lot of them feel the same. This one felt worse.

The Titans scored two touchdowns in their 34-14 loss to the Jaguars, doubling their road TD total, and they were both passes, the first two touchdown throws away from home this season. Does that get you PK TVcharged up?

Of course not. There was little here that felt like progress. What's getting better about this team inside of the losses? Two trick play TD tosses?

As I wrote in my game column, it's hard to find anything.

It's a miserable time to be following this team, and if it somehow loses to Carolina next week as a 4-point favorite at home, then we will be in a Ken Whisenhunt area.

Many of you joined me to talk about it, releasing some of what you are feeling to get through it and feel a bit better. You can head to the private Facebook page or head below to YouTube to rewatch it and feel better yourself.

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As Titans Lose Another, Hard to Find Anything They're Improving At

As Titans Lose Another, Hard to Find Anything They're Improving At

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Even many bad teams have slivers they can look to, areas they’re improving in, markers of progress, statistical categories they know will be reliable in.

Sift through the Titans’ 34-14 loss to the Jaguars at EverBank Stadium -- their third in a row, their fifth in six games, their seventh in 10 games this season and their 14th in their last 17 dating back to last year -- and it’s difficult to find those threads or glimmers.

Nov 19, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis (8) fumbles the ball pressured by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Dawuane Smoot (91) in the first quarter at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Will Levis tries to collect his fumble of a high snap/ © Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

“When you lose, it's hard to identify those types of things,” Mike Vrabel said, then pointing to some plays that hit on offense and in the red zone as well as defensively before third-down penalties. 

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Mailbag: On Titans' Speed, Will Levis Running And Spending $100 Million

TitansNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The door recently fell off my actual mailbox, necessitating a full replacement. I expected more than eight years of life out of it. I'm funny that way.

My online mailbox is much more durable, and you are pretty good at filling it.

I am pretty good at urging you to listen to or watch the podcast before I start answering your questions.

The new episode awaits you on AppleSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, TuneIn, iHeart and YouTube.

Please be sure to check it out between now and kickoff Sunday, and to subscribe, rate and review.

Onto your best stuff.

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Remainder Of Titans' Season Is Major Evaluation Time

Remainder Of Titans' Season Is Major Evaluation Time

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans need to spend the remaining time in 2023 building toward next year.

This would include evaluating all players on the roster, and creating a mentality to build on in the offseason.

Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry/ Angie Flatt

There are a number of prominent players on existing contracts and in all likelihood won’t be back, but they can help with the immediate success of the young players on the roster and also the personality this team wants to have going into the 2024 season whether they are on the roster or not.

It starts with the core players.

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