NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Take all that work they did to finally find a big start to a season, to get atop the AFC South standings and be chased instead of chasing and crumple it up, snap it to Trevor Daniel and drop it on his foot.

Let’s see if he can punt it into a nearby trash can.


Photo: Alison McNabb/Tennessee Titans

A disastrous third quarter keyed by what qualifies as a massive special teams’ failure even for this team means a 34-17 nationally televised embarrassment for the Titans at the hands of the Colts.

It puts the teams together at 6-3 at the head of the division, where the Titans are no longer being pursued but are actually in the weaker position.

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Scout's Take: Philip Rivers' low trajectory will give Titans more chances to tip passes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Colts are 5-3 and they rely heavily on their defense and offensive lines to win them ball games.

These aren’t the same teams that had Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck and high-profile offenses from 1998 to 2018.

This team needs a strong run defense and the ability to rush the passer to have success.SnapIndy

The Colts’ run defense is third in rushing yards allowed with 83 per game, third in passing yards allowed with 206 per game and third in points allowed. With a No. 1 overall defense.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A.J. Brown got off the line and stuttered, throwing Kyle Fuller off. By the time the Chicago corner recovered, Tennessee’s top receiver was open.

But Brown looked back early, which slows any receiver down and Ryan Tannehill threw the ball too long.TannehillReachThrowKL

Photo: Kate Luffman/Tennessee Titans

The deep shot landed on the Nissan Stadium turf at about the Chicago 26-yard line.

Brown grimaced and hopped.

Tannehill hopped twice.

It would have been about a 35-yard gain where Brown might have caught it, and with his propensity to run away from people if it hit him in stride it might have been a 65-yard touchdown.

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Scout's take: How the Titans undid the Bears and got to 6-2

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans got a win by getting back to defensive football, creating turnovers on defense and splash plays on offense. This wasn’t a perfect win against a very average NFL team, but it does give you hope.

The Bears have a good defensive front seven with some solid offensive players. The problem was an offensive line that was forced to start three new players and a veteran quarterback that has struggled over the past two years.DJonesCelebrateCHIkl

Photo: Kate Luffman/Tennessee Titans

Another issue with the Bears is the coach calling the offensive plays.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – New guys, new energy, new result.

For a team largely built on continuity coming into the 2020 season, the Titans needed a newcomer boost on Sunday to help secure a 22-17 win over Chicago at Nissan Stadium and end a two-game losing streak.KingCHI20KL

Photo: Kate Luffman/Tennessee Titans

In his Titans’ debut, veteran corner Desmond King bounced around during warmups, played tighter coverage than we’ve seen from a lot of guys at his position this season and opportunistically grabbed a fumbled forced by the consistently play-making Jeffery Simmons and returned it for a 63-yard touchdown.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Demond King, the cornerback the Titans acquired on Monday to help a beleaguered secondary, will play for them Sunday against the Bears despite not practicing all week.

Because of COVID-19 protocols, King was limited to Zoom meetings with the team through the practice week and only joined the team Saturday when the team's work amounts to a light walk-through.DesmonKing2

Photo courtesy Los Angeles Chargers

Mike Vrabel said Friday there was a big determination to be made about how effectively King could plugin without having done real work with the rest of the secondary and defense. [Unlocked]

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Scout's take: Titans' physical receivers a key against Bears

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This week the Titans need to steal the Bengals’ offensive game plan and focus on getting the ball out of Ryan Tannehill’s hands quickly and into the hands of A.J. Brown, Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis.

Without Adam Humphries (concussion) the more physical Titan receivers will be a good matchup against the smaller and less physical Kyle Fuller, Buster Skrine and rookie Jaylen Johnson.DavisBrown

Skrine, the Bears’ nickel, is a smaller and quicker but would struggle to match versus receivers with size.

Last week versus New Orleans, Skrine played very soft coverage and gave a big cushion when the Saints used tight end Jared Cook in his zone. He showed a lack of awareness of downs and distances against the Saints giving up big first downs with passes thrown in front of him with plenty of room for the receiver to run the extra distance for a first down.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 2019 Super Bowl Champion Chiefs were an offensive-driven team with a defense undergoing a major transition.

And that defense’s progress was a major storyline to what turned out to be a storybook season.


When Kansas City came up short in 2018, losing to the Patriots in the conference championship game, Andy Reid decided his defense needed serious changes.

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