Scout's take: Good plan from Todd Downing and other keys to Titans' win

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A win was just what the Titans needed, but they aren’t out of the weeds yet.

The Titans played their best game of the year and were almost perfect from a production and strategic standpoint on offense in the first half.Derrick Henry

Courtesy Tennessee Titans

The second-half offense was not as effective or productive, but they were able to hold on to the win even though they didn’t add any points to extend their lead.

The Titans needed a big game from Derrick Henry, and they got one with his 20 rushes for 85 yards and a touchdown plus a role in the passing game.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The knee injury Taylor Lewan suffered on the Titans' first snap on offense in Buffalo Monday night is serious enough to end his season, Lewan's podcast Bussin' with the Boys reported.

It's the second big knee injury for Lewan in three years and leaves a weak offensive line without a player it was counting on. He was on crutches in the locker room of Highmark Stadium after the game.

TaylorLewanSideline

He was in the locker room Wednesday with no crutches or brace and moving fine, then was spotted at LAX that evening, presumably heading for a second opinion.

Dennis Daley replaced Lewan during the Titans' 41-7 loss to the Bills and when he declared Lewan out this week Mike Vrabel said Daley would start against Las Vegas  

Daley is listed as the backup for both tackle spots.

Dillon Radunz, a 2021 second-rounder, played at the spot in last year's game against San Francisco but is listed as a reserve guard.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Well before Mike Vrabel was their head coach, the Titans were a run-based team.

During their six-year streak of winning seasons with five playoff appearances, with Derrick Henry at the forefront since 2018, they’ve been especially so.

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In times of trouble – and at 0-2 they are in trouble now – they’ve looked to the offensive line to reset the tone, carve room for Henry, create time for Ryan Tannehill and set things right.

“Just think about every time throughout all of our lives when things haven't really been great,” Mike Vrabel said. “We've all faced adversity. You rally around what you believe, your core beliefs and your family, the people that you trust. That was what my message was, ‘Do the things that we believe in and that we know works.’”

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PodcastArtNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A new podcast episode awaits you and you can find it through the very friendly and helpful Linktree.

Whichever platform you prefer, please subscribe, rate and review.

Subjects I delve into:

  • Measuring Derrick Henry's slow start versus previous seasons
  • Looking at where Henry stands compared to some historically great backs
  • The Two OL who need to key a resurgence
  • The Raiders' big issues of their own
  • The punt return disaster and the danger of every "solution"
  • Stats you need to know
  • Much more

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Scout's take: Titans can get to Raiders' offensive line, Rock Ya-Sin

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This is a battle of the two-loss, zero-win teams.

The Raiders made a splash with the trade for Davante Adams and the free-agent signing of Chandler Jones.

Despite those two big-ticket acquisitions, the other big thing the new decision-makers did was deplete their depth by waving players who were drafted by the previous regime.

Jeffery Simmons

© George Walker IV -USA TODAY Sports

This has become a trend with new general managers and head coaches coming from the same team. They tend to sign and trade for players from their old team and discard players from the former regime.

Instead of picking the best players for the roster, they rely on comfort and familiarity.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The body language was exceptionally poor the more the game moved along and after it was over. And what posture would one expect after a team with high hopes fell to 0-2 with a miserable showing in Week Two at Buffalo?

“They beat us 41-7,” Caleb Farley said. “Nobody’s going to be happy or in a good mood after that.

Titans Defensive Backs Circle

The Titans often carry the swagger of their coach, Mike Vrabel, but they do not feel like a confident team now, no matter the broad experiences they have to lean on. The proximate results set the tone and there has to be some level of internal battling this week between “what have we done” and “we can do this” as the team readies for the Raiders at Nissan Stadium on Sunday.

This team is more reliant, by design, on young guys and injuries are already pushing others into action.

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Mike Herndon: Major questions surface for Mike Vrabel’s Titans after MNF beatdown

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Two weeks into the 2022 NFL season, you can find the Tennessee Titans near the bottom of every significant statistical category:

  • 13.5 points per game – 28th
  • 31 points per game allowed – 30th
  • 273 yards per game – 27th
  • 404 yards per game allowed – 25th
  • 5 turnovers – 27th
  • 30.4 percent third down conversion rate – 26th
  • Offensive EPA per play – 31st
  • Defensive EPA per play – 28th

Mike Vrabel

They blew a game they mostly controlled at home against a Giants team that is expected to be among the worst in the league, and then followed that up with the worst loss of the Mike Vrabel era, a 41-7 drubbing in Buffalo that could have been much worse if the Bills hadn’t shown mercy by putting in human victory cigar Case Keenum by the end of the third quarter.

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Scout's take: Titans' roster deficiencies on display in loss to Bills

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans continued a downward trend after getting beat by a very average New York Giants team in Week One by getting throttled by a top-tier NFL team against the Bills in Week Two.

The Titans competed against the bottom team but couldn’t compete with the better one.

The Titans' top players were ineffective.

Tre Avery on Stefon Diggs

© Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Henry ran for 1.9 yards a carry on 13 attempts for 25 yards,

Jeffrey Simmons did not register a tackle or sack in the game, credited with only a tipped pass.

Ryan Tannehill was 11 for 20 passing for 117 yards with two interceptions. He threw another one into the hands of a Bills safety but it was dropped.

Promising rookie wide receiver Kyle Phillips had his second fumbled punt in two weeks and had only one catch for five yards.

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