AFC South: Tennessee Titans

CINCINNATI -- The Tennessee Titans' defense can’t have been surprised by the trick play the Cincinnati Bengals ran in the first quarter of their 33-7 home win Sunday.

"We repped that plan in practice," Ken Whisenhunt said. "Part of being a pro, whether it’s you getting the rep or not, when it shows up in (the game) exactly the way you ran it (in practice), you have to make the play."

From the Titans' 18-yard line, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton pitched the ball to Mohamed Sanu heading right, then slid out to the left as a receiving option. Titans cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson read it and was well positioned to make a play.

[+] EnlargeBlidi Wreh-Wilson
AP Photo/Darron CummingsTennessee's Blidi Wreh-Wilson failed to make a play on this pass to Bengals QB Andy Dalton in the first quarter. Dalton caught the ball and ran in for a TD.
"As soon as I released it, I was like ‘Uh oh,'" Sanu said. "Because they had a guy right there who we didn’t expect to be there."

But Wreh-Wilson, who said he was on the field when the Titans practiced against the play, butchered it. He had a chance to grab the ball and run for a touchdown, or to deck Dalton. He did neither.

"I just saw the toss and I saw the quarterback rolling out and no one was on him," Wreh-Wilson said. "I just went to go make a play on the ball when I should have taken probably a smarter angle and then just made the play on him. I had the play stopped, diagnosed. I just had to make a play and I didn’t make it.

"At the end of the day, I have to find a way just to eliminate the touchdown. Deciding between making a play on the ball or the man, that’s where things got a little tricky for me. I was trying to pick a place to hit him where it would basically eliminate a penalty. When the ball was up in the air, I should have just hit him and that should have been the end of it. Hit him and eliminate the possibility of a run after a catch."

I thought it was an eminently interceptable ball. Wreh-Wilson should have beat Dalton to it, caught it and been in position to run 85 or 90 yards to a score that would have made it a 7-3 game with the Titans ahead.

"I couldn’t tell you what he’s thinking," Whisenhunt said. "He’s a young player, but youth is not an excuse. I’ll be the first one to tell you, once again, this league is about making plays."

Things went south for Wreh-Wilson from there. He drew four penalties, three on defense and one on special teams.

He’s a smart guy with skills. But his first three games as the Titans second starting cornerback have been poor.

He taunted in Kansas City and drew a flag for it in a game where there was no big passing-game threat. He was in position to break up a touchdown pass to Dez Bryant against the Cowboys and didn't.

And now this.

I think he’s good enough to turn things around and have the sort of career where he can laugh about the first three games of his second year.

But he needs to start showing that is where he’s heading.
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CINCINNATI -- In body language on the field, in spoken language at the postgame podium, Jake Locker simply didn't say much.

He was, of course, a key figure in the Tennessee Titans' 33-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. After a decent drive to open the game that ended with a 40-yard field goal that sailed wide right off the foot of Ryan Succop, it never felt like the visitors had a chance.

During the game and after, Locker had no answers.

He sailed passes high again, which seemed to be news to Ken Whisenhunt and for which Locker had no explanation. That is a concern. If something is regularly wrong, a quarterback should be able to identify why that is. Locker couldn't pin that element of his play down after last week's horror show against the Cowboys or this week's in Ohio.

Even worse, his first interception was the sort of throw quarterbacks are discouraged from making from the first time they throw a football.

Down 19-0 the Titans were gifted a possession deep in Bengals territory when Andy Dalton threw a looped pass to Giovani Bernard, that bounced off the running back's hand and was intercepted by safety George Wilson.

The Titans had a chance to score before the half.

But on second-and-8 from the Cincinnati 23, Locker moved hard to the left sideline. He had time to consider and reconsider what to do. And what he decided to do was throw back to the middle of the field, where he thought he could find Nate Washington in the end zone.

"I thought he was wide open," Locker said.

When did he realize Washington wasn't wide open?

"When the guy caught it."

Wow.

I mean bravo for the candor, but that's quite a depressing admission.

I expected something more along the lines of what coach Ken Whisenhunt offered on the play.

"That wasn't a good throw, you don't throw it in that situation back across the field," Whisenhunt said. "He saw Nate, thought he could make the throw. Just in that situation, where you are in the game, you've just got to be a little more judicious about not making that throw."

And I think by "a little more judicious" he meant a whole lot more judicious.

Locker's still trying to prove he's a starting caliber NFL quarterback.

Starting caliber NFL quarterbacks know they can't try that, that the odds of the miracle play are stacked heavily against them. They know if they are missing high a lot, how they can fix it, not just from one week to the next, but from one series to the next.

Whisenhunt was displeased with the receivers against Dallas and said so. In this game, Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter combined for eight catches for 81 yards, while Washington was shut out and the tight ends and backs combined for nine receptions.

Did the receivers respond or were the failures more on the quarterback?

"Even after we're able to watch film, that's a finger that none of us will point," Washington said. "We'll all be accountable for what we've done."

Those of us who cover the team didn't expect Whisenhunt to say he considered inserting Charlie Whitehurst to replace Locker or will consider changing this week.

But the questions had to be asked and were.

"I didn't think it was the time to do that," Whisenhunt said. "Jake's still the quarterback. ... One of the things you asked me when I first got here was what would I do differently (than I did in six years in San Diego). And one of the things was patience with the quarterback.

"So Jake's got to play better and we're going to work. We all have to play better."

Locker needs to provide answers. The postgame news conference isn't important. What he says in there can paint a better picture, but really doesn't matter.

What he does that prompts the questions is huge.
CINCINNATI -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the Tennessee Titans' 33-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium:

Disgusted: The disgust level of Ken Whisenhunt and several key players was high.

“I’m not making any excuses," he said. “We didn’t get the job done today. I’m real upset with not performing the way we’re even close to being capable of. And we’re going to get it fixed.”

What happened to the team that played so well on opening day in Kansas City?

“It’s there,” Whisenhunt said. “It’s just not making the plays or playing well right now.

Still, he set the broad perspective before his postgame review was over, aware that the Indianapolis Colts beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans lost to the New York Giants: “We’re one game back with 13 left.”

In mourning: The Titans were clearly shaken by the news Sunday morning that Rob Bironas, their kicker for the past nine years, was killed in a one-car crash in Nashville on Saturday night.

“All I’m going to really say right now is my thoughts and prayers are out to Rachel and London, his son, and the Bironas family,” said punter Brett Kern, who worked as Bironas’ holder since 2009. “You never want to get that call in the morning that that happened. I’m just praying for them through this time.”

Quieting down: Safety Bernard Pollard is a big talker who came into the season with high expectations. He said the team has talked too much considering how it’s played.

“If we can’t make receivers pay, if we can’t make running backs pay, if we can’t make that quarterback think twice, if we can’t continue to get the ball back for our offense and if them and special teams can’t make plays, we’re not going to be a good football team,” he said. “We’ve been consistent at something, and that’s losing. We have been consistent at not being good.”

Poor special teams: The Titans saw Ryan Succop miss two field goals. They saw Quentin Groves hold on a punt out of the end zone for a safety. They saw Derek Hagan fail to negotiate the goal line to down a punt.

“I would say it was not a very good display by our special teams today,” Whisenhunt said. “Which is an area that needs to be one of our strengths, and it has been before. I was very disappointed in that.”

Pictures: Check out my Instagram account for some postgame pictures, including another wild outfit from Charlie Whitehurst.

Rapid Reaction: Tennessee Titans

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
3:58
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CINCINNATI -- A few thoughts on the Tennessee Titans' 33-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

What it means: As the Bengals emerge as a legitimate contender for a deep run into the playoffs, the Titans lost for the second week in a row and are establishing they don’t have much of a chance to emerge as a surprise team. Tennessee provided zero resistance in a miserable showing that leaves a ton of questions. The biggest question: How long can they stick with Jake Locker at quarterback?

What was he thinking? Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson had Andy Dalton lined up to make an interception or crush Dalton as the Bengals quarterback went out for a pass back from Mohamed Sanu. Inexplicably, Wreh-Wilson came up with neither, missing the ball and man and watching Dalton pull it in and take it 18 yards for a score that made it 10-0 in the first quarter.

Disastrous: Locker was wild again, regularly throwing high and getting picked off twice. He didn’t play with any confidence or effectiveness throwing. He finished 17-of-33 for 185 yards with two interceptions and a 43.1 passer rating. He did run well, taking off five times for 51 yards before taking a knee on the last snap of the game.

Game ball: Bishop Sankey got his most action so far and the results were encouraging for the rookie running back. Because the Titans have at least three guys they like in the backfield, none will get as much work every week as he might like. In losses, fans will often be asking about how they were used. The Titans say it’s a game-to-game thing heavily influenced by matchups. On this day, Sankey got 10 carries for 61 yards and had at least one very good snap in pass protection, picking up a free rusher who could have done serious damage.

What’s next: The Titans head to Indianapolis for their first AFC South game of 2014. The Indianapolis Colts are also 1-2.

Bironas worked hard to get NFL chance

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
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Rob Bironas lived a very good version of the NFL dream.

The former Tennessee Titans kicker, who died in a car crash Saturday night, hardly had a direct route to the NFL.

He started at Auburn and finished at Georgia Southern. Bironas spent time in training camp with the Green Bay Packers in 2002, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003 and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004. He spent two seasons in the Arena Football League with the Carolina Cobras and the New York Dragons.

In nine seasons with the Titans, he hit 239 of 279 field goal attempts. He was a first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in 2007.

On Dec. 3, 2006 he hit a 60-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Colts in Nashville. He donated his cleats and the football used to make his NFL-record eighth field goal in a 2007 game at Houston to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He loved having made it to the league with such a challenging path and relished his job and the big moments that came with it. And he was regularly clutch.

The Titans cut him in March. He recently worked out for the Detroit Lions.

Sadly, Bironas is the seventh man who played for the Titans, a franchise that started with the new name and in its new stadium in 1999, to die. He joins a list that includes Steve McNair, Rodney Thomas, Todd Williams, Frank Chamberlin, Jesse Mahelona and Damien Nash.

O.J. Murdock and Mario Branch, players who spent time with the franchise but didn’t play in a game, have also passed away.

Titans may call on young cornerbacks

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jason McCourty, the Tennessee Titans top cornerback, is questionable for Sunday's game in Cincinnati with the groin injury he suffered against the Dallas Cowboys.

If Tennessee doesn't feel it can play McCourty and get effective work without risking further injury, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Coty Sensabaugh would start.

Rookie Marqueston Huff was the next guy in against Dallas, and Brandon Harris was a waiver pickup after he was cut by the Houston Texans.

Both spoke this week about their learning curves and preparedness.

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton is ready to call on each of them.

"If you have a hat on, you have to be accountable," Horton said. "Marqueston is practicing hard. I know he's a rookie, but I have complete faith in him and it's great to throw these guys in there and get them tested.

" ... They are different, probably in their skill set. One is smaller and quicker, one is bigger and probably more explosive at the point. We will give them all playing time."

The Titans are certainly unproven beyond McCourty and Sensabaugh as the nickel.

Some were highly critical that the team didn't re-sign Alterraun Verner, who had an excellent year for the Titans in 2013 before jumping to Tampa Bay as a free agent.

It's worth noting that in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 56-14 thrashing Thursday night at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons, Verner didn't do a lot to help.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker ’s big game against Dallas included 142 yards – the third most in franchise history for a tight end.

Only Jared Cook (169 against Jacksonville in 2011) and Dave Casper (150 against Cleveland in 1980) have topped Walker’s 142.

Walker
Walker is posting some other impressive numbers.

He’s averaging 4.3 catches per game with the Titans, surpassing Frank Wycheck’s 3.5 career mark. And his 44.1 receiving yards per game is second only to Casper's 46.1.

walker's stat line Sunday -- 10 catches for 140 yds and a TD -- made him the first Titan to hit those marks since Drew Bennett in 2004, per ESPN Stats and Info.

Walker’s start to the season has been big for the Titans. It’s also helped him get into first place in a league he’s in in Fantasy Fundraising, where people can create teams and compete with him and others week to week.

Players can challenge celebrity participants who represent charities. Walker is playing to raise money and awareness for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, while singer Kelly Clarkson represents St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Others involved include Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies, Troy Daniels of the Houston Rockets, actress Tiffani Thiessen and the band Montgomery Gentry.

Walker said he’s in first with a mish-mash of players, as much of his team was auto-drafted. His quarterback is teammate Jake Locker and he’s got the 49ers defense.

RTC: Is this Locker's biggest game?

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
9:13
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Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans ...

Jake Locker is facing the biggest game of his career, writes David Climer of The Tennessean. “As the Titans attempt to break the cycle of mediocrity, Locker is counted upon to become a franchise quarterback. And true franchise quarterbacks respond to adversity. They respond to a poor game with a strong performance.”

Jason McCourty did more Thursday than he did Wednesday, but his fate for Sunday in Cincinnati is questionable, writes Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Justin Hunter’s still working on chemistry with Jake Locker, writes John Glennon.

Tennessee's good and bad through two games, from Glennon of The Tennessean.

Locker was happy for a chance to talk about his chicken coop, writes Wyatt.

The run-pass ratio should improve in Cincinnati, writes Titans radio play-by-play man Mike Keith.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Against the Dallas Cowboys' big offensive line, the Tennessee Titans' inside linebackers struggled to shed blocks. That was a big part of Tennessee’s struggles in run defense.

That led me to consider whether the Titans' starters inside, Wesley Woodyard and Zaviar Gooden, are good enough to make up for their lack of size.

SportsNation

Are the Titans too small at inside linebacker?

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Discuss (Total votes: 284)

Woodyard is 6-foot, 233 pounds; Gooden is 6-1, 231.

“I don’t think size and getting off blocks is a problem for Jurrell Casey or Ropati Pitoitua at end or either starting outside linebacker,” ESPN.com’s resident scout, Matt Williamson, said. “But it would worry me very much with both of those two smaller athletic inside linebackers.”

Gooden replaced Zach Brown, who suffered a pectoral injury in the opener and is on IR. Brown is 6-1, 248. A 17-pound difference with the move from Brown to Gooden is significant.

Ken Whisenhunt has been dismissive of size questions.

“I think it’s based on what they do well,” he said. “You look at London Fletcher, he played a long time in this league. How much did he weigh? To me, if they’re needed to fill a gap and they can do it, they’ll do it. We have physical characteristics for each position, and we try to place those guys in those positions, but it’s still about playing the defense.”

Now retired, Fletcher was listed at 5-10, 242 by Washington in his most recent bio.

I asked Williamson to list the top 3-4 inside linebackers in the NFL.

Here’s that list with their sizes:

NaVorro Bowman*/49ers/6-0/242
Patrick Willis/49ers/6-1/240
Lawrence Timmons/Steelers/6-1/234
Karlos Dansby/Browns/6-3/251
Brian Cushing/Texans/6-3/249
Derrick Johnson*/Chiefs/6-3/242
Daryl Washington/Cardinals/6-2/230

* -- injured

Kamerion Wimbley qualified as a small defensive end the last couple years in the Titans' 4-3. Now back as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, he’s a better fit at 6-4, 258.

“If you’re not big, you definitely better be able to run and hit like a big guy,” said Wimbley said. “I think whoever we put out there, we have confidence they’ll be able to do their job and we don’t worry about size.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Andy Dalton gets rid of the ball in a hurry.

The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback has dropped back 63 times in two wins this season and hasn’t been hit or sacked.

Wimbley
The Tennessee Titans have recorded eight sacks and an additional 18 pressures, per the team’s count.

The Titans' ability to maintain the pressure at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday could be a big factor in their chances to pull what would be regarded as an upset.

“I think we’re doing good, to be ranked among the top teams in the NFL,” Titans outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley said.

Jurrell Casey spoke of the need to get Dalton off his first read, which will force him to hold the ball a beat longer.

If Dalton is in that quick rhythm, the Titans need to bat down some balls at the line. End Ropati Pitoitua has two batted balls this season, outside linebacker Derrick Morgan has two (one of which was in coverage) and Wimbley has one.

Nose tackle Sammie Hill said getting a hand on a pass at the line qualifies as a big play.

“You’ve just got to come off the ball real tough and get your hands up,” Hill said. “We know he throws the ball real quick. So our biggest thing is when we know that’s a part of their game, we’ve got to work to get the push and then get our hands up so we can get batted balls.

“For us, batted balls are just as good as hit and sacks, too.”

When should Jake Locker run?

September, 17, 2014
Sep 17
5:08
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We did it with Steve McNair. We did it with Vince Young. We’re doing it with Jake Locker.

As with most mobile quarterbacks, we tend to ask if a guy should have run it on some of his throws and if he should have thrown it on some of his runs.

[+] EnlargeJake Locker
Don McPeak/USA TODAY SportsJake Locker is averaging 2.9 yards per carry through two games after averaging 6.5 per carry last season.
Locker has worked to stay in the pocket so far this season, and the Titans clearly want him to develop as more of a pocket passer.

But when he stands in, or moves a bit and throws and the throw is poor, it’s somewhat natural to wonder if he should have run if he had space.

He threw high and behind Nate Washington on one early third down against Dallas, and after the pass fell incomplete, CBS analyst Troy Aikman pointed out how much room he had to gain a first down running if he had taken off.

What’s the gauge for deciding when to run it and when not to?

“I guess just feeling,” Locker said. “When you’re stepping up in the pocket and you feel like you’ve got a lane and you see some grass, you’ve got to take advantage of it. But there is a fine line between that and learning to stay in the pocket, trust the pocket and let things downfield develop a little bit.”

Locker’s backup, Charlie Whitehurst, said coaches may have had conversations with Locker about running. But in the quarterback meeting room, they have not really spoken about it.

“I do think it’s a feel thing, I do think you’re trying to sit in the pocket as long as you can and it is a last resort [to take off],” Whitehurst said. “There are some coverages where you may be thinking, ‘Shoot, if the first couple reads aren’t here, I’m taking off maybe a little earlier.’ I really believe you’re trying to complete the ball and running is a last resort.”

“The way we talk is all about throwing the ball, and protecting the ball, too.”

Coach Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t want Locker doing too much thinking with regard to when to run.

“I think if you try to get him too bogged down, to think about criteria when something is happening, that’s going to be detrimental to him,” Whisenhunt said. “We’ll talk about certain situations. But he’s got to have a feel for it. He’s a good player, he’s got a good feel for it.

“Every situation is different and you’ve got to play it based on what you feel and the way you see it.”

Delanie Walker: 'I'm a fast guy'

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After he bounced off cornerback Morris Claiborne, Delanie Walker saw plenty of green.

The Tennessee Titans tight end raced about 37 yards to finish off a 61-yard touchdown in Sunday’s 26-10 loss to Dallas.

Walker
He outran four Cowboys including cornerback Brandon Carr and linebacker Bruce Carter, showing great acceleration.

“My mindset is one guy is not going to tackle me, when he hit me, I just bounced. It really gave me the momentum to go down the field,” Walker said. “I saw on the Jumbotron there was no one there…

“I don’t know why people think I’m not fast. I consider myself a fast guy. I showed it. If I get those opportunities, I will break tackles and I will outrun people. That’s what I am here for.”

Former Titans tight end Frank Wycheck, now the analyst on Titans radio, watched it unfold during the broadcast and said, simply, “Wow.”

Before going on to say he has seen great speed from Walker on special teams, former NFL tight end Ken Whisenhunt said he also was surprised and impressed by the show of speed.

"Delanie had more speed than I thought he did on that long run,” Whisenhunt said.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jake Locker was not good in the first half of Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, but not all the quarterback's difficulties were solely his fault.

Locker
Protection issues and route problems also contributed to the offense's poor first 30 minutes, coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

On more than once occasion, Locker held the ball long and was still in OK shape protection-wise. My thinking is with an extended clock, there should be more time for a receiver to break free and for Locker to find him.

Instead I felt as if he threw some of his worst balls when he had good protection and maybe even additional time, like the alarm went off in his head and he panicked.

"It really depends," Whisenhunt said. "I mean, we had mistakes from our receivers yesterday that changed the spacing on some of those routes. Sometimes it was the way they came off the ball. Sometimes it was getting jammed up, not being in the right spots. That can lead to a quarterback holding on to the ball, that can contribute to where it goes from there."

I wrote earlier about two third-down throws from the first half that Locker did poorly with: He seemed late on one and he was high and behind his target on another.

That second one, he scooted to his left to buy time and had plenty of time before making a poor throw. He could have run.

He had good time on a third-and-10 from the Tennessee 27 and couldn't find anybody, overthrowing Delanie Walker by a great deal and finding the deep safety behind him, Barry Church for his first interception. That was early in the second quarter.

He had good time on a second-and-10 from the Tennessee 32 later in the second quarter when play-action deep shot up the right side to Taylor Thompson was well overthrown.

The Titans have invested a lot in protecting their quarterback. When he's got a clean pocket and/or a lot of time, he's got to fare better.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- To his credit, Ken Whisenhunt didn't spend the Monday after a terrible game telling the press the Titans did a lot of good things.

Mondays in Nashville with Jeff Fisher and Mike Munchak as the team's head coach almost always featured a positive spin off even the worst performances.

Whisenhunt
"We did a lot of good things" was just about a guaranteed line from the podium at the day-after press conference.

Defensively, Whisenhunt wasn't playing that game a day after Tennessee's 26-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

“It's hard to say anybody is doing a good job after yesterday's game,” he said.

Particularly bad was a run defense that allowed 220 yards on 43 carries -- an average of 5.1 a carry.

The troubles for the run defense were predominantly gap issues, Whisenhunt said. The Titans “weren't as detailed in our approach,” as they were in Kansas City and that's where it showed up the most.

After Week 1's win over the Chiefs, Whisenhunt emphasized it was just one game. Week 2's poor showing is getting plenty of attention, but it was also 1/16th of the schedule.

The Titans travel to Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bengals are 2-0 and playing well.

Whisenhunt said he expects they'll run the ball intending to see if the Titans have fixed a big issue.

Giovani Bernard has 41 carries through two games, the third-most in the league. He's only got 138 yards and a 3.4-yard average. But if the Titans play the way they did against the Cowboys, those will grow.

The Film Don't Lie: Titans

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
4:00
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A weekly look at what the Tennessee Titans must fix.

The Titans were 0-for-6 on third down in the first half. That helped set up a game in which Dallas controlled the ball for 41:11.

In Cincinnati on Sunday, Tennessee needs to find a way to extend drives and move the chains. It’s a necessity for the offense if it’s going to drive the ball, and it’s a necessity to get the defense some rest.

Jake Locker threw on all six first-half third downs; three times he threw incomplete, twice he completed passes short of the sticks and once he was intercepted.

A look at the three incomplete third-down passes:
  • Third-and-2 from the Tennessee 28: Out of the shotgun, Locker threw to Kendall Wright at the right sideline. Cornerback Sterling Moore made a good play to break up a good throw, and Wright looked for a flag.
  • Third-and-6 from midfield: Locker stood in and threw to Nate Washington in the middle of the field. Linebacker Rolando McClain and safety J.J. Wilcox closed and prevented the catch. It looked like Washington was open earlier, though there was no guarantee he’d get to the marker.
  • Third-and-5 from the Tennessee 22: Locker slid to his left and threw back toward the middle, where Washington was open. The throw was too high and too far behind Washington, who got his hands on it but couldn’t pull it in.

Tennessee ran only eight times on 21 offensive plays before halftime. The Titans should be able to hand off on third-and-2 and third-and-3 rather than calling pass plays.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt needs to measure that out better next week and Locker needs to be more accurate on the most important downs.

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