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Well Titans fans, after a week of looking like a true contender the Titans go out and do the most Titans thing ever, lose to an inferior team and obliterate all good will the team may have earned. Going into the Bills game I felt that it had all of the makings of a trap game. The team had just come off of an emotional win and was going to play one of the worst teams in the league. I also do not think that it helped having the team talk about how great they were all week and how the media had disrespected them. In fact, I think it created a distraction, which may have contributed to the giant turd they laid in Buffalo.
That game was so utterly terrible that there is not a ton to discuss. The offense was trash, and I know that everyone wants to blame the receivers, which they should, but it was not just them. It appeared that the entire unit was in shambles. The offensive line was bad, and it only got worse when Lewan left. Additionally, I found myself really questioning the play calling. It appeared that nearly every play the Bills’ defense was sending jailbreak blitzes, and for whatever reason the Titans failed to counter it. Logically, quick passes would beat that, but for some reason the team did not do that. I am honestly not sure what the offensive game plan was. For instance, against Philadelphia it was to attach through the air, while against Houston and Jacksonville it was to be a conservative run team. In Buffalo, I had no idea what the team wanted to do. It appeared to be a giant mess.
Of course the receivers were a nightmare wrapped in a horror movie. Everyone besides Davis was pathetic. Nick Williams was so bad that they cut him two days later. I am hoping this group can improve going forward, but as the season progresses I see how the lose to Mathews and Walker were monumental.
The running game too was vastly disappointing, yet again. I thought that Henry might finally do something, but I was wrong. Additionally, Lewis was not great in this game. Although the offensive line game them very little help. However, I did notice that Henry missed a few holes and ran timidly again.
As for Mariota, he did not have a good game, however, he had no help. I feel like Titans fans have entered this cycle in which we defend Mariota after bad games, he keeps playing poorly, and then when we nearly run out of of patience he has a great game or two, we all buy in, and then reverts back to bad Mariota. I am not saying that he can’t be our franchise qb, but I am also not convinced that he is. It is almost like the team is in some weird purgatory with him.
As for the defense, I thought they played great in Buffalo. They did give up some runs, but they also allowed only thirteen points, so I really cannot complain that much.
So here we are, 3-2 with loses to the worst two teams on the schedule, and the Ravens are coming to town. What should we expect from this utterly perplexing team? I do not know, but I think that the Raves are beatable. The Titans’ defense could have another good day, as the Ravens’ offense is average. If the Titans pass rush can get going and they can get in Flacco’s face, then they could have a big day. The Ravens do have some decent receivers with Brown and Crabtree, but I think the Titans corners should be able to hold them. I would assume that rational coaching would avoid a Malcolm Butler John Brown match up. I actually think that Butler could do well against Crabtree, and Adoree Jackson could contain Brown. Additionally, the Ravens have a pair of decent running backs with Alex Collins and Buck Allen. I think the Titans run defense should contain them, even though they have been porous against the run lately. Therefore I think the Titans defense should hold its own, and once again a victory will depend on the offense.
The Titans enigmatic offense will have its hands full trying to advance against the Ravens. Baltimore’s defense is one of the better units in the league. In order to score, the Titans are really going to need the receivers to win their matchups. This could be the type of game that Corey Davis shows that he truly is an emerging talent. He’ll most likely be up against Jimmy Smith, who is a very good corner. The other receivers such as Taylor and Sharpe will have to make plays too. However, Titans receivers are so bad that I am not expecting much, but in order for the team to win they have to do something.
I am also not expecting the running backs to do a lot in this game. They have been consistently bad and the Ravens have a good defense. I would however expect a lot of screen passes to Lewis and maybe a few to Henry. I imagine that they want to get them in space considering how bad the interior offensive line has been.
I think a lot will be put on Mariota in this game. I do not think that the team can win the way it did in Jacksonville, thus he will need to make plays. However, I would overall expect a fairly conservative game plan. I do not see them throwing bombs to Corey Davis all day, but who knows.
As any Titans fans should, I hate the Ravens with a passion. They were our archrivals in the old AFC Central days, and I kind of wish the Titans played them more. Anytime that the Titans beat them is a good day. I am hopeful that they pull it off. So until next week, Go Titans, keep those thumbtacks flaming!