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Front Page - Friday, October 28, 2022

Titans at Texans: What to watch

The Titans have once again put themselves in a good spot in the AFC South, sweeping the Colts and putting distance between themselves and the rest of the division. That quest to rule the South continues this week when they go back on the road to face the Houston Texans.

First down

Win the turnover battle. What the Titans have been offsetting what they might lack in superstar talent with takeaways. The Titans were plus-2 against the Colts with an interception return for a touchdown from Andrew Adams. Turnovers are a great momentum shift, and the Titans have been developing the knack of getting them during their current four-game win streak.

Second down

Keep going to Henry. With the wide receiver corps depleted and not having a lot of explosiveness, the Titans are reverting back to their old ways of running Derrick Henry consistently. He had a season-high 30 carries Sunday, and while Henry has yet to break a really long run this season, he has been superb as a battering ram the Titans revolve the entire offense around.

Third down

Protect Tannehill. Ryan Tannehill has made 49 consecutive starts for the Titans. He nearly didn’t finish against the Colts because of an ankle injury. The situation would be bleak without the gritty quarterback and his toughness, and Mike Vrabel readily acknowledges that the Titans must minimize the number of hits the quarterback takes.

Fourth down

Win on special teams. With so little margin for error, the Titans have to do well in all aspects of special teams. Save for the miss against the Giants that cost them the opener, Randy Bullock has been spot on with place kicks. The kick coverage units were mostly strong Sunday, and the return game has been solid, though not spectacular. Special teams have to make a positive contribution for this team to keep winning.

­— Terry McCormick