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VOL. 44 | NO. 43 | Friday, October 23, 2020

Henry vs. Steelers defense will be great matchup

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First down: Keep rolling with Derrick Henry. Teams had been wondering when Henry was going to have a breakout game in 2020. That came against the Texans with 212 yards rushing, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime.

The Steelers won’t be as easy to run on as the Texans, but the Titans have found a good balance of run and pass, and it all starts with Henry and the offensive line.

Second down

Fix the third down issues. The Titans defense has been atrocious the past two weeks on third down, and quite frankly have been poor at it for much of the season. The offense, even as well as it has played, cannot keep bailing out a porous defense that needs to rush the passer better and cut third down conversions in half.

Third down

Protect Ryan Tannehill. The Titans have mostly done a good job of protecting their quarterback this season and giving him time to find receivers down the field. Tannehill was sacked and fumbled, setting up a Texans TD. Taylor Lewan being out for the year with an ACL tear leaves a big gap on the offensive line. The Titans will have to find a way to win without him.

Fourth down

Don’t stop believing. To borrow a phrase from Journey, the Titans must keep playing with confidence as they are “living in a lonely world,” so to speak, as one of three unbeaten teams still left in the league. That will change as the Steelers are also 5-0 heading into this showdown of two of the NFL’s top teams.

-- By Terry McCormick

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