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VOL. 43 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 15, 2019

Kicking game, offensive line, health top list of bye week issues

By Terry McCormick

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Cody Parkey hit all three field goals he attempted in three games as the Titans awaited the return of Ryan Succop. Since returning, Succop is 0 for 3 on field goals and 5 of 6 on extra points.

-- Photo By James Kenney | Ap Photo

Since the Titans are on their bye week, we will revamp the four downs feature to reflect four areas of analysis about the team, rather than finding specific things related to an opponent.

Tennessee enters the off week with a 5-5 record and, with six games remaining, is still in the postseason hunt. It won’t be easy, since the schedule gets much tougher with two games against the Texans and one each against the Jaguars and Colts. In addition, the Titans face the Saints at home and the much-improved Raiders in Los Angeles.

Here are our four areas that must be ironed out in the final weeks.

First down

Fix the kicking game. It’s obvious Ryan Succop is not 100% healthy. He missed an extra point versus Kansas City after missing three field goals the previous game in Carolina. Succop, who missed the first half of the season with a knee injury, also has not been getting the ball into the end zone on kickoffs. Maybe the bye week will help him rest and heal.

Second down

Get healthy. The Titans won against the Chiefs despite having four of their top players missing. Jurrell Casey (shoulder) and Jayon Brown (groin) were out on defense, while the offense played without Delanie Walker (ankle), who has missed multiple games, and Corey Davis, who was out Sunday with a hip injury.

Third down

Repair the offensive line. The offensive line is relatively healthy, and the run blocking looked pretty good as Derrick Henry had 188 yards Sunday. But the pass protection still breaks down too often, and Taylor Lewan has had too many penalties since his return from suspension. Fixing an offensive line in midseason is a nearly impossible task, one that might not be accomplished until the offseason, but the Titans have to get more consistency out of this unit if they are to make any sort of move toward playoff contention.

Fourth down

Improve the pass rush. Quietly, Harold Landry is putting together a decent season with seven sacks in 10 games. The Titans need someone – anyone – to step it up on the other side and provide more consistent pressure. Once Casey is back, he should form a nice inside tandem with rookie Jeffery Simmons, and perhaps their inside presence will help offset the lack of consistency on the outside.

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