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VOL. 45 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 13, 2021

Titans vs. Falcons: Four downs

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Yes, it is preseason, but let’s look at four things to watch for when the Titans open with the Atlanta Falcons Friday in the Mercedes-Benz Dome. It will be interesting to see how the playing time is divvied up now with the preseason reduced from four games to three.

First down

Get the offense a crisp series at the outset. Some have wondered about Ryan Tannehill having been picked off several times in camp while working through things with the offense and some of his new weapons. There’s probably not much to worry about here, and a number of starters might not play much. But if Tannehill is a go, then a good clean series, perhaps even for a score, before he retires to the sideline should quiet any chatter about the camp interceptions.

Second down

Is the defense for real? Chances are, Bud Dupree and Caleb Farley might not see action in the preseason opener as the Titans want to be careful with them. But it would be good for some of the guys who have been talked about on defense – Amani Hooker, Teair Tart, Kristian Fulton – to make plays against the Falcons the way they have at the outset of camp.

Third down

What about the kicking situation? The battle – for the moment – is between Tucker McCann and Sam Ficken. Someone else could brought in later. The results have been mixed, but a good showing in game situations could give either – dare we say it – a leg up.

Fourth down

The backup QB battle. Logan Woodside should get a lot of work in preseason. He’ll be fending off newcomer Matt Barkley after Deshone Kizer fizzled in camp. Keep an eye on who executes the offense better and who has command of the huddle and all the things that go into running the offense.

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