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VOL. 44 | NO. 44 | Friday, October 30, 2020

Beware the rookie with hot hand

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First down: Pressure the rookie. The Titans won’t be facing a seasoned vet like they did in Ben Roethlisberger, but rookie Joe Burrow has had the lowly Bengals competitive in a number of games this year. If the Titans are going to correct their mistakes and suddenly find some pass rush on defense, getting after a rookie QB would be a good place to start.

Second down

Start quickly. The Titans dug themselves a 27-7 hole against the Steelers and have had to come from behind in four of their five wins this season. A fast start against Cincinnati would be welcome and not breathe unnecessary strength into a struggling team.

Third down

Don’t leave it to kicker’s foot. Stephen Gostkowski has been Jekyll-and-Hyde all season, and his miss at the end against Pittsburgh cost the Titans a chance to take the game to overtime. The Titans have been solid in the red zone offensively this year, and must continue that in order not to have to rely on a kicker who has been spotty since joining the club.

Fourth down

Bounce back. Good teams in a topsy-turvy NFL put heartbreaking losses aside and focus on the next opponent. The Titans should be favored against the Bengals, and need to come out with a win to keep pace in the AFC playoff chase and keep themselves atop the AFC South.

-- By Terry McCormick

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