Oct. 14, 2020
Setting expectations for the Titans tonight against the Bills
The Tennessee Titans have been cleared to play their first game in 16 days after COVID-19 ripped through the team's building. Over 20 confirmed cases and just one day of practice set the Titans a bit behind the ball for this crucial meeting with the Buffalo Bills.
The concern amongst Titans fans is the lack of reps for the players in the last week and the absence of playmakers like Jeffery Simmons Jr. and Corey Davis to name just a few. The Titans still have a bit of a cushion in the AFC South race thanks to the Browns' win over the Colts Sunday.
So, what should we expect from Mike Vrabel's men on this Tuesday night special?
Rust and a pieced together lineup. To be totally transparent, I am rather concerned with who will be on the active roster tonight. Tennessee should have no issue meeting the 48-player roster minimum, but the entire practice squad will likely get a chance to showoff for the coaching staff tonight.
Just to give you an idea, here are the wide receivers the Titans will have at their disposal:
- A.J. Brown
- Kalif Raymond
- Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
Beyond that, the Titans will be looking for bodies to fill in if a guy needs a breather or (God forbid) gets injured. As Jim Wyatt wrote in his preview for the game, players like Jonnu Smith, Anthony Firkser, and even rookie running back Darrynton Evans could feature as slot receivers tonight.
Can the defense keep up with Josh Allen?
In now his third year with Buffalo, Josh Allen is starting to show why he was drafted in the top-10. He has his squad 4-0 to start the season and former Vikings' wideout Stefon Diggs has already racked up 26 catches and over 400 yards thus far.
The good news is that Adoree Jackson will make his season debut tonight after spending the first three games on the injured reserve and rookie DB Kristian Fulton has been cleared of COVID-19 and is listed on the active roster.
Allen will be tough to stop if he can get time in the pocket like we have seen through their first four wins. In order to cover the speed and talent on the edges, expect to see a lot of safety Amani Hooker.
Hooker sealed the win over Minnesota with an interception and has been consistent in his pass coverage.
Can the Titans win this game and shock the league?
The Titans come into this contest as three point underdogs and rightfully so.
The Bills are playing great on both sides of the ball and have been able to practice unlike their opponents. However, I think the Titans still have the ability to shock everyone and win this game. Mike Vrabel has his team believing and they have been able to scrape out three very close wins both at home - without fans - and on the road.
If Derrick Henry can average four yards or more and gets to 100 rushing yards, the Titans can win. Keep Josh Allen off the field, grind the ball down the field. Use the run to set up the pass and stick to your guns.
Titan Up folks! Let's do this thing!