Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
RTC: First down's been big for Titans

By Paul Kuharsky

Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans ...

First-down success in the preseason has set the Titans up for far easier down-and-distance work, says John Glennon of The Tennessean. Against Atlanta, “the first team averaged more than 9 yards per play on 20 first-down attempts.”

To which I say: Nine yards per first-down play is ridiculous. The first drive on the second quarter had a huge bearing on those numbers, when the Titans hit passes of 18 and 6 yards before getting a 19-yard run from Chris Johnson.

Often-injured middle linebacker Colin McCarthy is looking at Thursday night’s game in Minnesota as an audition, as he looks to re-establish himself, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

To which I say: McCarthy’s not getting cut. His durability is a frustration and may cap his ceiling. But there is no other contender for backup middle linebacker behind Moise Fokou.

Kerry Collins is replacing Keith Bulluck for the broadcast of the final Titans preseason game, says Wyatt.

The options for injured returner/receiver Marc Mariani, from Glennon.

“The Titans played base 4-3, 4-2-5 nickel with a cornerback, 4-2-5 nickel with a safety, and what looked like 4-1-6 dime with three safeties and three corners. This was more personnel diversity than I noticed the previous two games,” says Tom Gower of Total Titans in a review of the defense against Atlanta.