Three things that can help the Titans' chances

December, 21, 2008
12/21/08
12:36
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A couple thoughts on what might help the Titans if they're going to beat the Steelers today at LP Field, where the skies are clear but the wind chill is in the 20s.

-- Chicago started to figure things out, they shut down the run and dared the Titans to beat them throwing. Kerry Collins answered with a big game, relying on Justin Gage and Tennessee won. Houston took it a step further, controlling the run and Gage, and making the Titans beat them with Justin McCareins as the main receiving threat. They couldn't do it. Will the Steelers try to stick to the same formula? What's the logical counter for Tennessee? Well, we've been waiting all year to see the Titans line Chris Johnson up wide and have him run some longer routes. He's got a lot of catches, but do you remember many where he was even 10 yards downfield? If the Titans give him more than screens, dump-offs and checkdowns against the Steelers, maybe they create a whole new kind of threat.

-- Jeff Fisher is usually good for a special-teams trick play at least once a year. We haven't seen one yet. The Titans are going to need to flip the field once or twice on defense or special teams to give the offense a shorter field and a chance to get to the end zone. A fake field goal or punt is one way they could do it.

-- Tight end Bo Scaife hasn't been as big a presence in the Titans' passing game in recent weeks. Collins has been starting slow. Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger should try to get the two connected on some short stuff early to build some rhythm and confidence.

-- This is my first double-blogger game. AFC North expert James Walker is sitting next to me. If you're checking in here during the game, you'd be wise to check his page, too, for some Steelers perspective.

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