The Tennessee Titans head into Sunday's game on a two-game losing streak and with several key injuries and issues. As they get ready to face the Chicago Bears, here are the Titans' keys to victory:
1. Run, Derrick, run. The easiest way for the Titans to help their beleaguered and battered defense is to do something they have not done a lot of this season – win time of possession. While it's fun to watch Ryan Tannehill and Tennessee's high-powered passing game put up points, the bread-and-butter of the offense is still Derrick Henry. In order to help the defense, the Titans need Henry to pound the ball and keep the defense off the field as much as possible.
2. See what you've got. The Titans defense has been terrible on third down this season, and it cost Vic Beasley and Johnathan Joseph, two players who were struggling badly, their jobs. Jadeveon Clowney is a question mark with a knee injury. That means the Titans could be down to giving practice squad players like outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper and cornerbacks Breon Borders and Kareem Orr meaningful snaps on defense. If that's the case, it may take some creativity in the defensive scheme, but the Titans may have no other choice than to see some of what these players can do in game situations. The good news for the Titans: At least it comes against a Bears offense that hasn't exactly been lighting opponents up this season.
3. Hope the special teams fixes work. The Titans released long snapper Beau Brinkley on Tuesday and signed a replacement in Matt Orzech, who won't be ready for today's game. That leaves practice squadder Matt Overton handling the duties against the Bears. The Titans also have a new punter in Ryan Allen, who will replace the injured Brett Kern. The Titans must also hope that Stephen Gostkowski can figure things out and snap his field goal slump. For a team that lives on the edge with close games, special teams cannot afford to be the liability it has been in recent weeks.