Here are the five keys to victory for the Titans for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
1. Contain Russell Wilson. Wilson has been the Seahawks’ offense for the first two games of the season, and won last week’s game against the 49ers with a late touchdown. That’s nothing new for Wilson, who already has 18 fourth-quarter comeback wins to his credit. The Titans will likely spy Wilson a good part of the day, and will have to get him down on the ground whenever they can, which means being disciplined in the pass rush and not losing contain.
2. Roll with Derrick Henry. Yes, DeMarco Murray is a game-time decision, but the truth right now is the Titans might be better off with Henry until Murray is completely past his recurring hamstring issue. With the Legion of Boom begging the Titans to put the ball in the air, the Titans have to be committed to the run game, and this week, that might mean being committed to Henry.
3. Make smart throws in the passing game. The Seahawks secondary is top-notch with the likes of Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor still playing at a high level. With those types of defensive backs, the Titans might want to rely on their tight ends, especially Delanie Walker. But Seattle has linebackers who can cover running backs and tight ends. That means Marcus Mariota has to make good decisions with the football and his receivers and tight ends have to make plays for him.
4. Win the turnover battle. The Titans had three takeaways against Jacksonville last week and it translated into a big win. The had no takeaways in the opening loss to Oakland. The Seahawks offensive line has been an issue, and the Titans need to use their advantage there to perhaps hurry throws by Wilson create problems running the football.
5. Use the 12th man. The Seahawks have long been famous for the 12th man in Seattle, and the Titans have borrowed a version of that in recent years, often using a former player or special guest as the 12th Titan. This week is is former safety Blaine Bishop. But the Titans need their crowd to create a home-field advantage that is still lacking when compared to the team’s early years in Nashville.