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Tales of the Titans: Titans Country, Let's Ride! Tennessee smacks Denver to improve to 6-3.

Photo: Aaron Ontiveroz / The Denver Post

Titans country, let's ride! What a game from the defense. With 8 starters out, including superstar defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, they stepped up big and delivered a tremendous performance. Besides the long TD they gave up, the front seven was harassing Russell Wilson all day, and the secondary was also locking up receivers. The offense played much better with Ryan Tannehill back, even though they struggled in the first half, they finished the game very well. It was a great win especially after the crushing OT loss last week at KC.

Game Observations

The defense is the best in the league. As I mentioned before, they were super banged up, but had a field day vs. Wilson and the Denver offense. They are so deep, and it showed with backup DE, Mario Williams Jr. with 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss as well. DeMarcus Walker also had a great day, with 1.5 sacks of his own. The secondary had a great day as well, even without stars CB Kristian Fulton and SS Amani Hooker. Also, it was great to see Elijah Molden back on the field, after spending the first 10 weeks on IR because of a groin injury. He was a lockdown slot cornerback, and if he can solidify that position again, it will help the defense so much. Derrick Henry may have had a letdown game, but play calling was definitely a part of it. Why on 3rd and 3, right after the King ripped off 2 big runs, do you hand the ball off to Dontrell Hilliard? WHY TODD DOWNING WHY? WHY DO YOU DO THIS EVERY WEEK? #FIRETODD. There is no reason to get cute on 3rd and short. Just. Hand. The. Ball. Off. To. The. King. Please. Anyway, Ryan Tannehill needs his respect. After showing some rust early, QB1 found it in the 2nd half, and so did Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. The former undrafted prospect has become a solid slot receiver and a great option for Tanney. He has 5 grabs for 119 yards and 2 TDs. Also, rookie TE Chig Okonkwo had a great 41-yard catch-and-run, which was similar to the one he had last Sunday. In his last 2 games, he has just 2 catches but 89 yards. The other tight end, veteran Austin Hooper also had a nice day, with 5 grabs for 41 yards. A problem was that Robert Woods and Treylon Burks weren’t utilized much. Woods, coming off an ACL tear last year, has not been good for Tennessee, and I hate to say it, but I think that Bobby Trees is washed up. He just hasn't shown much since weeks 3 and 4. Treylon on the other hand, coming off his turf toe injury, had 6 targets, but only hauled in 3 of them, for 24 yards. If he can regain his footing, this offense will soar, as he has shown a lot of YAC potential, which reminds me of that guy AJ Brown. Ever heard of him? Aside from AJ, Ryan T needs to create a relationship with Burks the way he had with Brown, as a go-to receiver would make this offense good again.

Stats and Fantasy

Ryan Tannehill - 19/36, 255 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 7.1 avg. - 19.40 Fantasy Pts.

He could be a solid depth option for your squad.

Derrick Henry - 19 carries, 59 yards, 0 TDs, 2.8 avg. - 8.7 Fantasy Pts.

Trade for him? That's your only way of having El Tractorcito.

Yeahhhh this was the only highlight... The next game will be better though.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine - 5 catches 119 yards, 2 TDs, 23.8 avg. - 28.30 Fantasy Pts.

NWI is a good option to pick up, since Tanney has been targeting him a lot.

Titans Defense - 6 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF/FR - 12.00 Fantasy Pts.


Final Thoughts

It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. Getting back on track and getting the offense to get some nice chunk plays and long drive touchdowns was very encouraging to see. Hopefully this was Henry’s only letdown game going down the stretch, since Tennessee will need a fully functioning offense. Also I expect to see more Burks, and Chig in the weeks ahead, since they are the most explosive players on the field. For the defense, hopefully they get some starters back next week, but it was a great game from the.

What’s Next

Currently, the Titans are holding the 3rd seed in the playoffs, as they have the tiebreaker over the Ravens, who were on their bye this week. They have a short week of preparation, as they play on Thursday Night Football, vs. the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field. If the boys in the Two-Tone can come out of that gauntlet with a win, they will be in great shape to win the division. TitanUp!

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