Tennessee Titans: Secondary is a concern against Colts


Much around the Tennessee Titans has been said and written this week about about Marcus Mariota and his ability to take care of the football during a fierce pass rush like he saw in the Dawg Pound last Sunday.

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But if memory serves, I didn’t see the rookie quarterback on the field when the secondary gave up two bombs for 110 yards to Travis Benjamin and the special teams unit gave up a 78 yard punt return to the Brown’s speedster just before halftime.

The first Johnny Manziel to Travis Benjamin touchdown pass was a lesson learned, but the punt return for a touchdown and the second bomb was the difference in the 28-14 loss. That’s not on Mariota, that’s on the defense.

Things are not going to get any easier this Sunday in the Titans home opener at Nissan Stadium when Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts come to town.

The Colts are 0-2 after losses to the Buffalo Bills and on Monday night to the New York Jets and will come into Music City on Sunday like a wounded dog, looking to turn their season around at the expense of the Titans and the rest of the AFC South.

Everytime Marcus Mariota has struggled in a particular phase of his NFL development, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner has responded the next week.

I don’t expect anything different this week, and although the Titans will be without Chance Warmack this Sunday, I think the O-line will be okay with Jamon Meredith at right guard.

I also think after the poor protection we saw for Mariota in the Dawg Pound, they will respond with a good day at home this Sunday.

Where I think the Titans may be in trouble, is in the secondary.

The Colts have offensive line problems and have only managed 78.5 yards per game in the season so far and with Frank Gore not living up to his billing in Indianapolis, the lack of a run-game will force Andrew Luck to throw the ball.

Of the 157 yards the Colts have gained on the ground this year, Andrew Luck gained 44 of those yards while under pressure, leaving only 113 yards for the rest of the team at a 3.4 yard average.

All of these numbers mean Andrew Luck will be forced to throw the ball, and that’s where the trouble starts.

The trouble comes in the form of T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and former Houston Texan, Andre Johnson.

Without Jason McCourty in the lineup last week in Cleveland, the Titans secondary couldn’t keep Travis Benjamin in check, what are they going to do with this trio?

The Titans’ number one corner practiced on Thursday, but there has been no word to his status for Sunday.

Even if he comes back this week, he will be rusty and although he has stayed in shape, he will not be in game shape.

Without him, I’m not sure that Perrish Cox, Coty Sensabaugh and Blidi Wreh-Wilson can keep pace with the fire power the Colts bring to the game.

The only hope is that Andrew Luck continues to struggle. He has the league’s lowest passer rating at this point at 58.9 with six turnovers. Titans fans need to hope this trend continues on Sunday.

Johnny Manziel torched this secondary last Sunday with two big plays. Those two big plays were the difference in the final score, and with the Titans penchant for giving up big plays, makes this game questionable at best.

If this game turns into a shootout, I’m not convinced the Titans have enough fire-power at this stage of the year, to survive.

Next: Titans vs Colts: An early look at game 3

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