Panther vs Titans: Gameday


The national media around the National Football League rarely agrees on anything, but this week it was hard to find anyone who thinks the Tennessee Titans have a chance to beat the Carolina Panthers today.

More at Titan Sized: Tennessee Titans prepare for unbeaten Panthers

That puts interim head coach Mike Mularkey and his young team in the unique position where they could make a huge statement by beating Cam Newton and handing the Panthers their first loss since late last season.

The Panthers come to Nissan Stadium with an 8-0 record and three impressive victories in the last three weeks against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Indianapolis Colts and last week, the Green Bay Packers.

If the Titans are to have any chance in this game, they will need another prime-time performance like they had last week when they beat the New Orleans Saints 34-28 in overtime at the Superdome.

The Carolina Panthers have their own Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, and the “Caped Crusader” is main reason this team is unbeaten at this stage of the season.

Cam Newton doesn’t have a lot of help on offense, but getting him on the ground at key times will be the only way the Titans can win this game. Newton has rushed the ball for 343 yards on the ground for five touchdowns and is almost impossible to bring down when he is in the pocket.

At 6’5″ and over 250 pounds, he is the difference maker on this team.

Most analyst thought that this team was done when they lost second-year wide out Kelvin Benjamin to a season-ending knee injury during training camp, but like the Titans, they have a tight end in Greg Olsen who stepped up and become the man.

The Panthers get some help from the well-traveled Ted Ginn Jr. and rookie Devin Funchess at times, but Olsen is Newton’s favorite target and has 37 catches on the season for 584 yards and five touchdowns.

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The Titans have plenty of experience playing against tight ends this year but got torched by Tampa Bay’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins in week one. Seferian-Jenkins caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the Titans victory.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Titans need to do three things, and they need to do them well.

  1. Protect Marcus Mariota
  2. Run the Football
  3. Protect the Football

Even with the week two loss to the Cleveland Browns, then head coach Ken Whisenhunt had a chance at a statement game when he faced the Indianapolis Colts in week three, but like most of his games at the helm in Music City, came up just short of a win.

Next: Nick Saban to the Titans: Really?

Today would be a good time to break out of a 12-game home losing streak and notch the third win of the season.

If the Titans play well and catch the Panthers looking ahead to the Washington Redskins next week, they can win this game!