I am busy with my real job so I am going to keep these simple. In fact, I think that needs to be the theme of the game for the Tennessee Titans as well: Keep things simple.
Win 1st and 2nd down.
When the Titans are successful on 1st and 2nd down, everything about their offense functions better. That seems obvious but it goes deeper than simply picking up good yardage on the early downs. The Titans have a bad habit of putting themselves in 3rd and long far too often. That is what they need to correct. They did a much better job in this area against the Falcons last week and I would like to see them make that a trend going forward.
They don’t need to get huge chunk plays on 1st and 2nd down but they cannot afford negative plays either.
Make life miserable for Buffalo’s QB.
At this point, I don’t know who the starter will be for Buffalo. It could be Josh Allen or it could be Matt Barkley. I don’t really think it matters. The defense needs to become very close and personal with either of these two less-than average QB’s. Hit them early and often. Force them into obvious passing situations and make them pay for inaccurate throws.
There is no world where it is acceptable for this Titans’ defense to lose to the likes of Allen or Barkley.
Stop the run.
Frank Gore is an immortal. Either that, or he has superpowers. The point is, at his age he should not be able to run the way he does. It’s impressive to say the least.
That said, he and the Bills have no business running the ball well against the Titans on Sunday. Up to this point, the Titans are ranked as the number 14 run defense in the NFL in yards allowed. Some of that is due to the way the games have played out and some is due to giving up big, untimely runs late in games. (See Indianapolis and Jacksonville.)
The Bills are not a prolific passing team so the Titans should be able to take away the run and still not give up big plays through the air. Stop the run and you significantly slow down the Buffalo offense.
Those are my keys. Let me hear yours. Enjoy the game this weekend. For a variety of reasons, I feel good about this one. As good as I felt about the Cleveland game to open the season. The Titans need to start stacking wins and there is no better time to start than on Sunday in front of their home crowd.