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Titans Need Near-Perfect Effort To Get By The Broncos

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MIke Munchak watches his team play against the Indianapolis Colts at LP Field. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images.
MIke Munchak watches his team play against the Indianapolis Colts at LP Field. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images.

And then it was the Denver Broncos week.

A week that for many starts out just like any other week, but often ends with a loss. For the Tennessee Titans, I guess you could say it will be just like any other week lately.

The Titans are going to have to play a near-perfect game, and even then a win isn’t guaranteed. The Broncos have lost two games this season. First, to the Patriots – in which an incredible comeback occurred – and the other against an Indianapolis Colts team that jumped out to a big lead and outscored them the rest of the way. I’m not sure if the Titans can do either of those things.

However, on Sunday afternoon in Mile High, they’ll try. Entering as nearly two touchdown ‘dogs, the Titans have a more than a tough task ahead of them. It’ll take nearly every bullet they have in their arsenal, and probably every possible mistake that the Broncos could make in theirs. Still, for you optimistic Titans fans (the few of you that still exist), let’s take a look at how quite possibly the biggest upset of the season can occur.

QB GOTTA GAMBLE

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a gambling quarterback that takes his wins with his losses. He’ll sling it every down if he has to – just to give his team a chance to win. You have to respect that, I guess. With that said, the gambling QB in him needs to do his best to avoid turnovers. Plain and simple: when he turns the ball over, the Titans lose. When he doesn’t, it at least gives them a puncher’s chance. And that’s the first thing the Titans need – a puncher’s chance.

USE THE ELEMENTS

Tennessee has to use the weather as an advantage. Peyton Manning is not Tom Brady in cold weather. No matter how many times he says that it doesn’t affect him, it does. Dating back to 1998, Manning’s teams are just 8-13 in which the kickoff temperature was below 40 degrees. However, when he plays in games that are below 30 degrees, he’s only 1-8. Sunday’s forecast calls for highs in the teens and a chance of snow. Titans, use the elements. Get in his head by getting some pressure and hits on him early and you may be able to find some success later.

STAND TALL D

It has to begin and end with the defense. The Broncos are probably going to rely heavily on the run, especially early on. They did it against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, and they’ll probably do it again this week. If the defense can force Manning into longer than usual passing situations, that could only help the cause. Apart from standing tall against he run, they’ll have to force Manning into turnovers. In the two games that the Broncos have lost this season, Manning has thrown at least one interception. They may need to force him into more than one on Sunday to have a chance.

GET GOING EARLY

Most of the time, that means getting the running game going early. If Chris Johnson can break one early, that would mean the world to this offense. This season, big runs for Johnson have come few and far between. That needs to change Sunday. Also, Fitzpatrick needs to complete a few passes here and there to keep men out of the box. However, like most things against the Broncos, it’s easier said than done.

The Titans have a big task and a big opportunity in front of them on Sunday. No, the Titans probably can’t make the playoffs anymore without anything freaky happening, but they can play a spoiler role a bit. A third loss for the Broncos could be the difference from an AFC Championship game at home or on the road.