Tale Of The Tape: Tennessee Titans At Seattle Seahawks
- QuarterbackThe Titans are going to have to cope with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as a result of Jake Locker’s hip injury. With Locker out for at least another month, Fitzpatrick must find a way to get the job done. He has a strong enough arm and is fairly accurate, but Fitzpatrick tends to hold on to the ball too long. He threw two interceptions in his first start vs. the Chiefs and that’s fairly typical.Russell Wilson is one of the best young leaders in the game. He has the winning combination of brains and guts, and he often makes the correct decision when the game is on the line. While the Seahawks are one of the favorites to make a long run in the playoffs this year, Wilson is not the most physically gifted thrower. He is not at his best when the Seahawks are in a must-pass situation.
- OffenseThe Titans have a versatile offense that is often hard for opponents to contain. The problem is that the rushing attack lacks consistency. Chris Johnson is a gamebreaker at running back but he often disappears for long stretches. Nate Washington is a field-stretching receiver who was held to three catches by the Chiefs. Kenny Britt is an empty threat at this point.Marshawn Lynch is a hard-hitting and effective running back who always punishes tacklers. The Seahawks have an effective crew of receivers led by Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate, who each caught five passes in the Week Five loss to the Colts. Jermaine Kearse had a spectacular 28-yard TD reception vs. Indianapolis and should get more opportunities.
- DefenseThe Titans are a solid defensive team because their players are hard hitting and positioned properly. Strong safety Bernard Pollard leads the team with 36 tackles and he also has two interceptions. Underrated middle linebacker Moses Fokou has 32 tackles and a fumble recovery. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey can provide pressure up the middle and has recorded 3.0 sacks.The Seahawks are the nastiest and most effective defensive team when they are at home. After losing to the Colts last week, expect their best effort in this game. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is always around the ball and he has recorded 37 tackles and two passes defensed. FS Earl Thomas is one of the biggest hitters in the league from his position and cornerback Richard Sherman excels in coverage.
- Special TeamsThe Titans have gotten ordinary play from their special teams so far this season, and it’s not likely to change against the Seahawks. Placekicker Rob Bironas is a powerful kicker, but his performance has been ordinary (8-of-11) this year. Brett Kern is a stellar punter averaging 44.7 yards per kick.The Seahawks coverage teams rank among the best in the game, largely because of their speed and discipline when it comes to staying in coverage lanes. Steven Hauschka is one of the most dependable kickers in the league, having made 12-of-13 FG attempts.
The Seahawks are almost always at their best when they play at CenturyLink Field, and head coach Pete Carroll should have his players riled up since they are coming off their first loss of the season. While the Titans are a decent team, they won’t have enough to stay with the Seahawks for 60 minutes. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor