The Tennessee Titans had a few days to reflect on their loss and their weaknesses. Now, the Titans look ahead to a new week as they gear up to face the Baltimore Ravens in a must-win game.
Head coach Mike Vrabel held a Monday morning press conference with the Nashville media. Here’s what he addressed.
There isn’t much else for me to say about kicker Stephen Gostkowski. He’s been wildly inconsistent for the Tennessee Titans this season, and many wonder why he is still kicking field goals in Tennessee.
Last week following the Colts loss, Vrabel said they may evaluate their options. That was unusual language used by Vrabel when talking about Gostkowski, so it sparked a little hope.
However, this morning, Vrabel’s language once again echoed the loyalty to his kicker that we’ve heard all season long.
“Right now, we have (Tavecchio) on the practice squad,” Vrabel said, “But as of Monday, Stephen would be our kicker.”
Gostkowski currently has a 60% field goal percentage with the Titans, which is the worst in his career. He has missed eight field goals so far this season, most within 40-49 yards.
RETURNING PLAYERS FROM INJURY LIST
The good thing about a Thursday Night game is that the players get some much-needed rest afterwards.
With players like Adoree Jackson, Kristian Fulton, and Adam Humphries injured, that rest could be good for them to heal up in time for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Yet, Vrabel said Humphries is not out of the concussion protocol. As for the rest of the players, Vrabel provided a little hope for them.
“I think they’re all getting closer,” Vrabel said, “I think time will tell. We’ll have to evaluate them and if they’re able to practice. That’s where it starts.”
“They can do some stuff today, we’ll see how they look, we’ll see how they respond to that work, and then keep moving towards a decision later in the week.”
The Tennessee Titans entered Thursday Night football as division leaders and the 4th seed in the AFC Playoff picture. Just four days later, they are not even in the playoffs.
That’s how fast things can change in the NFL. The Titans, who started 5-0, are now on a losing skid going 1-3 in their last four games.
The playoffs are still within reach. They are tied with the Colts, record wise, at 6-3, and they face them again later in the month.
With six total AFC teams tied at 6-3, the rest of the season is crucial and pivotal for Tennessee. Vrabel provided a message on how the team will approach this challenge.
“We’re just trying to win a game,” Vrabel said, “this is what it looks like every year. A lot of teams are bunched up, just like they were last year.”
“So, we’re trying to put our heads down and focus on continuing to improve at this point of the season, knowing that teams go in different directions. We need to improve, we need to focus on us today and continue to improve and get on to Baltimore.”
PREPARING FOR THE RAVENS
The Baltimore Ravens are not as dominant and scary as they were last season. That may be good news, considering the Titans beat them in the divisional round of the playoffs.
However, you can also say the same about the Tennessee Titans as well. As of late, the offense has not been as dominant as they’ve been since quarterback Ryan Tannehill took over.
Despite the Ravens not being as dominant, they still have a threat. No matter how you feel about him, Lamar Jackson should not be taken lightly by a team with zero pass rush.
When the Ravens are playing well, and with a lead, they are tough to beat.
“They can pound the ball, got a bunch of guys that can run with it, the quarterback is an extra option,” Vrabel said, “Then the play action game comes up and they get guys running free because everybody’s playing the run.”
“Not only that, but defensively they can blitz you and rush the passer and disrupt the passer. That’s always a good method to play with a lead and their strengths become pretty dominant.”
Both the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens will be playing with an edge after both took losses in primetime football. The playoff picture is starting to take shape, and the race is officially heating up, so this Sunday is very pivotal.
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