Tennessee Titans @ Carolina Panthers: Keys to Victory

CHARLOTTE NC _ AUGUST 28: Running back Jonathan Stewart #28 of the Tennessee Titans is chased down by Defensive Linebacker Jon Beason #52 of the Carolina Panthers during their preseason game against the at Bank of America Stadium on August 28 2010 in Charlotte North Carolina. (Photo by Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images)

1. Get the Panthers off the field. This Panthers offense is good. Cam Newton can get the ball all over the field. The more I look at this offense, the more it seems that this is what the Titans offense could become, if CJ turns back into CJ2K and Kenny Britt is healthy. A big part of getting Carolina off the field is limiting Steve Smith. Just like the Titans with Britt, after their number one receiver, there is a major drop-off in terms of talent.

All over the field, tackling needs to get better for Jerry Gray's squad. The linebackers also have a big challenge ahead of them. Along with the trying to stop the always dangerous tandem of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers also have tight ends Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey, who are their second and third leading receivers, respectively.

2. Chris Johnson and the rest of the offense must play a full game. The Panthers have the fifth worst rushing defense in the league.  Yes,  CJ already tried to run against two of the four teams worse than Carolina, but if he really did turn a corner last week against Cincy, then he has to be able to run well against this defense. To have a good day, however, Chris Johnson, as well as the rest of the team, needs to play a full game. It's as if this 2011  Titans team takes the first quarter to warm up, plays the second and third quarters, and then uses the fourth quarter as wind-down time. Few team can win with a two quarter effor.

3. Receivers must step up. As we know, the young receivers have not stepped up like we hoped they would once Britt went down. This group of receivers really does start and end at Kenny Britt. With Nate Washington and Jared Cook both questionable for Sunday, there are two possible scenarios. Either Lavelle Hawkins and Damian Williams step up, silence the critics, and wow the fans, or the more likely scenario, they struggle to get on the same page as Matt Hasselbeck and don't catch the balls that come their way. This one's going to be tough.

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