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Tennessee Titans @ Atlanta Falcons What 2 Watch 4

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The 3rd preseason game is the most important for most teams because it is the game where they play their starters into the 3rd quarter.  That is not how the Titans will handle this game.  Titans' Coach Jeff Fisher said on Thursday that the starters will play only the first half this week, and then next week against the Packers they will play into the 3rd quarter.  Here are some things to watch for in tonight's game:

 

Offense

  • The Titans have done a little more game planning this week than they normally do in the preseason in order to give the offense, particularly the passing offense, some much needed confidence.  Look for them to come out with a set number of scripted plays on their first drive like they would in a regular season game.  Dinger is very good with the opening drive, so don't be surprised to see a TD to open the game.
  • We are still waiting for a receiver to step up and prove he can make plays.  Lavelle Hawkins did it last week, but he is out this week with an ankle injury.  Can Brandon Jones or Justin McCariens prove something on the field?  I would say at this point McCareins, Justin Gage and The Hawk are the only locks to be on this roster opening day.  Everyone else is playing for their lives.
  • I am always excited to see what Chris Johnson is going to do.  He is supposed to return kicks in the first half.  I would love to see him break one.

Defense

  • The defense has looked pretty solid in both of the games thus far.  I look for them to get all over Falcons' rookie quarterback Matt Ryan. 
  • Stephen Tulloch will get another start with Keith Bulluck out.  It was fun to watch him fly all over the field last week.  He is going to prove to be a very valuable part of this defense because he is backing up all 3 linebacker spots.
  • Jason Jones, William Hayes, Antonio Johnson, and Jacob Ford were all impressive in camp.  It is time for them to make some plays in live action.

The Falcons are not expected to be very good this year.  The Titans' starters need to look sharp in this game to continue buliding momentum towards the regular season.

Be sure and stop in tonight for the open thread that will be up at 5:00 p.m. central.