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If Ken Whisenhunt wants to sustain offensive success on Sunday against the Bills, he must establish the run early. The offensive line, Antonio Andrews, Dexter McCluster and Bishop Sankey hold the key to success for Tennessee.
Buffalo's third ranked rush defense will offer the Titans with a stiff test. Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus can all wreck a gameplan. However, the Titans will welcome back Chance Warmack which should make things somewhat easier in the trenches.
Through three games the Titans actually rank 10th in yards per game on the ground. That stat shocked me. It probably feels like they should be lower on the list because of the committee approach that Whisenhunt is taking. Bishop Sankey remains the Titans leading rusher with just 126 yards.
Antonio Andrews returned to the lineup against the Colts and provided a big spark. Andrews isn't a dynamic guy by any means, but he's going to give you everything he's got on every run. He ran with power against the Colts and gave the Titans' rushing attack a total different feel. I would expect that to continue going forward.
If Whisenhunt can't get Andrews rolling, expect a nice dose of Dexter McCluster. I never thought that I would say this, but McCluster is being criminally underutilized in this offense. His 6.6 yards per carry (a full two yards higher than any other Titans' back) speaks for itself. Give him the ball in space and let him work. Maybe we will see more of those stretch plays that worked so well against Cleveland.
Marcus Mariota can't do it all (yet). He's going to need all the help he can get on Sunday as he faces this nasty, attacking Rex Ryan defense. Hopefully Whisenhunt can get a rushing attack going for him to set up play action and some down-field throws.