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Titans vs. Rams: What to Watch for Offensively

The offensive line must bounce back from a rough performance against the Falcons.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

After an up and down performance in Atlanta, the Titans will look to build on Sunday night against the Rams. Marcus Mariota will lead the Titans into the Nissan Stadium era, taking his first reps as a Titan in Nashville. The opponent will be a familiar one to Titans fans as longtime Titans' head coach Jeff Fisher will lead the Rams back to his old stomping grounds.

Fisher will make his return to Nashville for the first time since parting ways with the team back in 2011.  Fisher's Rams squad has taken a similar look to some old Titans' blueprints as of late.  Aaron Donald, Chris Long and Robert Quinn lead one of the best defensive attacks in the NFL up front.  It will be a big test for a Titans' offensive line that has already been struggling so far this preseason.

It looks like Ken Whisenhunt is going to change things up a bit up front.  Byron Bell is going to get his shot at left guard in an attempt to replace Andy Levitre.  Levitre now appears to be on the bubble -- and could be a prime cut candidate at the deadline.

With Bell's move to guard, the right tackle race has opened up once again.  Jamon Meredith was working with the first team earlier this week, but Jeremiah Poutasi got his reps with the first team on Thursday.  Finding the right combination up front has to be number one on Whisenhunt's to-do list.

Whisenhunt seemed determined to run the ball with the first team last week, but it just wasn't clicking.  It caused for a slow start offensively, putting his rookie quarterback in several tough third and long scenarios.  I'd like to see Whisenhunt spread out the offense a bit more, opening up the field for Bishop Sankey.  Maybe he can dial up a few more early down throws too.

Speaking of the run game, David Cobb has reportedly been working with the first team.  Sankey was unimpressive against Atlanta, so it looks like he will be forced to surrender a few carries this week.  Cobb captured the hearts of Titans' fans in the third quarter of last week's game, averaging nearly five yards per carry.  We'll see how he fares this week against a stout first team group.

From a general standpoint, Ken Whisenhunt has to figure out a way to get off to a faster start this week.  It took the offense three drives to finally click against Atlanta.  I'd like to see him come out firing with Marcus Mariota, possibly getting the tempo up a bit.  Mariota responded extremely well last week once in rhythm.  Maybe getting ahead in the passing game will open up the rushing attack.