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Malcolm Butler and Tye Smith shine as starting cornerbacks

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It sure was nice to see a pair of Titans cornerbacks playing tight, physical coverage on what felt like a snap-by-snap basis. That’s not something we’ve seen often this season. That’s right, the team’s 31-10 victory over Jacksonville had more than just exciting bursts of offense.

Malcom Butler is the first cornerback that deserves a paragraph. He shadowed stud receiver D.J. Chark for the majority of this game and absolutely shut him down. Chark finished the game with just two catches for 16 yards on nine targets. Butler played tight, physical coverage on Chark all day long. Chark is a speedy receiver so it was especially impressive to see Butler make such light work of him. Butler’s great play was rewarded with a second half interception.

You can make the argument that Butler has been the most consistent player on this defense in 2020. He’s routinely been asked to lock down the opposition’s top receiver and he’s done just that on a weekly basis.

Tye Smith deserves the next shout out.

The Titans entered this game pretty banged up at cornerback. Breon Borders recently went on IR with a hip injury. Adoree Jackson isn’t ready to return just yet.

All of that meant Smith would start opposite Butler on the outside. He responded to the challenge with a terrific performance. Smith looked nothing like the corner that struggled mightily just weeks ago. He consistently played tight, physical coverage. It was a very impressive performance.

The Titans now have three chances to hit the 10-win mark for the first time since 2008.