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Mike Vrabel stresses ball security ahead of crucial rematch with Colts

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans are deep in preparation mode as they get set to go on the road for a crucial Week 8 showdown against the Indianapolis Colts. The two division foes will meet for the second and final time (barring an unlikely playoff rematch) in 2021, and the Titans will be looking to complete the ever-important sweep over the biggest threat to their chances of retaining the AFC South crown.

The Week 3 contest against the Colts was a strange one to say the least. The Titans reigned victorious by a final score of 25-16, but encountered a fair bit of self-inflicted adversity throughout the match. The Titans offense committed an uncharacteristic three turnovers compared to zero giveaways for the Colts, who were led by a gimpy Carson Wentz on that day. Wins are incredibly hard to come by in the National Football League when you commit three sloppy turnovers, and head coach Mike Vrabel is weary of the challenge that lies ahead.

“We understand how critical it is to take care of the football,” Vrabel told Terry McCormick during a Wednesday afternoon media session.

The Titans are coming off of two extremely emotional and impressive victories over the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, but must not take a surging Colts team lightly. Turnovers have been the name of the game for Frank Reich’s men, who have created a league-high 16 takeaways with an impressive +9 differential in that department.

Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill was responsible for two of those three turnovers in the first meeting via a pair of interceptions, and is astutely aware of how well the Colts’ defense is currently playing.

“They’re playing really good football right now,” Tannehill said. “You look at their last four games, they’re playing well. They’ve always been sound defensively. They’re not going to give you anything. They play their game. They play sound football. The turnovers have been huge for them. That’s a big point of emphasis for us. We have to be smart with the football and take good care of it. We need to take advantage of our opportunities. They don’t give you anything. We have to earn it.”

The Titans have to play a technically sound football game if they hope to avoid the mistakes that nearly cost them in the first meeting.