2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Titans' D hopes to prove Miami game no fluke

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-22 14:18

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Titans went from being on record pace for most points allowed in an NFL season to stifling the Miami Dolphins with their best defensive performance in nearly a year.

Now they must prove that was no fluke.

The Titans had allowed at least 30 points in seven of their first nine games and an average of 34.2, which put them on target to pass the 511 points allowed by the Baltimore Colts in 1981. After a 37-3 win in Miami, they still remain on pace for surrendering the most points in franchise history.

Defensive back Jason McCourty hopes a light bulb clicked on and stays on for the rest of the season for the Titans (4-6), who visit Jacksonville (1-9) on Sunday.

``We just looked bad,'' McCourty said. ``We looked like we weren't being coached. Guys didn't know where to be; we weren't making the plays we needed to make. But there's nothing we can do about that now. We've got six more games, and let's do our best to win all six of them and see where we are at the end.''

Before the Dolphins game, the defense had been heavily criticized for the poor play, and McCourty said it made players mad.

``You can't get mad at the people saying it because they're just watching the game and calling what they see,'' McCourty said. ``You put bad stuff on tape, and people are going to call you out for it.''

They finally did something about it against Miami.

Tennessee forced a season-high four turnovers with each of the starting linebackers picking off a pass, didn't allow a touchdown for the first time since Nov. 13, 2011, and also had two sacks. The 37-3 win trimmed the Titans' average to 31.1 points per game, but they remain on track for a franchise record in points allowed at 497.6.

The turnovers helped the Titans' offense enjoy short fields and turn in a 34-point margin of victory that was Tennessee's biggest on the road since a 47-10 win at Detroit on Thanksgiving in 2008.

``Hopefully that's something we can continue to do,'' Titans coach Mike Munchak said.

Part of the Titans' improved play came because several key defensive players healed up: tackles Jurrell Casey and Sen'Derrick Marks and middle linebacker Colin McCarthy. Casey played with an injured right elbow, while Marks missed the first two games this season as he recovered from an injured knee. McCarthy has been trying to play through a right ankle he sprained in the opener.

This defense also is very young with six starters in their third NFL season or less. The three starting linebackers include Akeem Ayers and McCarthy in their second season, while Zach Brown is a rookie. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said they didn't have any big mental errors in Miami. Players weren't trying to do more than their own job against the Dolphins, either.

``A lot of times young guys seem to think they have to put a Superman cape on to be a football player, and you don't,'' Gray said. ``If you do your job to the best of your ability, more than nine out of 10 times you're probably going to be right. That's all we ask you to do. We're not asking you to make great plays, just make your plays.''

The Titans should have a chance to show they can be consistently stingy on defense on Sunday in Jacksonville, at least. The Jaguars rank last in the NFL in total offense, managing just 283 yards, and are 29th with 16.4 points per game.

Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey has noticed the Titans' defensive improvement.

``At this time of year, you want to see progress, and I see that from that team,'' Mularkey said. ``Defensively, you know, Miami's played well this year, and to go down there and hold them to three points and get four turnovers, pretty much a dominant performance. I see improvement, and that's what you want from your team, and Mike (Munchak's) getting that.''

Notes: TE Craig Stevens (hamstring) practiced Thursday after sitting out Wednesday. McCarthy was held back a bit. RB Jamie Harper (ankle) and S Al Alfalava (ankle) did not practice. LB Xavier Adibi (knee) was limited.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Teresa M. Walker on Twitter: http://twitter.com/teresamwalker

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group