2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Titans, Chiefs winning through lots of turnovers

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-03 17:54

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Safety Michael Griffin has a theory on why teammate Alterraun Verner has been a one-man turnover machine.

Maybe, just maybe the Titans ticked Verner off when they opened up his cornerback job for competition this offseason.

It's Verner's job for sure now, and he's leading the NFL with six takeaways all by himself. He's a big reason why the Titans (3-1) and undefeated Chiefs are tied for the best turnover margin in the league at plus-9 going into Sunday's game.

``He just has a knack of being around the ball, and he's always been a playmaker since a rookie,'' Griffin said. ``He's just been playing great football. He's carrying the load right now, and the rest of us ... the entire secondary we got to start picking things up.''

Turnover margin is one of the NFL's more important stats because a positive differential usually is a key to winning. A negative margin can be disastrous; Pittsburgh (0-4) is last in the NFL with a minus-11 turnover margin.

``You sure don't want to turn the ball over, and you want to accumulate as many as you can,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

The Titans have gone the first four games this season without a turnover, though they've come close to losing the ball more than once. They have tied the 1995 St. Louis Rams as the only team in the Super Bowl era without a turnover through four games. They have not had a winning record in a season when their turnover margin was below zero dating back to at least 1999.

Protecting the ball has become even more of a focus since a 34-12 loss to Chicago last November. The Bears forced five turnovers that game; the Titans were lucky that they held onto two of six fumbles.

``That kind of woke us up last year when that happened to us,'' Titans coach Mike Munchak. ``We didn't think that could happen to us to fumble as many times as we did in one game. From that point on, it's been a mindset. On defense, it's been the opposite. You're working on it all the time.''

The Titans certainly have, trying to make a habit of running to the ball and clawing to strip it out. Linebacker Akeem Ayers said it's becoming something that they do naturally as a defense.

``You look at the statistics of a defense, usually teams with the most turnovers at the end of the year are usually the team in the playoffs ... We're doing good at that right now. We want to get better.''

Verner rotated with Tommie Campbell this preseason before finally being named the starter in his fourth season. The 5-foot-10, 186-pound cornerback came in with six career interceptions. Now he's tied for the league-lead with four interceptions after picking off two passes last week in a 38-13 rout of the Jets along with recovering a fumble.

``That's what competition does,'' Verner said. ``It brings out the best in you because you have to be on top of your game.''

Tennessee finished that win over the Jets with a season's best four turnovers, and Karl Klug recovered a fumble for a touchdown. Safety Bernard Pollard is the only other player with an interception, but the Titans have been very effective at sending a message on defense, according to Chiefs receiver Dexter McCluster.

``They're going to hit you ever single play, so all we can do is go out there and bring it at them,'' McCluster said.

The Chiefs are tied for third in the league with 12 takeaways. But they had their first three turnovers last week in beating the New York Giants 31-7, and Alex Smith said ball security is going to be a big emphasis against the Titans.

``They play physical, a physical defense you can see it shows up on tape,'' Smith said. ``They challenge you outside, they challenge you up front. They play fast. They're a good unit. Not necessarily a household name on the unit, but they're playing really well.''

Notes: RB Shonn Greene (right knee) and DT Sammie Hill (right ankle) missed practice again, and Munchak said it will be hard for either to play Sunday. ... DE Ropati Pitoitua (shoulder) and RT David Stewart (right leg) missed a second practice each but are expected to be on the field Friday. DB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (hamstring) also missed practice. WR Kenny Britt (neck/ribs) practiced fully for a second straight day along with LB Patrick Bailey (hamstring).

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Charles JohnsonAug 31 08:12p

The Cleveland Browns have placed WR Charles X. Johnson, OT Martin Wallace and OG Karim Barton on no-recall waivers.

Daryl RichardsonAug 31 07:22p

The New York Jets signed free-agents DT Tevita Finau, DL Kerry Hyder, SS Rontez Miles, TE Chris Pantale, OT Brent Qvale, RB Daryl Richardson and QB Matt Simms to [ More ]

Alex SmithAug 31 07:02p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith has agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $68 million with $45 million guaranteed.

Mike KafkaAug 31 05:02p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added TE Cameron Brate, RB Jeff Demps, QB Mike Kafka, LB Brandon Magee, DT Matthew Masifilo and WR Solomon Patton to their practice squad.

Michael CoxAug 31 04:42p

The New York Giants have signed RB Michael Cox, CB Bennett Jackson, CB Chandler Fenner, LB Dan Fox, DE Jordan Stanton, WR Julian Talley and OT Nick Becton to their practice squad.

Rex GrossmanAug 31 04:23p

The Cleveland Browns have released QB Rex Grossman, according to a source.

Michael EgnewAug 31 04:12p

The Detroit Lions have signed TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn to their practice squad.

Benson MayowaAug 31 04:12p

The Oakland Raiders have claimed DE Benson Mayowa off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks.

Ryan JensenAug 31 03:42p

The Baltimore Ravens will sign QB Keith Wenning, CB Tramain Jacobs, TE Phillip Supernaw, LB John Simon, RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, DT AJ Pataialii and OG Ryan Jensen to their [ More ]

A.Q. ShipleyAug 31 03:32p

The Indianapolis Colts have claimed OG A.Q. Shipley off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens.

Jeff TuelAug 31 03:22p

The Buffalo Bills have signed S Deon Broomfield, DE Bryan Johnson, S Kenny Ladler, QB Jeff Tuel, LB Jimmy Gaines, WR Caleb Holley and DL Ikponmwosa Igbinosun to their practice squad.

Kapri BibbsAug 31 03:12p

The Denver Broncos have signed LB Shaquil Barrett, RB Kapri Bibbs, FS John Boyett, QB Zac Dysert, WR Bennie Fowler, OT Vinston Painter, WR Nathan Palmer, C Matt Paradis [ More ]

Lawrence OkoyeAug 31 03:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have added DL Lawrence Okoye and LB Shayne Skov to their practice squad.

Travian RobertsonAug 31 03:02p

The Atlanta Falcons have signed CB Ricardo Allen, FS Sean Baker, OG Harland Gunn, OL Terren Jones, WR Bernard Reedy, DL Travian Robertson, LB Jacques Smith and RB Jerome Smith to the practice squad.

Myles WhiteAug 31 02:52p

The Green Bay Packers have signed S Chris Banjo, WR Myles White, CB Jumal Rolle, TE Justin Perillo and OL Jeremy Vujnovich to their practice squad.

Tim DobbinsAug 31 02:43p

The Atlanta Falcons have claimed LB Nathan Stupar off waivers from the Jacksonivlle Jaguars and placed him on their 53-man roster, according to a league source. In a corresponding [ More ]

Ryan MallettAug 31 02:12p

The Houston Texans have acquired QB Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots, in exchange for a sixth-round pick, according to multiple sources.

Ryan SeymourAug 31 01:02p

The Cleveland Browns claimed free-agent OG Ryan Seymour (49ers) off waivers Sunday, Aug. 31.

Michael SamAug 31 12:12p

Free-agent DE Michael Sam (Rams) reportedly cleared waivers and is free to sign with any team.

Josh KadduAug 31 03:22a

To get its roster down to 53 players on Saturday, Aug. 30, the Philadelphia Eagles released OT Kevin Graf, FS Keelan Johnson, LB Josh Kaddu, DT Wade Keliikipi and WR Will Murphy.

Wes WelkerAug 31 12:12a

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) will increase his activity level when the team returns to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Khaled HolmesAug 30 11:52p

Indianapolis Colts C Khaled Holmes (ankle) is one of five offensive linemen on the team that is currently dealing with an injury, and Mike Wells of ESPN.com believes the [ More ]

Alfonso SmithAug 30 10:42p

San Francisco 49ers RB Alfonso Smith was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Tyler BrayAug 30 09:52p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Tyler Bray (undisclosed) and WR Kyle Williams (shoulder) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jamarca SanfordAug 30 09:52p

Minnesota Vikings OT Antonio Richardson (undisclosed) and S Jamarca Sanford (undisclosed) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Aug. 30.

A.J. McCarronAug 30 09:42p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder) was placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jamar ChaneyAug 30 09:32p

Denver Broncos LB Jamar Chaney (undisclosed) was released from Denver's Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownAug 30 09:22p

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on no-recall waivers with a waived/injured designation Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve BeauharnaisAug 30 09:02p

New England Patriots LB Steve Beauharnais (undisclosed) was placed on no-recall waivers after reaching an injury settlement Saturday, Aug. 30.

Andrew TillerAug 30 08:52p

Green Bay Packers OG Andrew Tiller (calf) and LB Joseph Thomas (knee) were placed on no-recall waivers after being released from Green Bay's Reserve/Injured list with injury settlements Saturday, Aug. 30.

Rajion NealAug 30 08:42p

Green Bay Packers RB Rajion Neal (knee) was placed on no-recall waivers after being released from Green Bay's Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement Saturday, Aug. 30.

Shaun ChapasAug 30 07:52p

Baltimore Ravens RB Shaun Chapas (undisclosed) was waived from the Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement.

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