Skip to main content

Falcons' next opponent: 5 things to know about the Titans 

The Falcons take on the Tennessee Titans (1-2) on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium continuing their three-game stretch against AFC South teams.

Both teams are coming off losses in Week 3 and will be looking to get back in the win column. Tennessee finished 9-7 season in 2018 under Mike Vrabel who was hired following the 2017 season.


Here are five things to know about Atlanta's upcoming opponent:

Titans sticking by Marcus Mariota

The majority of the storylines surrounding the Titans for the past few seasons has been the play of Marcus Mariota and his future as the franchise's quarterback. The Titans drafted Mariota with the second-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Through three games, Mariota has been inconsistent, but the Titans and Vrabel are sticking with the former first-round pick as the starting quarterback moving forward.

"I don't think that's something that we're looking at right now," Vrabel said when asked if they'll make a QB change.

Mariota is 56-of-92 and thrown for 706 yards and four touchdowns through three games.

Titans have extra time to prepare

Vrabel and his staff have had an extra few days to prepare for the Falcons.

Tennessee lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 19 and had the weekend off to watch the Falcons and begin preparation. They also had an extra practice day on Monday coming off the mini-bye that comes after a Thursday night game.

It all starts with Derrick Henry

The best weapon the Titans have on their roster is running back Derrick Henry who finished the 2018 season ranked in the top-10 in rushing yards with 1,059 and 12 touchdowns.

Henry is off to another strong start this year with 210 rushing yards on 51 carries.

Tennessee's offense goes as he goes, and the Falcons will have to stop the Titans' run game in order to win on Sunday.

Titans struggling to protect QB1

The Titans have allowed 17 sacks on Mariota, an NFL-high.

This could be the game where defensive ends Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley get hot. The duo has just two sacks on the year. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett leads the Falcons with two sacks.

Expect Falcons coach Dan Quinn to dial up the pressure on Mariota on Sunday.

All indications point to the Titans playing their rookie guard Nate Davis as they try to shore up their protection on Mariota.

"We are going to try and get him ready to go as soon as we possibly can and I'm hopeful that's this week. … We're trying our best to get him (ready) and I know he is," Vrabel said. "He wants to get back and he wants to try and help this football team."

Titans' secondary is legit

The Falcons' biggest strength on offense is their passing game and the matchup with Atlanta's wide receivers and Tennessee's secondary could be an intriguing one.

Safety Kevin Byard is one of the best in the league and was paid as so this offseason. Byard signed a five-year, $70.5 million contract extension after a season where he recorded 90 tackles and four interceptions.

Playing next to Byard at strong safety is Kenny Vaccaro, a name the Falcons are certainly familiar with after his five-year stint in New Orleans.

Vaccaro is a physical player who is no stranger to matchups with Julio Jones.

The Titans acquired former Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler ahead of the 2018 season. Butler recorded three interceptions in his first season with the Titans.

Tennessee finished as the No. 6th ranked pass defense allowing 216. 9 yards per game in 2018.

Related Content