By: Brendan Smart (@bsmart21)
The Tennessee Titans and the Chicago Bears, both coming off of close games in week two of the preseason will battle it out in Nashville. A lot of questions in the air for both teams, but should be answered following the “dress rehearsal” game of the preseason.
In week two, the Titans starters, on both sides of the ball showed what they can do, thing is some key names were missing from the lineup. The Titans receiving core consisted of Tre McBride, Taywan Taylor, Delanie Walker, and rookie tight end Jonu Smith. These guys tore the Carolina Panthers defense to apart for 234 yards on just 21 catches. No Rishard Matthews, Eric Decker, and also Demarco Murray, it just didn’t seem fair.
Heading into week three of the preseason, the Titans will have a tough task on their hands, as always with the Bears in Nashville. The Bears are one of those teams that will be a lot hungrier than most opponents due to the fact that not a lot of guys have positions locked up at this point. Guys will be going 110 percent, and it is the perfect “dress rehearsal” for the Titans.
Things to Watch:
Bears wide receiver Kendal Wright returns to his old stomping ground in Nashville. Wright played his heart out throughout the rough years in Nashville, but when the team began to rise, he seemed uninterested. Do fans boo Wright in his return? I wouldn’t, due to the fact that he laid a lot on the line for many years throughout the bad times. Wright, a very loyal player, was very fun to watch in the two-tone blue.
Next, you are probably wondering how Wright’s successor is doing? Taywan Taylor is way better than expected, and to add to the burn Taylor wears Wrights former number of 13. Last Saturday, Taylor caught three passes in the slot for 41 yards. Taylor will get more playing time on Sunday afternoon.
The receiving core is a huge ball of questions, the last one I have to answer is about Tajae Sharpe. Sharpe, coming off the PUP list early this week with a knee injury, practiced with the team a bit throughout the week. Sharpe’s spot on this team, is in my opinion in jeopardy if he doesn’t show something. It seems that Taylor has taken his spot with second team rotations, not only in the slot, but on the outside as well. The only reason I don’t think the Titans cut Sharpe is what he did last season for the team.
Tre McBride, another wide receiver on the bubble. McBride was excellent last Saturday against the Panthers, and ran routes well. McBride caught four passes for 73 yards. Although he dropped a touchdown in the endzone, McBride made up for it throughout the rest of his run in that first half.
Can Adoree’ Jackson do it again, but with no flags? Jackson showed off his flash last Saturday, it seemed blowing through Panthers defenders on a punt return that was call back on an illegal block. Now, lets not forget what Jackson did on the defensive end as well. Jackson played really well in coverage, and showed he can tackle in the open field on guys bigger than him. Lets see if it will carry into week three.
Mr. Irrelevant, Kalan Reed, is making a name for himself at both cornerback and at the safety position. Reed, has been praised by the entire coaching staff regarding his progression, and willing to take more on to his work load. I think that Mr. Irrelevant makes the roster this season, only if he stays consistent.
The Titans take on the Bears in Nashville on Sunday at 12 P.M., and look to go 2-1 in the preseason, but more importantly show that they are ready for week one of the regular season. Follow @blueworldorder for live updates and stats, along with myself for live tweeting through Sundays game in Nashville.