Tale Of The Tape: Tennessee Titans At St. Louis Rams

Tennessee Titans
St. Louis Rams
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Winner The Titans have shown some signs that they are starting to improve and become one of the more competitive teams in the AFC. Much of that is due to the change in Jake Locker’s game. He has good presence in the pocket, shows surprising toughness and will find the open receiver. Locker has a strong enough arm and he will not panic in the pocket.
The Rams had a chance to have a good second half of the season, but all that fell apart when Sam Bradford injured his knee in Week Seven against the Panthers. Now the Rams are forced to play Kellen Clemens under center and he’s not prepared to lead a developing team. Clemens came close to the upset in the Week Eight Monday night game against Seattle, but he fell short.
Winner The Titans appear to have a fairly balanced offense on paper. Start with running back Chris Johnson who has not played up to his talent level, as he has rushed for 366 yards and his 3.2 yards per carry mark is poor. Nate Washington is a solid wide receiver who can make the tough catch, while tight end Delanie Walker is a decent red zone target with three touchdowns.
Winner The Rams don’t have a credible running game because Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson are both ordinary players. That will make it a lot tougher for Clemens to establish wide receivers Chris Givens and Tavon Austin. Tight end Jared Cook has the kind of talent to make big plays, but he does not play with consistency.
Winner The Titans rank 13th in overall defense and head coach Mike Munchak’s team makes up for in nastiness and aggressiveness what it lacks in athletic ability. Strong safety Bernard Pollard is the defense’s leader and best all-around player with 47 tackles and two interceptions. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey has 24 tackles and 4.0 sacks.
The Rams rank 22nd on defense but they have the talent to exceed that level. Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis is the most reliable player on the defense and its best tackler. He leads the team with 55 stops. Defensive end Robert Quinn is one of the NFL’s most underrated pass rushers. He leads the team with 7.0 sacks.
Special Teams
The Titans have done a decent job in punt and kickoff coverage, but they were so disappointed with their own return game that they cut Darius Reynaud, the team’s primary return specialist. Rob Bironas is one of the NFL’s most dependable placekickers, but he has not had an attempt of 50 yards or longer.
Winner The Rams believe that their special teams give them an advantage in most weeks. Placekicker Greg Zuerlein has one of the strongest legs in the league and he has impressed head coach Jeff Fisher with his consistency. Punter Johnny Hekker is a skilled directional punter.

The Winner Is

(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Winner Tennessee Titans
3 out of 4

Fisher gets a chance to coach against the team he led for so many years, but the nostalgia factor may not be high since the game is in St. Louis instead of Tennessee. The Titans have a chance to make a playoff push and should be well-prepared after their bye week.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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