Six Hot Topics from Ken Whisenhunt's Press Conference

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt addressed reporters today to discuss the team's 38-10 loss to the Dolphins, and also look ahead to this Sunday's game against the Falcons.

Here's a look at the biggest topics:

**

Mariota's health**

I addressed this in another story, but it's too important not to mention here since it was the biggest news coming out of today's presser.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered a sprained MCL in Sunday's game, and his status for this week's game against the Falcons won't be known until later in the week.

"He's walking around the facility today just fine,'' Whisenhunt said of Mariota. "As the week progresses we'll see how it goes and see if he has a chance to play."

Mariota was injured early in the second quarter when Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon dove and hit Mariota on the back of his left leg after he released the football. Mariota finished the game with a brace on his left knee.

"We are not going to do anything to put him in any kind of jeopardy,'' Whisenhunt said. "That will be determined with how he progresses during the week."

As for the hit that injured Mariota, Whisenhunt on Monday "it was low and it was late."

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Offensive line**

Rookie right tackle Jeremiah Poutasi was pulled during Sunday's game, and replaced with veteran Jamon Meredith.

The Titans also lost center Brian Schwenke for the season with an injury. Rookie Andy Gallik stepped in for Schwenke during the game.

Whisenhunt said the plan is for Poutasi to slide back into his starting spot against the Falcons. Gallik is next man up for Schwenke.

The Titans have allowed 20 sacks on the season, and must improve, Whisenhunt said.

"Yesterday they got us on some four-man rushes, so it was really individual losses in the pass game,'' Whisenhunt said.  "We've got to do some things, we've done some things. Whether we turned the line, we chipped yesterday, and we'll have to incorporate a lot of those same things to try to mix it up and protect Marcus (Mariota) a little better than we did yesterday. We did, I felt like against a pretty good rush team in Buffalo. We had a pretty good plan and, I don't know what you consider successful, but it was certainly better than it was yesterday."

**

On keeping the faith**

The Titans have lost four straight games since a Week 1 win at Tampa Bay.

On Sunday, they fell behind 17-3 by halftime and never really challenged Miami.

Whisenhunt said the Titans will keep working.

"It's tough,'' he said.

Whisenhunt said a lack of intensity had not been an issue until Sunday.

"It was a bad day,'' he said. "It happens in this league every once in a while. We had a bad day yesterday. It is not easy, but we are a better football team and you can see that in a lot of areas.

"You have to fix it based off of that and go forward, and we'll do that."

Offensive woes

The Titans scored 89 points during the first three weeks of the season, including a 42-point effort at Tampa Bay in the season opener.

Since, it's been more of a struggle – the team has scored just 23 points the last two weeks combined against the Bills and Dolphins.

Why?

"I think for the most part we've been pretty good at overcoming penalties,'' Whisenhunt said. "I think what has really bogged us down is third downs, and turnovers. That's what has really hurt us. We have not been anywhere near as we were earlier on third down."

The Titans converted 44.4 percent of third downs against the Bucs, and 43.8 percent against the Browns. Since, the team has been below 31 percent in two of the last three games. The Titans were just 2-of-10 vs. the Dolphins (20 percent).

Mariota fumbled twice and also threw two interceptions against the Dolphins.

Protecting home field

The Titans have lost three straight home games, and they'll finish off a four-game home stand this Sunday at Nissan Stadium against the Falcons.

Dating back to last season the team is now 1-10 at home under Whisenhunt.

It's a fact that bothers Whisenhunt as much as anyt

hing.

"Listen, it stinks that we are not better at home,'' Whisenhunt said. "It is not fair to our fans and we have to do a better job of that."

Injuries

Cornerback Perrish Cox didn't finish Sunday's game because of a hamstring injury.

Safety Michael Griffin is dealing with a sore knee, which forced him to leave the game at some point, but he later returned. Receiver Harry Douglas suffered injured ribs, and is sore, but the ribs aren't broken, Whisenhunt said.

Linebacker Avery Williams didn't play against the Dolphins because of a hamstring injury.

Whisenhunt said the Titans will monitor the injured players during the course of the week to determine their availability vs. the Falcons.

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