Six Hot Topics From Presser with Titans Coach Mike Mularkey

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Titans coach Mike Mularkey met with reporters on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team's 25-23 loss to the 49ers.

This Sunday, the Titans will face the Los Angeles Rams at Nissan Stadium.

Here's a look at six hot topics:

3rd and 2 play

Down 22-20 in the closing minutes, the Titans were faced with a third-and-2 from the San Francisco 32.

A handoff to running back DeMarco Murray was stuffed for no gain, and the Titans kicked a field goal with 1:07 left to take a 23-22 lead. The 49ers, of course, used the extra time to put together a quick drive, and win it with a kick of their own.

After the game, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said he wished he would've checked from a run to a pass to get the first down. On Monday, Mularkey said the same.

But he also said the play called should've worked.

"As I stand here (today), yeah I wish he would have," Mularkey said. "But at the time, no, I thought the play was going to split them and get us a first down and not put us in a negative situation. … We felt like it was a quick hitter.

"The play does come with the ability to get out of it. He does have that right, and I trust his decision-making. He has put us in a lot of good plays."

Mularkey said the 49ers simply won the play, but the defensive alignment was a favorable run situation for the Titans, he said.

More no-huddle?

Mariota completed 23-of-33 passes for 241 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 110.8 yards against the 49ers.

He looked especially comfortable working in the no-huddle.

So, will the Titans use more of it moving forward?

"I am into my first game watching the Rams," Mularkey said. "We'll know more once we get an idea of how we want to attack their scheme. But that is every week. It is in our discussions, we practice it. … It just depends on who we are playing, the defensive scheme, and if we feel it is a good way to attack, then it will be in."

While working in the no-huddle, Mariota usually has a framework of plays he can choose from during the game.

Mularkey estimated the Titans ran the no-huddle ¾ of the contest on Sunday.

Communication issues

The Titans allowed 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to complete 31-of-43 passes for 381 yards on Sunday, including a late drive that produced a game-winning field goal.

In the locker room, players blamed communication issues.

Mularkey said the breakdowns came on coverages the team has been using all year.

"It was at the wrong time," Mularkey said. "Since the Houston game, we have been really good about giving up explosive plays, and yesterday they hurt us."

Turnovers

The Titans have done a great job generating pressure in recent weeks. The defense now has 40 sacks on the season, which is 10th in the NFL.

But turnovers have been tough to come by, especially of late. Safety Kevin Byard has six interceptions on the season, but the Titans have just 10 as a team. Fumble recoveries have been tough to come by. The Titans are a minus-7  in the takeaway/giveaway category.

"It's the different between winning and losing every week," Mularkey said. "It is a big emphasis. We talk about it, and it's on the board every week. It is a huge emphasis, and we need to start doing it. You can talk all you want about it, put it all over the message board, but we need to start making the plays."

Mularkey thought linebacker Erik Walden intercepted a pass that was ruled a 49ers catch on Sunday.

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson let a catchable pass escape his grasp.

"Great coverage, he just needs to come down with the ball," Mularkey said. "It was one he should have made."

Mindset

The Titans have a big challenge coming up on Sunday against the Rams.

The Rams are 10-4, and ranked ninth in the NFL in total offense. The Rams are tied for second in the NFL in scoring.

Mularkey said the Titans need to focus, and play better. A lot is at stake, he said. "(The players) know where we are at," he said. "They know we have a great opportunity sitting right in front of us that is very reachable if we come in here the way we've come in here, with the mindset of getting a good week's work of preparation.

"… We need to put 60 minutes of good football together, one game at a time."

Injuries

Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan (knee) is expected back this week vs. Rams.

Titans cornerback Logan Ryan (ankle) is day-to-day after suffering an injury vs. the 49ers. He'll be revaluated on Wednesday, Mularkey said.

Defensive lineman Karl Klug (groin) isn't expected to play vs. the Rams, but he will be monitored during the week.

The Tennessee Titans take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15 at Levi's Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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