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Six Things to Watch

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Six Things to Watch for the Titans in Sunday's Game vs the Seahawks


NASHVILLE – The Titans face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Here's a look at six things to watch in the contest:

Titans QB situation

This category will be updated leading up to kickoff. This is what we know right now, as of Friday afternoon, immediately after practice: Will Levis was on the field during the stretch period after not practicing on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. He's expressed a desire to play on Sunday, but it's unknown if his injured ankle – and coaches and trainers – will allow it. The Titans listed Levis as QUESTIONABLE on the team's Injury Report. If Levis can't go, veteran Ryan Tannehill would start at quarterback in his place against the Seahawks. Tannehill hasn't played since suffering an ankle injury himself back on October 15 against the Ravens in London.

Run the Ball

No matter who lines up at quarterback, the Titans need to be able to run the football a heck of a lot better than they did in last week's loss to the Texans. Titans running back Derrick Henry has 884 yards on the season. As a team, the Titans are averaging 104.0 rush yards per game (18th in the NFL), which is the fewest by the Titans since 2015. Henry is averaging 63.1 yards per game in 2023, his lowest total since 2017. The Seahawks have been allowing 127.3 rush yards per game, which is 8th most in the NFL.

Pass Protection

The Titans have allowed 50 sacks on the season through 14 games, including seven sacks of Levis last week. The Seahawks have sacked the quarterback 38 times this season, with linebacker Boye Mafe leading the way. The Titans are banged up here, with guard Daniel Brunskill and center Aaron Brewer on the Injury Report. Already, rookie tackle Jaelyn Duncan has been called to action on the left side. The Titans need to keep the QB cleaner on Sunday.

Defending DK and others

Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf is a physical specimen, and he leads Seattle with 942 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. It's receiver Tyler Lockett who leads the Seahawks in receptions (68), however, and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba has really picked up momentum of late. With quarterback Geno Smith expected back for Sunday's game, the Seahawks offense is back to full strength, and we haven't even mentioned versatile running back Kenneth Walker yet. A banged-up Titans secondary needs to make plays with they have opportunities.

Who is Playing?

This is another category worth watching leading up to Sunday. The Titans have 18 players on this week's Injury Report, including Levis. A total of nine Titans didn't practice on Friday, this after receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine was placed on Injured Reserve earlier in the week. Titans Coach Mike Vrabel on Friday ruled eight players out for the contest: Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (hip), safety Amani Hooker (knee), defensive back K'Von Wallace (quad), linebacker Jack Gibbens (back), linebacker linebacker Luke Gifford (hamstring), receiver Kyle Philips (hamstring), defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons (knee) and defensive lineman TK McLendon (shoulder). Later Friday, Hooker was also added to IR. The status of others could remain in question until Sunday.

Importance on Week 16

Well, the Titans playoff hopes are now over. The team was officially eliminated from the playoffs with last week's loss. The Titans are underdogs for the 12th time in 15 games this season, as the Seahawks are favored by 3.5 points. So, what's there to play for now? Well, the Titans who take the field on Sunday will be playing for one another, and for their own reputation and careers. These guys are professional football players, so it's their job to play, and play hard. Think DL Denico Autry is go to take it easy? Never. The Titans also have a chance to play the spoiler role. Per Next Gen Stats, the Seahawks have a 65 percent chance to reach the playoffs with a win in Week 16 and a 28 percent chance with a loss.

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