NASHVILLE Tenn. – The Titans (2-4) look to begin a winning streak of their own in Week 7 with a trip to the nation's capital and a battle with the Washington Redskins (1-5) at FedExField.
These two teams enter the game in very similar situations. A few heartbreaking losses on both sides have them hungry to turn things around. Washington's lone win came in Week 2 against Jacksonville, but four out of their five losses have come by 11 points or less.
The Titans haven't been to FedEx Field since a 25-22 victory over the Redskins on Nov. 15, 2006. Tennessee leads the all-time series 6-5 as these two franchises have only met 11 times.
Notable Milestones on the Horizon
• A win on Sunday would give Ken Whisenhunt his first career win against the Redskins as an NFL head coach.
• Kendall Wright needs 66 receiving yards to reach 2,000 for his career. Delanie Walker needs 43 receiving yards to reach 2,500 for his career.
• Dexter McCluster needs three punt return yards to reach 1,000 for his career.
Five Things to Watch
- Win Third Down**
Sunday's contest features the two worst teams in third down efficiency with both the Titans and the Redskins converting only 32 percent of their third down attempts. Tennessee won't be able to win many games going 3-for-11 on third down like it did last week against Jacksonville.
The success rate on third down for both offenses will be the team stat to watch.
2. Win the Turnover Battle
Tennessee is 2-1 when winning the turnover battle. The Titans had two massive fourth quarter takeaways last week against the Jaguars with a fumble recovery and Blidi Wreh-Wilson's first career interception.
The Redskins own a league-worst turnover ratio at -9, turning the ball over 13 total times while forcing just four takeaways.
Meanwhile, the Titans have a positive takeaway ratio at 2, a perfect combination to take advantage of this week.
- Avoid Giving up the Home Run**
Washington's offense leads the NFL with eight passes of 40 yards or longer with Desean Jackson accounting for five of those plays (most among NFL receivers). Jackson leads the Redskins with 479 receiving yards and three touchdowns with a long reception of 81 yards.
Pierre Garcon and tight end Jordan Reed are also key members of Washington's passing game that Tennessee's defense will try to keep in check.
The Titans hav done a great job of avoiding the big play thus far having, allowed only two passes of longer than 40 yards through six weeks. Continued success in the secondary will be key for the Titans against the Redskins.
4. Establish the Running Game
Over the course of the last two games, Titans running backs have been held to 141 yards on 43 carries for an average of only 3.28 yards per carry. One of the Redskins' strengths is their ability to stop the run, ranking 12th allowing 107.8 rushing yards per game. Washington also ranks ninth in the NFL, holding opponents to just 3.9 yards per carry.
Establishing and maintaining production on the ground will go a long way towards achieving number five.
5. Finish in the Fourth
The Titans have been outscored 23-3 in fourth quarters over the past two weeks and 47-16 in fourth quarters this season. Just last week, the Titans went three-and-out on all three of their possessions in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Jaguars to get back into the game.
The good news for Tennessee is that Washington has also struggled in fourth quarters, being outscored 53-38 on the season. Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions in the final 15 minutes in last week's loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Both teams have found themselves on the losing end of close games this season. Whoever can execute down the stretch is likely to come away with a win on Sunday.