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Titans Defenders Want to Create Turnovers vs. Lions


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The pregame checklist for the Titans defense on Sunday looked something like this:

  1. Keep the Vikings offense out of the end zone.
  1. Stop running back Adrian Peterson.
  1. Create turnovers.

In the team's 25-16 loss to the Vikings, the Titans did two of those three things.

On Monday, as the team began preparations for the Detroit Lions, players on defense kicked themselves for not being able to turn the game like the Vikings did. Minnesota scored two touchdowns on defense while rallying from a 10-0 halftime deficit.

"Detroit is going to be a great test for what we are going to be about,'' defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. "It is going to be our job to try and go out there and cause turnovers and help our offense out in the best way possible.

"This whole game (vs. Minnesota) was very incomplete on defense, without the sacks and without any turnovers. That's the worst thing that happened to us. We didn't get one turnover, and as a defense in order to win this game you have to get turnovers. You have to create them and you have to force them any way possible and we didn't do that."

In the season opener, the Titans held Peterson to just 31 yards on 19 carries, a 1.6-yard average.

The Vikings didn't score a point on offense, as the Titans held the Vikings to four field goals on top of their defensive scores.

Following Sunday's NFL games, the Titans are ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense.

Still, the Titans didn't sack Vikings quarterback Shaun Hill in the game, and the team didn't create a fumble or haul in an interception. Hill completed 18-of-33 passes for 236 yards in the contest.

"That's the one thing that was disappointing, is we just didn't make enough plays on the ball,'' cornerback Jason McCourty said. "Being there in tight coverage isn't enough … and that's something we want to work on this week. We have to finish the play, and find a way to get the ball out of there and make it an incomplete pass."

On Sunday, the Titans will face a gunslinger in Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Stafford completed 31-of-39 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns in Detroit's 39-35 win over the Colts in Week One, with a 128.6 passer rating.

"He is a great quarterback, with a strong arm,'' Titans safety Rashad Johnson said of Stafford. "I guess I would say his biggest weakness is his confidence in his arm, because he'll try and force some balls in there he probably shouldn't throw, and that sometimes causes interceptions. But he is very talented.

"It's huge for us to make sure we get turnovers, and get interceptions. This week, I think Stafford is going to throw it probably anywhere from 35 to 50 attempts in the passing game. So there should be plenty of opportunities for us."

The Tennessee Titans kick off the 2016 season in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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