Titans vs. Bears: Six Things to Watch


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Here's a look at six things to watch:


Mariota's momentum**

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to stay hot. In the past seven games, Mariota has thrown for 1,847 yards (263.9 per game) with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions for a 116.8 rating. He also has two rushing touchdowns. Mariota has thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of the past seven games. The Titans need Mariota to stay hot in the Windy City.

The start

The Titans have struggled out of the starting gate on too many Sundays. It was 21-0 last week in Indianapolis before they got revved up, and slow starts doomed the team in close losses at Houston and San Diego as well. The Titans need to avoid falling behind against a Chicago team that's been struggling. Some early success is key on Sunday against the Bears.


Titans coach Mike Mularkey said earlier this week the team was considering making some changes in the secondary. Later, he said cornerback Perrish Cox would continue to play, but indicated there would be more of a rotation. What does that mean for others opposite Jason McCourty, guys like rookie cornerback LeShaun Sims and cornerbacks Brice McCain and Valentino Blake? Stay tuned.


Mariani return**

Titans return man Marc Mariani has been itching to break a long one, and he'd love to do it against his old team, the Bears. Mariani played two seasons in Chicago before returning to Tennessee at the start of the season. He should get some chances against a team ranked 29th and 22nd in the NFL in punt and kick return average allowed.

Pass rush

The Bears have surrendered just 22 sacks on the season, which certainly isn't terrible through 10 games. The Titans would like to turn up the heat, and force some mistakes. Derrick Morgan has eight sacks in the past seven games, and fellow linebacker Brian Orakpo has a team-high nine sacks. The Titans would love to turn Soldier Field into Rush Street.

Run game

Running back DeMarco Murray reached the 1,000-yard mark for the season last week, and continues to produce despite battling through a toe injury. Derrick Henry, meanwhile, played just three snaps vs the Colts and he didn't get a carry. What will the running back workload look like in Chicago, and even more importantly, can the Titans run the ball against the NFL's 12th-ranked rushing defense?

TitansOnline.com looks back at the team's all-time series against the Chicago Bears. (AP Photos)

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