NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans face the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Here's a look at six things to watch:
Can Mariota stay hot?**
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has 21 touchdown passes vs only three interceptions for a 117.7 rating in the past eight games. Can he keep it going against the NFL's No.1 ranked pass defense? The Broncos have been pretty darn good against some of the league's best passing offenses.
Slow down the pass rush
Broncos outside linebackers Von Miller (12.5 sacks) and DeMarcus Ware (3) are a threat coming off the edge. Titans tackles Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin will be in charge of slowing them down Sunday, and keeping Mariota clean. Mariota has been sacked just 18 times after 12 games this season after getting sacked 38 times in 12 games through 12 games a year ago.
When the Titans released veteran cornerback Perrish Cox last week, the front office and coaching staff sent a signal to the rest of the secondary – it's on you. Veterans Brice McCain and Valentino Blake, along with rookie LeShaun Sims, are among those who will need to step up opposite Jason McCourty against a talented group of Denver receivers.
Run the ball**
One way to slow down the pass rush is to run the football. Cue running back DeMarco Murray, and Derrick Henry. Murray is the NFL's second leading rusher, with 1,043 yards in 12 games, and he's certain to get plenty of chances against a Denver run defense that's ranked 28th in the NFL in run defense.
Rush the passer
Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian is questionable for Sunday's game with a sprained foot. If he's a go, the Titans need to put him on the move with pressure. If Siemian can't go or he's unable to finish, it'll be rookie Paxton Lynch, a guy the Titans would also like to put under pressure, with pressure.
Restore the roar
It's been a while since there's been a game of this magnitude in Nashville in December. The Titans are tied for first in the AFC South, with four games to play. The defending Super Bowl champs are headed to town. Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he expects a raucous crowd. How loud will it get on Sunday? It should be fun.
Titans Online looks back at the all-time series against the Denver Broncos. (AP Photos)