KANSAS CITY – The Titans face the Kansas City Chiefs in preseason game No.4 on Thursday night.Here’s a look at six things to watch:
Adoree’ JacksonIf you’ve spent any time around Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, you know he’s a pretty confident guy. So he hasn’t exactly been moping around Saint Thomas Sports Park the past few days after his shaky start to Sunday’s game against the Bears. Jackson will get a chance to change the conversation tonight against the Chiefs, with his play on defense and on special teams. Can he make a case for himself to be a Week 1 starter?
A year ago, the Titans starters went through warm-ups on the field prior to the team’s final preseason game, and then many of them didn’t play. So it wouldn’t come as a complete shocker if a lot of guys end up wearing baseball caps at the start, instead of helmets. Just four days removed from their last game, the Titans haven’t had a lot of time to recover. And after seeing guys like New England’s Julian Edelman and Chicago’s Cameron Meredith suffer season-ending injuries last week, personally, I’d be a little hesitant.
Eric Decker return?I can’t see rookie receiver Corey Davis playing in this one. Davis just returned to the practice field this week after missing the team’s first three preseason games because of a hamstring injury, and the team doesn’t want to do anything to set him back. Veteran Eric Decker, meanwhile, could be in a position to make an appearance if all goes well in warmups. Decker has looked good in his return from an ankle injury, and I could see him pushing for an appearance to gear himself up for the regular season.
Performance of reserves
This is a game reserved for the reserves. Again, many of the front-line players will play little, if at all, so the back-ups will have a chance to make one final impression on their coaches, the GM, and the folks in personnel. At this point, the Titans are nearing final decisions on players for the 53-man roster, and the team’s 10-man practice squad. In reality, most of them have already been made. A strong performance could help in Tennessee, or get a guy noticed elsewhere.
Kevin DoddThe Titans have played linebacker Kevin Dodd a lot in the preseason, and they’ve complimented his improvement. I think Dodd is getting better, but I’d like to see more impact plays from last year’s second-round pick. Will tonight be the night? Just a hunch, but I’m thinking it’s a game where Dodd could shine against the Chiefs. While veterans Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan watch from the bench, Dodd and others will try to make some noise at Arrowhead Stadium.
Time of game
Not sure if the oddsmakers in Vegas bother with an over-under for time of game in the preseason, but it would be interesting. While personnel folks like to see as much as they can from players on both sides, this is also a game when coaches and those same personnel folks like to see the clock running. I expect both teams to be vanilla in their approach, and I’d be shocked if the time of game topped the time of 3:04 from last week’s game vs. the Bears.