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Denver vs. Tennessee: Keys to Titans success

The Tennessee Titans (1-1) will look to continue their winning ways as they play host to the Denver Broncos (1-1) this weekend.

In what will become a weekly segment as the team prepares for their upcoming opponent, we’ll take a look at some pertinent keys to a Titans victory as they attempt to emerge victorious against Denver.

Up next…a few keys to Titans success on Sunday.

Operation contain Kyle Orton

His remarks towards the Titans’ style of play aside, Kyle Orton is a pretty solid NFL quarterback. When the Titans were in pursuit of a veteran signal-caller, he was one of the guys mentioned as a potential candidate.

We saw what Orton is capable of up-close-and personal last season, when he completed 35 of his 50 passing attempts for 341 yards and 2 TDs in Denver’s 26-20 victory over the Titans. Despite being intercepted once and sacked six times, Orton’s grit enabled him to take the punishment and deliver a win in hostile territory.

This weekend, the Titans need to once again bestow numerous hits upon Orton except this time, in addition to dishing out pain, hopefully, the Titans will get the W.

Win the time of possession battle

The Titans have been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in this category through two games of the 2011 season.

In the season-opening loss to the Jaguars, the Titans were punished in this area, with Jacksonville controlling the football for close to 40 minutes (which equates to two-thirds) of the contest. In last week’s supremely-satisfying victory over the Ravens, the tables were turned as the Titans dominated time of possession as indicated by having the football for over 35 minutes.

Success in two categories will play huge roles in determining if the Titans can win the time of possession battle this week: converting third downs on offense and preventing the Broncos from being successful in their attempts to move the chains on third-down.

Against Baltimore, the Titans got the job done in both areas, limiting the Ravens to 3/10 on third down while converting 7 of 17 of their own attempts. On the other side of the coin, in Week One’s loss to Jax, the Titans only converted 4 of their 11 attempts, while the victorious Jaguars converted 9 of 18 (Ouch) of their third-down conversions.

The ability to sustain drives on offense while grinding them to a screeching halt on defense: a recipe for success for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Avoid the letdown

Ask the Baltimore Ravens about this one. Coming off a dominating 35-7 win over the Steelers, the Ravens were less-than-stellar against the Titans last week. Last season, after an impressive 29-10 road win against the G-Men, the Titans suffered a letdown performance against these very same Broncos in last year’s disappointing 26-20 loss.

Games like the one we’ll witness on Sunday can ultimately determine the outcome of the season. A team that’s a contender rather than a pretender is successful (for the most part) of beating the squads on their schedules that they should defeat.

For the Titans to truly emerge as a team that’s going to stay competitive in the division/playoffs hunt, they’ll need to handle their business against the Denvers of the NFL universe.

Hopefully, that will occur this weekend.

Any thoughts/opinions? Feel free to provide your own analysis in the space below.