Patriots - Titans: Insider Keys

The Tennessee Titans can win the game on Sunday, but they Must establish three keys to the game. What are they? Check our insiders keys.

Keys to the game:


1. Winning the Turnover Battle -- The Titans must win the turnover battle. Tennessee's miscues have cost them three games this year, and they didn't show up in the other two. Tennessee must be careful with the football.

2. Titans must rRun the ball -- Tennessee must establish the run. Titans quarterback Kerry Collins has been erratic so far this year as a passer, and much of their success last season came through the running game setting up easy play-action situations. If the Titans can't establish the run, they won't be able to beat the Patriots through the air.

3. Pats Receivers vs Titans DBs -- The matchup of the Patriots wide receivers against the Titans secondary could go a long way in deciding this one. Tennessee will be starting rookie Jason McCourty, along with hobbled veteran Cortland Finnegan against the best tandem of receivers in the game. The Jacksonville receivers were able to get open at will against these guys, it will be hard to believe that the Patriots wouldn't.


1. Ball Control Offense -- Bad weather is expected in New England this weekend, so ball control offense will be crucial to Sunday's game. The Patriots will need to control the ball with a combination of their running backs, Sammy Morris, Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis if need be. With Fred Taylor out of the lineup for a while, Morris should see the bulk of the carries. Laurence Maroney could also factor into the game to give the Patriots a change of pace. Kevin Faulk is also a consideration. New England need to establish a running game.

2. Get the ball deep -- The Patriots are one of four teams to have 0 (NO) passes over 40 yards this season. If New England is going to get on track this year, they need to find a way to air it out. With Randy Moss sitting at just 1 TD on the season, the Patriots have to seriously address their passing game strategy. It's not like the Patriots haven't been trying to get the ball deep to Moss, but teams have him double covered. If the Patriots are going to get Moss involved, they'll nee dot mix up their passing game and spread the ball around ot other receivers, The more targets Brady hits, the more likely Moss will get single coverage. The reports that Moss is dogging it, reflects the national media's ignorance of what Moss' strategy has become - to lull the defenders asleep.

3. Stop the Run. -- Chris Johnson is the third best running back in the NFL. The Patriots must find wa way to stop him from getting going or his success could enable the Titans' play-action to be more effective. With Johnson on track, Collins could have shorter 3rd down conversions to make. The Patriots are 11th best in the NFL on defense, and 11th against the run allowing just 96.8 yards per game on average. Johnson is averaging 6 yards per carry and has gained 468 yards through 5 games.

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