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Days after President Donald Trump called for the jobs of all NFL players that protest during the national anthem to be fired, both the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks elected to not be on the sidelines of during the anthem. Autumn Allison/USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee

I have been a Tennessee Titan’s permanent season license (PSL) and season ticket holder since Day One.

I have invested tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours going to every game, buying jerseys and paying for over-priced food and beverages at the stadium.

I realize that this is just pocket change for all the players, coaches and ownership, that are getting rich or richer off people like me.

However, for hard-working people, like me, tens of thousands of dollars is a lot of money.

On Sunday when I stood for the national anthem, while the players for both the Titans and Seahawks stayed in the tunnel, I have never felt more disrespected, offended, disappointed or ashamed in my life.

Being a professional athlete is among the most overpaid professions in the world.

Especially when you consider the importance of this profession compared to most other professions.

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It will be another week with green arrows next to the Titans. That makes for a good Tuesday. This week the Titans should make a pretty big jump. They just beat a Seahawks team that the nation (and the officials) love. I’m not sure Seattle is that good this year, but the win gives the Titans some street cred.

Let’s look at the rankings around the web: 5 (LW:13)

Huge plays abounded on Sunday, from the wide-receiver-screen-turned-home-run to Marcus Mariota heaving it deep to Jonnu Smith and DeMarco Murray long-striding behind a convoy of blockers. TheTitans took care of business at home against a good team. That’s what Tennessee fans have been waiting to see: Could their squad pull off a W against a potential playoff contender? The defense leaked a bit Sunday, unlike in Week 2. That’s when Mariota and Tennessee’s offense produced in Nashville, to the tune of 33 points.

ESPN: 10 (LW:14)

Marcus Mariota: 56.6 Total QBR. The Titans have two wins even with Mariota off to a modest start, throwing for just three touchdowns in three games. Tennessee plays three of its next four on the road, which could actually be a benefit to Mariota. His QBR is 14 points higher on the road (62) than at home (48) in his career.

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The Titans have punished opposing defenses the last two weeks, averaging 35 points per game. They’ll look to continue that trend in an AFC South showdown.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Titans team that’s getting used to winning on a regular basis will head to Houston this weekend in search of another big victory.

The Titans are coming off consecutive wins over Jacksonville and Seattle, and – dating back to last season – have now won six of their last eight contests.

Here are five key questions for the Titans looking ahead to the weekend:

Is this the next measuring-stick game for the Titans? –Yes, it is. As far as AFC South play is concerned, the Titans took a step in the right direction two games ago when they won in Jacksonville – snapping an 11-game road losing streak in the division.

But a win in Houston – against the team that’s won the AFC South in four of the last six years – would be even an even bigger statement by the Titans. Tennessee has lost its last five road games to the Texans, the last Titans win coming on New Year’s Day in 2012, when Matt Hasselbeck was the starting quarterback.

A victory on Sunday would also put the Titans in great shape in the division. They’d be 2-0, with three of their final four AFC South games to be played in Nashville.

“If you want to win the division, you’ve got to win on the road and you’ve got to beat the teams that have won the division, especially this team who’s won it the past two years,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “So yeah, it’s important.”

Can the Titans’ offensive line tame J.J. Watt? – Watt hasn’t had quite the impact as linemate Jadeveon Clowney so far this season, but he always seems to save some of his best performances for the Titans.

In 10 career games against the Titans, Watt has piled up 15.5 sacks, more than he’s totaled against any other team. He’s also made 39 tackles against the Titans, tied for the second-most he’s totaled against any other team. Just for good measure, Watt’s forced six Titans fumbles over the years.

But if there’s ever been a time to believe the Titans are well protected from the likes of Watt and Clowney, this would be the year. The Titans have surrendered just two sacks in three games this season, which is tied for the league best. Maybe even more impressively, the Titans have allowed a league-low five quarterback hits over those three contests. Tennessee’s offensive line may well be the best in the league at present.

Will the Titans’ defense continue to hold the line? – Much has rightfully been made about the Titans remaining patient on offense during the last two games, sticking to their ground-and-pound approach until it pays dividends.

But keep in mind that if the Titans’ defense hadn’t kept the last two games close in the first half, the team’s offense might not have had the opportunity to stay so patient.

The Titans’ defense held the Jaguars to just three points in the first half in Week Two and held Seattle to just seven points in Week Three. So despite the fact the Titans scored six points in the first half against Jacksonville and nine points in the first half against Seattle, Tennessee’s offense was able to keep hammering away until the opposing defenses broke.

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Titans fullback Jalston Fowler has made a career out of blowing up defenders. On Sunday, Fowler blocked the same player twice – the second time roughly 50 yards downfield. His teammates and coaches noticed.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans fullback Jalston Fowler has made a career out of paving the way for running backs.

He’s a guy who does the dirty work while banging helmets with defenders, and that’s just fine with him.

He signed up for the gig.

Through the eyes of his coaches and teammates, Fowler went above and beyond with his effort in Sunday’s win over the Seahawks, especially on one play — DeMarco Murray’s 75-yard touchdown run.

Go back and watch the replay and you’ll see Fowler blocking Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane near the line of scrimmage before chasing him all the way downfield to block him again, over 50 yards away. The effort helped spring Murray for the highlight-reel play.

“Good things happen when you hustle,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said.

The Titans say it’s a good thing they have Fowler, a fourth-round draft pick out of Alabama who goes by the nickname “Nudie.”

“Nudie is a hell of a fullback and a guy who works extremely hard for us,” Murray said. “We’re proud to have him.”

Titans tight end Delanie Walker said watching Fowler’s effort on the play fired him up. Fowler’s first block came around the Tennessee 30-yard line, the second one inside Seattle’s 20, which allowed Murray to glide in.

“You know what?,” Walker said. “To see stuff like that, especially from a fullback, running all the way down the field to block a corner. That goes a long way. It’s the “want to.” We already knew Jalston is a beast, and he goes about being a pro every day on the field and off the field. That’s all we can ask from him.”

The 5-11, 254-pound Fowler, who played in 19 of the team’s 73 offensive plays on Sunday, acknowledged coaches singled him out for his effort on the play in film review. It came on a day when the Titans ran for 195 yards while averaging 5.6 yards per carry in a 33-27 win.

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Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews was one of many NFL players who felt personally attacked by President Donald Trump’s comments over the weekend against the NFL and its protesting players, most notably the “son of a bitch” reference, and Matthews plans to use his platform to advance the protest.

“I plan to kneel until the president apologizes for the comments that he made, because I felt like those were very disrespectful comments that he made,” Matthews said on ESPN’s NFL Live on Tuesday. “The league is made up of, I think, … over 70 percent African-Americans, so the people that would be kneeling for this cause would be African-Americans.

“To keep it honest, he was calling a lot of us, and I feel that he was calling myself, an S.O.B., and that’s not OK and very disrespectful. So I plan to kneel until the president apologizes.”

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the pregame national anthem last season, when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers, as a way of protesting social inequality. Other players have decided to kneel or sit during the anthem over the course of the past year.

Speaking at a political rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!’

At the White House on Tuesday, Trump was asked about his comments.

“I wasn’t preoccupied with the NFL. I was ashamed of what was taking place,” he said. “Because to me that was a very important moment. I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem.”

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans wide receiver Corey Davis has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks because of a hamstring injury.

Davis originally injured the hamstring in early August, and he aggravated it during Tennessee’s 37-16 win over Jacksonville on Sunday.

“It’s tough for anytime to have to watch a guy who can’t play,” Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said. “It’s so frustrating. He’s so competitive. He thinks he’s letting us down. He’s not letting anybody down. We’re dealing with the NFL. We have injuries. I know he’s frustrated at this point that he can’t play.”

Mularkey added of Davis’ injury, “We are trying to get him past this so we are not dealing with this in November.”

The news regarding Titans running back DeMarco Murray was more optimistic. Mularkey said he was “hopeful” to have Murray on Sunday,” after Murray aggravated a hamstring injury in the second half against the Jaguars.

Mularkey said one of the two players had an MRI on Tuesday for his hamstring, but he would not confirm which player it was. Both attended Wednesday’s practice but did not participate. Davis snagged balls from the JUGS machine after practice.

Davis missed a month after he first suffered the hamstring injury on Aug. 3. Murray missed a couple of weeks with an injury that he suffered the same week.

Whether Murray plays or not, there probably will be an increase in reps for running back Derrick Henry, who took over when Murray exited Sunday’s contest with hamstring tightness in the third quarter. Henry rushed for a career-high 92 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Murray finished with nine carries for 25 yards.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Taywan Taylor’s handle on Twitter is simply SilentGrind2, all part of the Tennessee rookie wide receiver’s approach to letting his play do his talking.

Right now, Taylor is making plenty of noise on the football field.

The rookie drafted in the third round out of Western Kentucky turned in the fastest run by a ball carrier through the first two weeks of the season, hitting 21.44 mph speeding past Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye before stretching out to catch a 42-yard pass from Marcus Mariota.

Not bad for someone clocked at 4.50 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Combine.

“It’s definitely motivating because you hear something like that, I really didn’t have no idea until I heard it from … a couple other people,” Taylor said. “Definitely motivates me to just keep playing fast. That’s what I’ve always prided myself on. Playing fast every snap. I don’t realize how fast I’m going. I just try to go full speed and play fast, so I can open it up for other guys.”

Taylor only has three catches for 56 yards and two rushes for 16 yards more. But the rookie is poised for more work alongside starter Rishard Matthews and veteran Eric Decker with wide receiver Corey Davis, the fifth overall pick, sidelined Sunday against Seattle (1-1) by a tight hamstring.

Mariota said having Taylor certainly helps the offense.

“Teams have to know when he’s in the game, they have to know that he’s a viable option and can do those types of things,” Mariota said. “It allows you to do a lot of different things on offense. When you’ve got a guy like that you’ve got to find ways to get him the ball.”

The Titans (1-1) have been trying to do that, handing off to Taylor on end-arounds and jet sweeps. He’s also been used as a decoy running through the backfield as well.

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The Titans will be looking to capture their first home win of the season when they face the Seattle Seahawks. Titans beat reporter Jason Wolf has the preview. Autumn Allison/USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee

NAS-Titans 0918

Titans running back Derrick Henry could make his first start of the season against the Seahawks on Sunday at Nissan Stadium, with DeMarco Murray hampered by a hamstring injury.

And that could work out just fine for the Titans.

“He appears to be the type of guy that the more you hand it to him, the stronger he gets,” Titans defensive coordinator Terry Robiskie said. “At the end of the day, he’s getting strong and hopefully those guys are getting weaker. But he appears to be a guy that the more he touches it, the stronger he gets.”

Murray left last weekend’s victory against the Jaguars early in the second half after aggravating an injury that dogged him throughout the preseason. He missed practice through Thursday and is uncertain to play against Seattle.

In his place, Henry rumbled for a career-high 92 yards on 14 carries, breaking a one-score game open with a punishing 17-yard touchdown run.

“That’s last week,” Henry said. “That’s out the window. It’s time to focus on this week and get ready for Seattle.”

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Four Tennessee Titans players to watch for in Week 3. 

It is always a great week coming off a win, but the Tennessee Titans will face a tough test on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Of course, Seattle’s offense hasn’t been clicking just yet, but you can never count outRussell Wilson making a few big plays each game. Also, their defense is as a good as ever and will keep them in every game.

And like each week, here are four Titans to look for.

Jurrell Casey

We are only two weeks into the season, but Jurrell Casey has just two tackles so far. This could be the week where he gets back on track and shows how much of a dominating force he is.

The Seahawks offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL and we should see Casey constantly beating his man and causing havoc in the backfield. Look for him to have a couple of tackles for a loss and a ton of pressure on Wilson.

Derrick Henry

With DeMarco Murray aggravating his hamstring injury, that could open the door forDerrick Henry to be the lead back this week. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he had 14 carries, 92 yards, and a touchdown.

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Running back Derrick Henry was a force on Sunday. He ran for a career-high 92 yards on 14 carries, including the 17-yard run in the third quarter to give the Titans a 16-3 lead.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Derrick Henry’s eyes lit up as he hit the hole, and headed toward the end zone.

In the end, the only man between the bruising Titans running back and six points was Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

So Henry ran through the would-be tackler, with authority, and scored.

“I definitely wanted to make him feel me,” Henry said with a smile. “I’m glad I got in.”

Nothing personal, Henry said. But the 17-yard touchdown run helped pave the way for Tennessee’s 37-16 win over the Jaguars.

The two just “gave each other a look” after the collision, Henry said.

“He’s a great player, man, one of the top defensive players in the league I think,” Henry said of Ramsey. “It was just a good play-call and executed well.

“As a running back you always want to be physical.”

Henry was a force on Sunday. He ran for a career-high 92 yards on 14 carries, including the TD run in the third quarter to give the Titans a 16-3 lead. The rout was on from there, and Henry battered his way for more tough yards down the stretch as DeMarco Murray watched from the sideline with a tight hamstring.

“He came in and had a really big run,” coach Mike Mularkey said of Henry. “We actually didn’t put the play in until Saturday night. … Those guys blocked it up front like we wanted. Great run. DeMarco has a tight hamstring, a little bit of a hamstring deal he is dealing with. He came in and did what he is supposed to do – he ran the ball well.”

“He is a good player, and he got a number of opportunities and took advantage of it.”

After two games, Henry leads the team in rushing yards with 117. Murray was held to just 25 yards on nine carries on Sunday, and he has 69 yards through two games.

“He is a great player,” Titans guard Josh Kline said of Henry. “We have great running backs. They run hard and just make us look good sometime.”

Added tight end Delanie Walker: “Derrick is a beast. Give him an opportunity and he is going to take advantage of it, and that’s what he did.”

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