Halloween is over, the election is almost over (thank goodness), and at 4-4, the Tennessee Titans are in serious playoff contention in the AFC.
Titans Head Coach Mike Mularkey has a clear message for his team as they get ready for the second half of the season. “Halftime (of the season) is over, we’re starting from scratch.”
The Titans resume their schedule Sunday in San Diego with a game against the Chargers. The “Lightning Bolts” are 3-5 and are in desperate need of a win to keep their postseason hopes alive.
The Chargers have one of the league’s best quarterbacks in 13 year veteran Phillip Rivers a guy who can hurt you with his arm OR his mouth. Rivers has built a reputation as being one of the NFL’s best “trash-talkers.” He's a competitive guy,” said Titans Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey.
“He's gonna bring the fight, you got no choice but to respect him." Titans safety (and Alabama native) Rashad Johnson added: “He’s from Alabama, (so) he likes to talk (a lot).”
A key matchup in this game will be between a couple of rookies, OT Jack Conklin of the Titans against DE Joey Bosa of the Chargers. Conklin, the Titans top draft pick this year, has done a fine job on the right side having started all eight games for Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Bosa was a top five pick in this year’s draft and after a slow start, he’s starting to make an impact on the Chargers defense.
The two are familiar with each other from their years in the Big 10 Conference, Conklin at Michigan State, and Bosa at Ohio State. Whoever gets the better of this matchup should give his respective team a distinct advantage.
On the injury front, Titans tight end Delanie Walker missed practice on Friday with a sore groin and is listed as a game-time decision for Sunday. There’s better news for running back Demarco Murray. Murray is dealing with a toe injury but is expected to play against the Chargers.
Sunday’s kickoff is set for 3:25 CT and you can watch it on Newschannel5. Be sure to tune in to the Electric Power Companies Sunday Sports Central right after Newschannel5 at 10 p.m. for complete highlights, reaction and analysis.