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    NFL Preview - Tennessee (3-2) at Seattle (4-1)



    By John McMullen, NFL Editor

    (SportsNetwork.com) - After playing three consecutive home games, the Tennessee Titans are about to pay for it by going on the road to perhaps the NFL's toughest environment, Seattle.

    The Seahawks have yet to lose in the Pacific Northwest since Russell Wilson took over as the team's signal caller. Wilson is a perfect 10-0 as a starter at CenturyLink Field, completing 128-of-204 passes for 1,848 yards with 22 TDs and only four interceptions, good for a 119.9 passer rating in those contests,

    Making matters even worse for the Titans is the fact that Seattle faltered down the stretch in Indianapolis last week, suffering its first loss of the 2013 campaign.

    The Seahawks, who own a one-game lead in the NFC West over both San Francisco and Arizona, let a fourth-quarter lead slip away after gaining control with a pair of touchdown passes by Wilson.

    It was Seattle?s first defeat in the regular season since Nov. 25, 2012, ending a run of nine straight regular-season wins.

    Wilson threw for 210 yards and two scores and added 102 yards on the ground to match Marshawn Lynch's rushing total. Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals but had another attempt blocked and returned for a touchdown by Delano Howell.

    "Not closing out drives and taking field goals was a big difference today," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. "The tale of this game comes down to the big plays made or weren't made. It's a very frustrating game to leave out there."

    The Titans, meanwhile, hosted the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs last week and fell by a final score of 26-17. After falling behind 13-0, the Titans scored 17 consecutive points in the second half before losing the lead in the fourth quarter.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, making his first start in a Titans uniform in the place of injured starter Jake Locker (hip, knee), completed 21-of-41 passes for 247 yards, including a creative toss to Chris Johnson that resulted in a 49-yard touchdown. The ninth-year veteran quarterback also scored the other touchdown for the Titans on a nine-yard run.

    The Titans defense was stout for most of the afternoon, allowing the Chiefs to convert only 1-of-12 third-down attempts and one touchdown in four trips inside the 20.

    However, the one touchdown allowed by the defense, combined with four Kansas City field goals, was enough in the end for the Chiefs as they benefited from an early Titans special teams miscue. Kansas City's first punt of the game caromed off the foot of Damian Williams and into the end zone, where it was recovered by the Chiefs for a touchdown.

    "This was kind of a roller-coaster ride," said Titans linebacker Zaviar Gooden. "We've just got to finish games."

    The Titans and Seahawks have met 14 times during the regular season with Seattle having a 9-5 advantage. The Seahawks had won five consecutive games and seven out of eight until the Titans won the last encounter, a 17-3 win at CenturyLink Field in the 2009 season finale.

    WHAT TO WATCH FOR

    Wilson's ascent to the top of the NFL mountain has been rapid to say the least. As a rookie, he started every game and was selected to the Pro Bowl after matching Peyton Manning's 1998 record for most touchdown passes by a first-year player (26) and setting a club record with a 100.0 passer rating.

    This season, the University of Wisconsin product, has most buying into Seattle as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. He's the classic new breed dual-threat QB that can beat you with his arm or legs and has proven to be a notch better at home.

    The Titans defense Wilson will be facing is a solid unit, ranking ninth overall in the NFL by allowing 321.2 yards per game. Wilson's biggest problem could be playmaking corner Alterraun Verner, who likes to bait opposing QBs into game-changing mistakes.

    Fitzpatrick is a competent backup for the Titans but this is the kind of test which would have proven to be a great learning experience for Locker, who will remain sidelined this week.

    Fitzpatrick threw a pair of interceptions in final 6:14 against Kansas City last week and needs to play a clean game for Tennessee to have any chance.

    For that to happen, though, the Titans really need to get their running game going. Tennessee has managed just 183 rushing yards over the past two weeks. Chris Johnson was held to 17 on 10 carries against the Chiefs after gaining a measly 21 on 15 carries during a 38-13 win over the New York Jets on Sept. 29.

    The Titans rank just 19th in the NFL at 3.7 yards per carry and Johnson needs to show some juice here. The team could also get a boost from the potential return of Shonn Greene, who has been sidelined with a knee injury.

    The Seahawks sports one of the league's best defenses led by perhaps the NFL's top secondary headlined by a pair of All-Pro performers: safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman. Through five weeks, they are ranked sixth overall and third in passing defense but there are a few holes.

    After allowing just 27 points in the first three weeks, Seattle has given up 54 in the past two games. Seattle also outscored their first four opponents by a whopping 44-7 margin in the fourth quarter before letting Luck and the Colts dominate in the final frame last week.

    The Seahawks' stingy D allows only 4.0 yards per rush, however, and 109.0 yards a game on the ground.

    "We've played well in spurts as far as doing things consistently but haven't yet to this point," Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said. "When you're not converting things like that third-and-1s, fourth-and-1s, like I said that's concerning and that's up front. We have to get more push at times."

    OVERALL ANALYSIS

    The Seahawks current 10-game run at CenturyLink Field is the longest active regular-season home winning streak in the NFL and they have only been upping their dominance as it progresses. In its last six at home, Settle has outscored opponents by a gaudy 222-53 or basically a 37-9 margin.

    "I don't want to get real good at this," Carroll said. "I don't want to get good at playing after losses, but we need to handle it well, but I'm curious to see if we do."

    While the Titans have won seven of their past 10 on the road against NFC squads, this hill is just too steep to climb.

    "We know going to Seattle, how hard it is," Munchak said. "We have to go reload, and we will, and play better."

    Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seahawks 31, Titans 17

    10/10 14:01:51 ET

    Powered by The Sports Network.

    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

      Great 38: Win tickets to Daytona 500

      Updated:

      Here's your chance to win tickets to the 2015 Daytona 500. Entering is easy, simply fill out the entry form included. More>>

      • Great Stuff

      News Now: Media General CEO talks about his career, future for company Video included

      Updated:

      In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

      Bill Schifino, Jr talks about being President-Elect of the Florida Bar Video included

      Updated:

      Earlier this month, Bill Schifino, Jr. was announced as the 2015-16 President-Elect of the Florida Bar. Schifino comes to this position with a strong resume. More>>

      Trio sets off on 900 mile trek across Florida Video included

      Updated:

      Joe Guthrie, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr. are embarking on a journey of a lifetime. The trio are setting off on a 70-day, 900 mile trek across the state???without any automobiles.
      More>>

      How this guide dog helps one blind triathlete chase her Paralympic dream

      Updated:

      Every time Paralympic hopeful Amy Dixon makes it to the end of another grueling triathlon, she knows her trusty companion will be waiting for her at the finish line. Sixteen years after she lost vision in her right eye, which she says she viewed as "a death sentence" at the time,  More>>

      Legoland Florida hotel to open in spring; built for kids

      LEGOLAND Florida photo LEGOLAND Florida photo
      Updated:

      Legoland Florida Hotel will welcome its first guests a month earlier than previously expected.During an announcement Thursday, Legoland executives announced May 15 as the revised opening date.  More>>

      3 rhinos escape from safari zoo, return safely Video included

      Updated:

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      Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube
      Updated:

      A video of a very authoritative 4-year-old girl feeding six very obedient pit pulls in the middle of a kitchen has gone viral on the web and is prompting a heated debate about the pit bull breed.
      More>>

      8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | January 17-18 Video included

      Updated:

      See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
      More>>

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      Updated:

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      Updated:

      The 109th Epiphany celebration begins Monday, January 5 with the Arrival of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and the blessing of the fleet and continues on Tuesday, January 6 with Epiphany Services, Procession, Cross Dive and Glendi Celebration.  More>>

      Out and About
      Powered by WorldNow

      200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

      Telephone: 813.228.8888
      Fax: 813.225.2770
      Email: news@wfla.com

      Can???t find something?
      Powered by WorldNow
      All content © Copyright 2000 - 2015 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.