Titans' four-fold mission

Tuesday, December 9, 2003 at 1:00am

1. Stop the bleeding. The Titans have lost two in a row and haven't really played well in a month. They'll need a strong effort this week against a much-improved Buffalo defense in order to get back on track and build some momentum heading into the playoffs.

2. Keep McNair healthy. Steve McNair now has a sprained left ankle to go along with his strained right calf. The MVP-candidate quarterback is banged up, but still represents the Titans' best hope at making a December run, provided he is healthy enough to play.

3. Reverse the Kearse. Jevon Kearse played about 35 plays against the Colts Sunday, but did not have a sack and did have a costly retaliation penalty that landed the Titans a personal foul. The Titans need Kearse to have a big game against his former mentor Gregg Williams this week if Tennessee is to return to the win column.

4. Clean up the special teams. The Titans can point directly to three special teams fumbles as the primary reason they lost their AFC South showdown to the Colts. Tennessee simply cannot afford mistakes on special teams and might even go back to Derrick Mason on returns to rectify the situation.

- Terry McCormick

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