Titans' four-fold missions

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 at 1:00am

Titans' four-fold missions

1. Figure it out. The Titans are reeling and still have yet to win a home game. If they can't win at home against the hapless "Bungles," then they can go ahead and begin preparations for next April's draft with the anticipation of a top-five pick.

2. Clean up the mistakes. Interceptions and stupid penalties, like the 15-yarder on Fred Miller that nullified a first-and-goal, are killing a Titans team that has no margin for error. It will take a clean game with little to no mistakes to beat even the Bengals.

3. Fire up the offense. Whether it's Billy Volek or Steve McNair at the helm, the Titans offense has misfired pretty much the entire season. Chris Brown running against a porous Cincy defense should help, but the Titans need the passing attack to wake up and contribute.

4. Make a special teams play. Another loss and another week where the Titans special teams have not made a play to turn the field or score points. When a team is down, special teams has to be, well, special, to help make a difference.

Bengals' four-fold mission

1. Stop the run. Cincinnati's run defense has been deplorable for much of the season, and the Titans will no doubt give the Bengals a healthy dose of Chris Brown on Sunday.

2. Hang with Chad. Chad Johnson's trash talking sometimes overshadows his skills, but if the Bengals are to roll into Nashville and come away with a victory, chances are the brash wide receiver will be a central figure, despite disappointing numbers thus far.

3. Stop starvin' Marvin. So maybe Marvin Lewis isn't the big savior the Bengals were looking for as a head coach. This year's slow start suggests that maybe Lewis is headed down the same path as Dick LeBeau, Bruce Coslet and Dave Shula. It's a winnable game for the Bengals. Lewis has to make it happen.

4. Coddle Carson. Carson Palmer has taken over as Cincy's starting quarterback, and has struggled, to put it kindly, with just four touchdowns and eight interceptions going into the game with Denver.

- Terry McCormick

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