Treylon Burks, Chig Okonkwo proving to be key for Titans offense; AFC South evaluation

Published:Mar 9, 202417:51
Treylon Burks, Chig Okonkwo proving to be key for Titans offense; AFC South evaluation

Titans broad receiver Treylon Burks embarrassed the Packers' Jaire Alexander on Thursday Evening Soccer. 

With 2:04 left, holding a 27-17 lead and needing a primary all the way down to formally put the sport away, the Titans dialed up a deep shot — an aggressive resolution. It labored, although. Ryan Tannehill hit Burks, who picked up 51 yards. 

It wasn't a lot concerning the soul-crushing explosive play, however what the first-round rookie confirmed on it. Right here was the Titans' high decide, lined up towards probably the greatest cornerbacks in soccer in Alexander, imposing his will. He stacked Alexander and picked up about 18 yards — with the 2020 Professional Bowler making an attempt to tug him down — earlier than he might get tackled on the 5-yard line. 

Popping up from the bottom, Burks gave Alexander the "too small" gesture. 

In his second recreation again from injured reserve, the previous Arkansas star had his popping out social gathering: seven receptions on eight targets for 111 yards. Burks confirmed that he might be the receiver Tennessee (7-3) wants to switch A.J. Brown's manufacturing. 

He has the upside to rework the Titans offense, which has constructed up momentum within the passing recreation over the previous couple of weeks. A unit that was one-dimensional (a Derrick Henry-first run assault) and had a talent-deficient broad receiver room is far more threatening for the playoffs with Burks. 

"He is a heck of a participant," quarterback Ryan Tannehill stated Tuesday. "He is been nice to work with. He is straightforward to work with. He is gifted, clearly. He is acquired measurement. He is acquired energy. Nice palms. Judges the ball properly. Can run. (He) has every part you are in search of."

One other rising weapon for Tennessee within the go recreation? Fellow rookie Chig Okonkwo. The fourth-round tight finish has had a reception of 30-plus yards in every of the final three video games. He is been a strolling explosive play for the Titans in current weeks. 

Okonkwo flashed his receiving abilities in coaching camp and the preseason, and it appears to be coming collectively for him now within the video games that depend. 

The Titans' activity? Discovering a option to get him the ball extra. He has simply seven targets since Week 9.

"We wish to, yeah," coach Mike Vrabel stated final week of getting Okonkwo extra concerned. "Attempting to proceed to seek out methods to get him the soccer." 

Even with a run-heavy offense, the Titans will want to have the ability to produce well timed chunk performs by means of the air to seek out success within the playoffs. 

Burks and Okonkwo, two rookies, are trying like gamers that may make that occur.  

Different ideas throughout the AFC South: 

Colts' Rodney McLeod Jr. reveals like to alma mater amid tragedy

For those who occurred to catch the footwear throughout Sunday's Colts-Eagles recreation, you will have seen Rodney McLeod's distinctive cleats. 

They had been a tribute. 

The Colts beginning security wore Virginia-inspired cleats to pay homage to victims of the UVA capturing earlier this month that left three soccer gamers useless and two others, together with a fourth soccer participant, injured. McLeod, a 2012 undrafted free agent, performed his school ball at Virginia. 

The left cleat, which is black, bore the final names and numbers of the gamers killed: Lavel Davis (No. 1), Devin Chandler (15) and D'Sean Perry (41). Inscribed on the fitting cleat, which is white, was a quote: "These we love do not go away, they stroll beside us every single day, unseen, unheard, nonetheless cherished, however at all times close to, nonetheless missed and really pricey." 

"Relaxation In Peace Younger Kings," McLeod tweeted pregame.

Virginia canceled its final two video games of the season within the wake of the capturing. 

McLeod is considered one of two Colts gamers who performed for the Cavaliers, the opposite being rookie tight finish Jelani Woods, who hasn't spoken publicly concerning the tragedy. 

Nick Sirianni’s emotion in Colts-Eagles a reminder of how a lot Frank Reich was cherished

After the Eagles’ game-winning defensive stand, together with his staff holding on for the 17-16 comeback victory, Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni went behind the bench to ship an emphatic message to the followers: "That s–t was for Frank Reich!"

Sirianni, in fact, was the Colts offensive coordinator from 2018-20. He considers Reich, who was fired by the Colts earlier this month, a pricey buddy and considered one of his largest mentors. 

And clearly, Reich’s firing rubbed him the incorrect manner. Reich’s days gave the impression to be numbered contemplating the offensive struggles to start out the season, however the truth that he was reportedly fired over a telephone name midseason has drawn criticism.

"You don’t wish to know what I feel if he needs to be right here or not (teaching)," Sirianni stated postgame. "You guys can in all probability think about what I feel." 

No matter how this Colts’ season began with Reich, it’s clear that he’s nonetheless beloved within the franchise. Crew leaders have stated it. In actual fact, throughout Jeff Saturday’s second press convention as interim coach, he acknowledged that the gamers nonetheless "love" Reich. 

"That’s their coach," Saturday stated earlier this month. ‘They performed for this dude. I don’t decrease that in any respect." 

Sirianni’s emotion encapsulates Reich’s impression.

A optimistic concerning the Texans' season? They've the draft to look ahead to

A foul season for the Texans (1-8-1) discovered a brand new low in Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Commanders. 

Houston had simply 5 web yards at half, the fewest web yards in a half in franchise historical past, in line with The Related Press. The Texans completed with a season-low 148 yards. 

Star rookie working again Dameon Pierce, the cog of their offense, was restricted to eight yards on 10 carries. Quarterback Davis Mills, who's continued to show that he is not the long-term reply, threw two interceptions, together with a pick-six on the staff's second play from scrimmage. A robust Commanders defensive entrance had 9 quarterback hits on Mills, together with 5 sacks. Every thing about Houston's offense was dreadful. 

Commanders STIFLE Davis Mills, Texans in dominating victory

Commanders STIFLE Davis Mills, Texans in dominating victory

The Washington Commanders pressured Davis Mills to 2 interceptions within the victory over the Houston Texans. The Texans had been held to only 148 yards within the loss.

Regardless of their document, and struggles ending, the Texans have truly been aggressive by means of three quarters in chunk of their video games. However Sunday, they had been dominated begin to end, particularly within the trenches.  

"Proper now, as a soccer staff, there's not an entire lot that we're doing properly," coach Lovie Smith stated postgame. "We're not soccer staff proper now."

Basically, the Texans' hopes of turning into one lie in crushing the 2023 draft, the place the Texans could have two excessive first-round picks to alter the franchise's fortunes for the long run. Houston is at present pegged to have the No. 1 and No. 8 general picks. The Texans obtained the latter choice within the blockbuster commerce that despatched Deshaun Watson to the Browns. 

Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand labored for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Community, the place he was the Titans beat author for a yr and a half. He lined the Seattle Seahawks for for 3 seasons (2018-20) previous to transferring to Tennessee. You may comply with Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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Publish date: 2022-11-23 04:39:53
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