Titans' four-fold mission

Monday, December 29, 2003 at 11:00pm

1. Forget the past. The Ravens, named for Edgar Allan Poe's dark poem, have been a horror story for the Titans as five straight losses attests to. Tennessee's No. 1 mission Saturday is to fix its own psyche, forget about past failures and concentrate on the task at hand.

2. Stop Jamal. Jamal Lewis posted the second-highest single-season rushing total in NFL history, going for 2,066 yards. The Titans will have to hold him in check and under his 5.3 yards per carry average in order to stay in the game. Missed tackles cannot happen if Tennessee is to win.

3. Get ahead early. The best medicine for the Titans on the road in the playoffs is to get ahead. Baltimore is built on the run and good defense. If Tennessee can somehow get a two-score lead, the Ravens will have a tough time playing catch-up behind Anthony Wright.

4. No special teams screw-ups. One of the quickest ways out the playoff door is by special teams mistakes. The Ravens have eaten the Titans for lunch on special teams over the years, and Tennessee's sometimes inconsistent cover teams need an error-free day Saturday.

- Terry McCormick

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