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Preview: Titans at Rams

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Jeff Fisher coaches against his former club for the first time when the St. Louis Rams host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Fisher spent 17 seasons with the Titans – his tenure began in 1994 when the franchise was known as the Houston Oilers – and made the playoffs six times, including a Super Bowl loss to the Rams following the 1999 campaign. Tennessee aims to halt a three-game losing skid while St. Louis looks to rebound from a close loss to Seattle.

Fisher downplayed going up against the club that he was long identified with. “There are 16 players on the roster that were there when I was there, so the roster is just about completely turned over,” Fisher said. “There are just a few coaches on the staff. The front office is turned over. To me, this is just another opponent.” Titans coach Mike Munchak was an assistant under Fisher before being promoted to the job. “We’re all competitive and we want to win for a lot of reasons,” said Munchak, “but ultimately it comes down to the players on the field on Sunday, not us.”

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Titans –3. O/U: 39.5.

ABOUT THE TITANS (3-4): Quarterback Jake Locker (hip, knee) got some well-needed rest with Tennessee on a bye last weekend and has a solid 8-to-1 touchdowns-to-interceptions rate. Locker missed two games before passing for 326 yards and two scores in a loss to San Francisco on Oct. 20 prior to the break. Running back Chris Johnson is struggling mightily with just 110 yards on 46 carries over the past four games so Shonn Greene, recently back from a knee injury, is expected to receive an increase in carries against the Rams. Cornerback Alterraun Verner shares the NFL interception lead with four and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey has a career-best four sacks.

ABOUT THE RAMS (3-5): Defensive end Robert Quinn is experiencing a dominating campaign and ranks fourth in the NFL with 10 sacks. Quinn had three of the team’s seven sacks in the 14-9 loss to the Seahawks, a contest in which St. Louis allowed just 135 yards – 80 of them coming on one play. Quarterback Kellen Clemens again starts for injured Sam Bradford (season-ending knee injury) after going 15-of-31 for 158 yards and two interceptions against Seattle in his 13th career start. “I thought he managed the game well,” Fisher said.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Quinn is the second Rams’ player to record 10 sacks in the first eight games of a season. Kevin Greene (1988) is the other.

2. The Titans are averaging just 15.7 points in their three-game skid – the losses being to teams with a combined 21-3 record (Kansas City, Seattle and San Francisco).

3. St. Louis RB Zac Stacy rushed for a career-best 134 yards against Seattle but tweaked an ankle and his status hasn’t yet been firmed up.

PREDICTION: Rams 27, Titans 24

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/131103/preview-titans-at-rams