CHICAGO -- The Titans face the Chicago Bears on Thursday night at Soldier Field.
Here’s a look at six things to watch:
QB Logan Woodside
If you’re hoping to see quarterback Marcus Mariota and the offensive starters against the Bears, well, you’re going to be disappointed. Mariota made the trip, but No.3 QB Logan Woodside will run the show in the Windy City, and he’ll look to cap his preseason play with a solid performance. Woodside has performed well in the first three games, completing 29-of-47 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns. Will it be enough to earn him a spot on the 53-man roster? Well, that decision will come over the weekend.
The Titans want to keep Woodside off his backside, which wasn’t the case just a few days ago against the Steelers. Woodside was sacked three times in that contest, a night when the Titans allowed seven sacks. Woodside won’t have the first team line protecting him, so it will be up to guys like Corey Levin, Tyler Marz, Austin Pasztor, David Quessenberry, A.T. Hall, Hroniss Grasu and Aaron Stinnie to keep him clean when they're in there.
Jeremy McNichols and the RBs
Jeremy McNichols has enjoyed a nice offseason, there’s no doubt about that. The question now is whether he’s done enough to make the 53-man roster. We already know Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis are ahead of him, and running back/fullback David Fluellen returned to practice this week. If the Titans keep a fourth, McNichols figures to be the guy. Another nice showing wouldn’t hurt his cause, although backs Alex Barnes, Akeem Hunt and Dalyn Dawkins will get work, too.
Kalif Raymond, Cody Hollister, Anthony Ratliff-Williams, Papi White, Tanner McEvoy and DeAngelo Yancey are all names I typed in practice reports and posted videos of during training camp. With the Titans expected to keep five, maybe six, receivers there’s not a lot of room for an underdog to stick. But it’s not outside the realm of possibility, and there’s always the practice squad. Keep an eye on these guys – and whether a veteran like Taywan Taylor ends up playing in this contest, which would spark some interesting chatter.
The Titans are going to flood this preseason finale with back-ups, and the Bears will, too. Some of them will be playing for the final time in Titans/Bears uniforms, as all NFL teams must trim from 90 players to 53 by Saturday. The preseason finale not only gives players one last chance to make a case for themselves on their respective teams, but it will also allow them to get noticed by their competitors on the opposite side, and across the league. Will Titans coaches spot any Bears they might consider?
No Injuries -- Or Severe Weather
No one wants injuries, especially not in the preseason finale. They’re dream killers, and roster decision nightmares. Late preseason injuries result in injury settlements and Injured Reserve placement, and it’s the last thing players, coaches or GMs want. Here’s hoping the preseason finale is a fast-moving contest with no injury -- or weather -- interruptions. The potential for severe weather is in the forecast for the Chicago area on Thursday night.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the team's all-time series against the Chicago Bears. (AP Photos)