- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 16, 2014

Five questions facing the Redskins as they host the Titans on Sunday:

1. How does Kirk Cousins improve in the second half? The quarterback has thrown all eight of his interceptions after halftime and said Wednesday he believes he’s trying to do too much to help his team climb out of a rut late in games. Coach Jay Gruden suggested he may simplify the offense for Cousins in the second half, but also trusts Cousins will make better decisions.

2. Will David Amerson be cleared in time to return from a concussion? Amerson left the loss to Arizona in the first quarter with a concussion and did not return. Though the cornerback has cleared each stage of the concussion protocol, a secondary already reeling from injury cannot sustain the loss of another player.

3. Is Jake Locker going to be able to play? Tennessee’s quarterback has missed two of the last three games after injuring the thumb on his right hand. He said Wednesday he expects to face the Redskins; if he doesn’t, Charlie Whitehurst, who is in his ninth season and has a career quarterback rating of 73.8, would get the start.

4. Can the third-down struggles be fixed? The Redskins have converted on just 23 of 71 third-down opportunities this season, which, at 32.4 percent, puts them second-to-last in the league (coincidentally ahead of the Titans). Both Cousins and Gruden said there is no common thread between the failures, but they have emphasized third-down work in practice.

5. Should the Redskins fear Tennessee’s pass rush? Like the Redskins, the Titans are tied for seventh in the league with 15 sacks — though, like the Redskins, they padded that total against Jacksonville. Defensive end Jurrell Casey has a team-high four sacks, but otherwise, the Titans have no other high-motor guys who pose a threat.

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