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AFC South Q&A: Can the Titans' planned power-running game work in today's NFL?

Today's question: Can a smashmouth offense like the one the Tennessee Titans are trying to build with DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry and Jack Conklin work in today's NFL?

Mike DiRocco, Jacksonville Jaguars reporter: That kind of style will always have a place in football. You just need to be sure you have the personnel to run it, and it appears the Titans are getting close. It's a good way for teams with young quarterbacks to play because smashmouth football generally lowers the risk of turnovers and avoids third-and-long situations. However, it's an offense that works best when games are close or when playing with a lead so the Titans have to get better defensively (27th in scoring defense at 26.44 points per game) for it to be effective.

Tania Ganguli, Houston Texans reporter: Sure, but there are caveats. If you're building your offense around the running game you need the kind of defense that won't let you fall into early deficits. When the Texans were at their best under former head coach Gary Kubiak and with quarterback Matt Schaub and running back Arian Foster propelling their offense, they really struggled any time they fell behind. While I wouldn't call that a smashmouth offense, it was certainly built around the run. That took advantage of the personnel they had, but also resulted in their lacking potent come-from-behind capabilities. I prefer a more balanced attack, but all successful offenses fit to their personnel. I don't know that the Titans could have upgraded their passing game this offseason given all their other needs, but they certainly have a quarterback in Marcus Mariota who can help when they do.

Mike Wells, Indianapolis Colts reporter: Not unless Murray and Henry can combine to play like Minnesota's Adrian Peterson. I stick with something Colts coach Chuck Pagano often says to the media in Indianapolis. He likes to remind us that the NFL is a passing league and you need a quarterback to be successful. What Murray, Henry and Conklin do is take some pressure off Mariota, who doesn't have to think he needs to lead the Titans down the field with his arm every series. Although there will be times when the offensive line is doing its part and the Titans can put together some dominant rushing performances, Mariota's arm will be the key to leading them when it's all said and done.