There are a lot of people pointing a lot of fingers at the Tennessee Titans right now.
Marcus Mariota, the offensive line, the o-line coach, J-Rob or even Mike Vrabel. It is no one person, but I am pointing to one thing, negative plays.
Yes, negative plays are crushing the Titans offense. Lets just look back at the Titans last game in Jacksonville and go drive by drive in the first half to see how each one ended.
1st Drive – 2nd & 10, Derrick Henry runs for 6 yards but Jamil Douglas is called for a hold putting the Titans in 2nd and 20.
2nd Drive – 1st & 10, Derrick Henry goes for 1 yards. 2nd & 10, Mariota hits Jonnu Smith for 0 yards. No massive negative play, but two plays without a positive.
3rd Drive – Mariota started it with a 30 yard strike to Adam Humphries to the Jags 26. The next play, Derrick Henry went 6 yards to the 20, but Jonnu Smith was called for a hold. So, instead of 2nd and 4 at the Jags 20 it was 1st and 20 from the 36. It was followed up by a -4 yard run by Henry and a Mariota Sack. The hold crushed that drive and it could have changed the game.
4th Drive – Henry 4 yard run and two incomplete passes with a high throw to Humphries.
5th Drive – The Titans overcame a Sharpe holding penalty to start the drive. Later on the drive, 1st and 10, MyCole Pruitt was called for a false start, then on 3rd on 8 the Titans were called for another false start making 3rd and 13. That was 3 negative plays and ultimately ended the drive.
6th Drive (2:00 offense) – 2nd and 10, Mariota scrambles for 6 yards putting the Titans in 3rd and 4, but Jack Conklin is called for a hold putting them instead in 2nd and 20. 3rd and 4 or 2nd and 20? Which do you think is better.
Look at those drives, look at virtually all of them were crushed… By penalties or negative plays. Only 2 of them were not plagued by a penalty or sack and one of those had 2 plays that combined for 1 yard.
o, as the great Rocky Balboa said, “Winning isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much punishment you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” OK, it’s something like that.
If the Titans want to start winning again they have to find a way to cut out the mistakes and keep the offense moving forward instead of backward.
Backward is killing them.