The Tennessee Titans were involved in yet another high-powered game that involved scoring plays of incredible yardage. The defense was beyond weak and at many times seemed unconscious. The Bills, a team with a fantastic duo at running back, put up 382 total yards. A number that may not seem real high for such an offensive game , but consider this, Brad Smith had a kick return for a touchdown and the Bills averaged 6.9 yards per rush. That is unacceptable if the Titans want to make a playoff run.
CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson got yards in chunks and the Bills’ screen game looked nearly perfect. The Titans linebackers were lost in coverage too often. The absence of Colin McCarthy is a tremendous hit to the front seven. As a captain, McCarthy would ideally spot screens and check downs that destroyed the Titans on Sunday. Fred Jackson recorded 8 catches on 11 targets. These numbers show me that the check down was open all game and against the Bills’ running back duo that is truly a combination of poor game planning and bad personnel.
Their offensive line is one of the best in the NFL and they did a great job of blowing the Titans off the ball, but that didn’t stop Kamerion Wimbley from getting a crucial strip sack that was recovered by Derrick Morgan. Morgan also deflected 2 passes and hit Ryan Fitzpatrick twice. I am quite pleased with the progress Derrick Morgan has made this year. “Big play Babs” lead the Titans in tackles for the second straight week, this time with 12 tackles, a pass deflection and a quarterback hit.
There are a couple of plays I want to showcase that highlight some improvement, but also some serious concerns I have in regards to the play calling.
The Titans line up in nickel with two safeties deep, pretty standard play call here. It is the 3rd quarter, 1st down and the cushion is softer than I prefer. From the tape it seems Tennessee is running a zone with the corners and safeties all responsible deep.
Except for Ryan Mouton. i do not know his responsibilities on this play, nor do I want to guess. However, I do know he becomes very flat-footed and the slot receiver has a tremendous opportunity of become wide-freaking-open. Luckily, Kamerion Wimbley does what he is paid to do. In the shot above you can clearly see Wimbley has beaten the left tackle with an outside speed rush, or what I like to call a dip move.
At this point Ryan Fitzpatrick has no idea Wimbley is about to blow him up. It only took 2.5 seconds for Kamerion Wimbley to reach Fitzpatrick from the snap of the ball. That is incredible. Plays like this have been missing from the Titans d-line since Kearse. As Fitzpatrick begins to unload on what looks to be an easy first down, he gets mauled by 95.
Sack and fumble, recovered by Derrick Morgan. This goes to show you pressure from a good defensive line can make up for a lot of mistakes in the secondary. Their were at least two open receivers just before Fitz was hit.
The Titans are lined up in nickel with Ayers and Shaw at linebacker. I believe the play call is a cover-2 sink with the safeties as the only deep protection. J-Mac is responsible for the outside receiver, but once he goes in motion the Titans defense becomes a little confused.
Ayers and J-Mac both jump on the underneath receiver leaving Michael Griffin one on one with Donald Jones. Jones is certainly nothing special, but he catches Griffin flowing outside and flat footed on a post pattern, easy touchdown.
If the call was in fact a Cover-2 sink, Ayers and J-mac did not need to simultaneously jump the underneath route, at least one of them should have sunk more to tighten the throwing window and not put so much pressure on Griffin. Nonetheless, Griffin misses again for a touchdown.
It was nice to see the Titans come away with another win and they are certainly still in the hunt in the AFC, but there will come a time when this secondary needs to hold its ground and stop someone.
My grade: C
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