Three Takeaways From Week 5
Coming off a 30-17 win over the Miami Dolphins, the Tennessee Titans will look to keep their winning ways going against the Cleveland Browns next week. But for just one more day, let’s focus on what went right during Sunday’s win.
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Terry Robiskie called a great game
Trust me, I’m just as shocked as you are to see me writing those words. But it’s true. Robiskie had been struggling mightily as a playcaller, using complex offensive ideas that seemed to only confuse our own offense. He wasn’t scheming players open either. That all changed Sunday, though. He wisely used Marcus Mariota’s legs to gash the defense, even calling for a designed quarterback bootleg run from the five yard line that allowed Marcus to score untouched. He got the ball to Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews, and they both repaid him with touchdowns each. And on one specific touchdown drive, he ran the ball down the Dolphins throat on 10 of 12 plays because they couldn’t stop it.
There were still sprinkles of “exotic” and he continues to call shovel passes in the red zone, but this was a step in the right direction for Robiskie and the offense. Granted, we can’t play the Dolphins every week. But with the Browns coming to town this week, the offense should be in line to keep the rhythm and momentum going.
Dick LeBeau keeps calling great games
The Titans defense is a top 10 unit right now, and that’s not just biased opinion. It’s backed up by the statistics. They’ve given up the 10th-fewest points per game and the 10th-fewest yards per game. They’re tied for ninth in interceptions and tied for 10th in forced fumbles. This is a legitimately good defense and Dick LeBeau deserves a lot of credit for it. He’s making the most of the talent he is being given.
Before the season began, many believed (myself included) that the Titans pass defense was going to be historically bad. Considering their performance last year and in this year’s preseason, it seemed likely. But they have completely turned it around. LeBeau has been dialing up plenty of blitzes and his pass rush is getting there either with four or more rushers. That pass rush has alleviated concerns about the secondary because it shortens the time that they have to cover receivers. All in all, LeBeau is maximizing this defense’s talent and we’re seeing the positive results.
Derrick Henry should start getting more touches
DeMarco Murray has been nothing short of outstanding, so this is not an indictment on him by any means. Henry has also looked great, but he is only averaging 7.4 touches through five games. We didn’t draft a running back in the second round for that kind of usage, especially considering Henry is averaging 5.43 yards per touch.
Murray looks rejuvenated and should continue to get the ball often, but we shouldn’t overuse him. We need him for the long haul with the division race looking as open as ever. I don’t want to see him slow down considerably towards the end of November and into December because he was being given unnecessary touches in October. Henry could have done the heavy lifting towards the end of the game against the Dolphins and saved Murray from three or four more hits. It might not matter, but I think it would be wise to get Henry more involved. Both for this season and for the future.