Three Takeaways From Week 12
Derrick Henry needs more carries
I’m pretty much beating a dead horse here, as I’ve been pining for more Henry carries for months. It was so apparent to everyone that DeMarco Murray couldn’t continue to shoulder the massive workload he’s been getting this season. He’s been far better than any of us expected, and is one of the main reasons that the Titans are 6-6. But the coaches need to realize that his touches need to be scaled back. He hasn’t been effective in a month, ever since the Jaguars game. Take out an untouched 75 yard run against the Packers, and Murray has averaged 3.12 yards per carry in the past month. It’s abundantly clear that either his toe injury is limiting his effectiveness or the sheer workload is sapping his efficiency.
Whatever the case, the Titans have lost a game and nearly lost another one because of their reliance on a slumping Murray. They leaned on him on a 4th and 1 against the Colts and he couldn’t get even one yard, putting the game out of reach for the Titans. Then on Sunday against the Bears, the coaches continued to feed Murray the ball as they tried to melt the clock but couldn’t sustain drives because he could do nothing on the ground. He gained just 43 rushing yards on 17 carries, while Henry racked up 60 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries. There’s a reason we drafted Henry in the second round, so use him, please!
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Man, this defense is bad
Matt Barkley just ripped the Titans defense apart for 316 yards and three touchdowns. That really should be all that I need to write for this paragraph, but let’s delve into some of the problems with the defense. 1. The players can’t cover anyone and 2. The coaches are not helping. Perrish Cox has been the worst cornerback in football, yet the coaching staff continued to trot him out there. He got beat twice on the final drive of the game, but the Bears dropped two touchdown passes and the Titans escaped with a win. Cox was released today, and probably should’ve been weeks ago.
Not only are the cornerbacks and linebackers struggling to cover opposing players, the pass rush is beginning to die out. The same thing happened last year. The Titans sacked Barkley ZERO times yesterday. And that’s against a Bears offensive line that was missing multiple starters. Dick LeBeau didn’t dial nearly as many pressures as he should’ve against an inexperienced, skittish quarterback. LeBeau has been bad this year, and I don’t understand why he continues to be defended when his track record in Tennessee hasn’t been good. This defense still can’t figure out how to cover tight ends or running backs, but now they can’t cover wide receivers and are starting to get no pressure on quarterbacks. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Man, Marcus Mariota is good
What more can we say about this guy? Yesterday, he became just the second quarterback in his first or second year to record a streak of eight or more games with two or more touchdown passes. The other being Hall of Famer Dan Marino. Mariota has limited his turnover problems, continues to shred defenses in the intermediate range of the field, and is now dropping dimes over the top of defenses deep down the field. This is one of the most exciting times that I can remember to be a Titans fan. The future is so bright with No. 8 at quarterback, and it will be for a very long time.