The anatomy of a great NFL team and where the Tennessee Titans stand

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 14: Jayon Brown #55 of the Tennessee Titans, Daren Bates #53, Logan Ryan #26 celebrate an interception by Kevin Byard #31 during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 14: Jayon Brown #55 of the Tennessee Titans, Daren Bates #53, Logan Ryan #26 celebrate an interception by Kevin Byard #31 during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

What are the Tennessee Titans missing?

I truly don’t know why the Tennessee Titans can’t be consistent.

Is it the first time head coach? Should we blame the first time play caller at OC? Is it the GM’s fault for not drafting better players? Do you fault the players for not playing up to their potential?

At this point in the season it is probably a little bit of everything. Understand, I don’t think that the Titans are a bad team. I think they are closer to a 11-5 team than they are to a 6-10 team.

Their highs are so high, but man their lows are just awful. They play like different teams from week to week and that inconsistency is maddening.

One problem right now is that I don’t think the Titans are good in the trenches and they lack difference makers on offense. Then I came across this tweet this morning:

That is an outstanding point. If you are building a team those are the guys that can really make a difference and make your team great. So what are the Titans missing? Let’s go through the list

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Needed: 1

Titans have: 1

I am not going to get into this again. The Titans have a quarterback that can win a lot of games even without a lot of talent around him. Over the last three seasons the Titans are 23-19 in the regular season and every year we see how awful this team would be if he wasn’t playing when he misses a game.

Pass rusher:

Needed: 2

Titans have: 0.5

I think Harold Landry will be a great player in the NFL. However, right now he is on pace for about 5 sacks as a rotational player (playing less than 50% of the snaps this season). Is he a great pass rusher? Not yet. Will he be? I believe so.

Outside of that Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan have had brutal contract years. While Kamalei Correa and Sharif Finch have been fine they don’t fit this bill.

Offensive playmaker:

Needed: 3

Titans have: 2**

I’m looking at the roster as a whole, not just who is playing. I believe that Corey Davis and Delanie Walker are both playmakers on offense and if Walker was healthy I believe this passing game would be significantly better.

As it is now, this teams is relying entirely too much on the likes of Darius Jennings, Cameron Batson, Derrick Henry, and Jonnu Smith.

This is a clear need this offseason, but with Walker coming back I think this team really only needs one great runner or a very good WR2 to make the offense pop.

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Defensive playmaker:

Needed: 3

Titans have: 2.5

Kevin Byard and Jayon Brown are the only players on the defense that I would classify as “playmakers”.

Adoree Jackson, Logan Ryan, Wesley Woodyard, Rashaan Evans, and Kenny Vaccaro are all very good players, but they don’t make as many big plays as you would like. Instead, they are players that really prevent things rather than creating, if that makes sense.

The half point is for Jurrell Casey. When he is playing well, he is definitely a playmaker. However, there are several games every year where I just don’t see him making plays.

Now I know, you are going to say, “But Will, he does things that force the OL to double team him or he makes running backs change their courses which sets up big plays for others.” Even if I concede that, I don’t necessarily define that as play making.

Right now Casey is tied for 15th in sacks by a defensive tackle. I know his game is more than that, but at a certain point a playmaker has to actually…well make big plays. He has it in his game, but right now it just isn’t happening often enough.

Quality OL:

Needed: 3

Titans have: 1.5

I really like Jack Conklin, but for whatever reason he is having some bad games this year. I think he is something like 6th in terms of grading on PFF at right tackle, but the problem is when he is bad he is really bad.

With that in mind, the only player getting the full point right here is Taylor Lewan. Everyone else struggles to be average.

Before you ask, no this doesn’t mean go out and draft a center or a guard in the first round. That is a proven mistake and even if you hit you aren’t going to make a great choice financially or based on the players you could have chosen.

Still, continuity is nice and all but you know what is better? Having offensive linemen who can win matchups consistently and don’t let their young franchise QB get hurt.

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Great teams have: 12/12

Tennessee Titans have: 7.5/12

That isn’t a great look for the Titans, but keep in mind a few years ago this team had nothing and was perpetually at the bottom of the NFL in talent. With money to spend and draft picks to use, I expect several of these holes patched up quickly.

The questions for the Titans now are:

-How far can you get with that talent?

-How many of those positions can you fill this offseason?

Only time will answer those questions, but right now this team just doesn’t have enough talent to work themselves out of a bad day of coaching.