The Tennessee Titans need to fundamentally shift their offensive identity
By Will Lomas
What specifically is Arthur Smith doing wrong?
Smith seems to think that the way the Titans offense should be run is by handing the ball off to the running back in condensed formations.
As far as I can tell using this data from Sharp Football Stats, only two teams in the NFL use 3+ WRs less frequently than the Tennessee Titans.
The San Francisco 49ers are one team that does this and they get away with it by having the most versatile tight end/fullback duo in the NFL in George Kittle and Kyle Juszcyzk.
Minnesota also uses 3+ WRs less than the Tennessee Titans and they sit at just 3-2 with a disgruntled group of offensive weapons.
When Smith puts these condensed formations out there, he is generally taking either Adam Humphries or A.J. Brown off the field, in favor of Jonnu Smith, MyCole Pruitt or Dion Lewis.
Jonnu Smith has been good, but outside of him there is no way that I can justify seeing Brown or Humphries come off the field for Pruitt or Lewis.
The simplest way I can put it is like this. Arthur Smith wants to run an old school offense that flows through the running back, but by not spreading out the field he is making it exponentially harder for Derrick Henry to succeed.
Not only that, but he doesn’t have the confidence in Henry to leave him on the field like a true RB1 and instead puts in Dion Lewis who has been killing offensive drives since Week 1.
The failure to recognize this trend and the negative impact that the personnel is having on what Smith wants to do, makes offensive success nearly impossible.