Tennessee Titans: Reasons for optimism and concern vs. Buccaneers
Concern: Bucs’ run defense
As I’ve said time and time again this season, the Titans must do a better job at establishing the run early in games. It’s been all too common to see Derrick Henry get off to a slow start, which is a product of poor run blocking — and to a lesser extent, bad play calling by the offensive coordinator — by Tennessee’s offensive line.
Henry might have an even tougher time than usual this week, as the Bucs sport the No. 1 run defense in the league. Normally, you’d like to see the Titans establish the run first and then build off of that en route to success through the air, but Week 8 might see the Titans do the opposite based on this matchup.
Even if the Titans can throw the ball with success early, the Bucs can stop the run with their impressive defensive line alone, led by Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh. Both of those players can be a disruptive force upfront in their own right, which is a concern for a Titans offensive line that has been particularly bad on the interior.