Adam Humphries won’t convince the Tennessee Titans to pass more, they will just be more effective.
Adam Humphries has returned to practice for the first time in months, but if he plays what will that change in the Tennessee Titans offense?
I wrote extensively about this last week when the world seemingly forgot the Tennessee Titans had an offense, but the fact that the Tennessee Titans have run the ball so much isn’t because that is all they can do. They have run the ball so much because that is all it has taken to win so far.
If you haven’t spent much time watching the Titans this year or if you have to explain this to someone just now paying attention to the Titans, I come back to a few examples.
My favorite is to imagine a UFC fighter who is an unbelievable submissions expert. Sure, you can evade those submissions for a while, but if you slip up one time then the next thing you know the ref is going to be standing over you waking you up.
If Henry is a sleeper hold on the other team’s defense, then Corey Davis and Tajae Sharpe are jabs, A.J. Brown is a dangerous hook and Khalif Raymond is the Superman punch that you don’t see every fight but if it connects you are in big trouble.
Humphries is really none of these things. If I had to pick anything, I would say that Humphries is that hard leg kick that is really annoying and takes away some of your ability to dictate the pace.
When Humphries is targeted, you can assure yourself of two things on most plays.
First, he is going to give you the best odds to catch the balls of any receiver on the team. For as explosive as Brown is with the ball in his hands, it is Humphries that leads all Titans receivers in catch rate with a whopping 78.7%.
To put that into context, among receivers with 45 or more targets, he is 2nd out of 90 qualified receivers in catch percentage, only behind the New Orleans Saints, Michael Thomas.
Secondly, someone is going to have a great matchup or things will be wide open for Derrick Henry.
If the Titans roll three receivers on the field, that likely means that the defense will go to nickel which is rare to see vs this offense. If not, then that means that they are going to have to cover either A.J. Brown, Corey Davis or Adam Humphries with a linebacker or safety.
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For example, I think the solution the Kansas City Chiefs would try to do is bring in another DB and move Tyrann Mathieu up in the box to cover whoever is lined up in the slot. If it is a run, he would blitz and if it is man coverage then he would just read the receiver.
That is a really solid plan…on paper. In reality, that would mean that if you run Humphries in a route you can take away one of the most dynamic defenders that the Chiefs have and you are going to trust a backup safety (Juan Thornhill is on I.R.) to either fill against Henry in the run or to hold up in coverage against the Titans offense.
What is most intriguing about all of this is that in a game where teams on both sides are beaten up and fatigued, Adam Humphries is pretty well rested and hasn’t played since the Indianapolis Colts game.
Even if his ankle is sore, you get a guy who is generally pretty fresh and you aren’t going to ask him to be on the field for 40+ snaps. Instead, he will have a very refined role in this offense and he will give the Titans a little bit more juice.
Is he a game breaker? No, probably not but it never hurts to have more weapons on either side of the ball and having that sure-handed slot receiver that the Titans valued so much in free agency back on the field will be important.