The Good: Blocked Kicks
While punts don’t always make for the best highlights, blocked kicks usually do, yet another area of special teams where the Titans thrived in 2019. Not only that, but the Titans might have actually won two games last year directly because of their ability to block field goals.
Not that Tennessee was blocking kicks on a weekly basis, of course, but out of the 18 total blocked field goals from all of 2019, three of them were recorded by the Titans. A lot of this can be written off as luck, sure, but Tennessee’s special teams skill shined through for a lot of these blocks.
The ability to time the snap to perfection and sprint towards the kicker at just the right time, the ability to track the ball in the air after it’s left the kickers foot, and the ability to get your hands in just the right place to deflect it away? All of these are learned skills that have as much to do with practice and talent as they do with luck.
In BIG part because of that practice, the Titans gained the advantage in two major wins last season. A last-second field goal block gave Tennessee a three-point win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10, while two blocked field goals in Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts helped cause a 13-point swing, taking six points off the board for the Colts and adding seven for Tennessee, who returned one of those blocks for a touchdown.
Without those wins, it’s another lost season for the Titans, who wouldn’t have had a shot at the postseason with a 7-9 record. Blocked kicks aren’t nearly as repeatable as Brett Kern’s success, but they shouldn’t be completely disregarded either.