Be Smart In The Passing Game
The Chicago Bears have one of the strongest defenses in the NFL, and the crowning jewel of that group (with the exception of Khalil Mack, of course) is the cornerback group– led by Kyle Fuller and the surprisingly exceptional rookie Jaylon Johnson. It would be wise not to test them.
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Not that the Titans should be playing scared of Fuller and Johnson, Tennessee has the personnel of their own in AJ Brown and the emerging Corey Davis to compete with great cornerbacks like the Bears have. Rather, the Titans have to be smart with how they choose to go after the duo.
The first step should be keeping passing to a minimum, if at all possible. The strengths of the Titans as a team comes in their ability to use the run to set up the pass, not the other way around. Leaning on Derrick Henry early and picking battles through the air will help keep Fuller and Johnson from taking over the game.
But when Tennessee does decide to attack, their primary tactic should be to look for shots across and over the middle. The Bears rely heavily on man coverage in their defense, leaving their inside linebacker Danny Trevathan in a position outside his strong suit. Chicago has given up the sixth-most receptions to tight ends through 2020, and the ninth-most yards, leaving an explosive playmaker like Jonnu Smith the chance to have a bounceback game against an older veteran like Trevathan who struggles to contain pass-catchers to begin with.
Getting Smith running routes early and often across the middle of the field could make him an x-factor in the Tennessee offense once again. But the Titans will need more than just Jonnu to overcome a defensive test like Chicago. Both AJ Brown and Corey Davis will need to find ways to contribute.
They might find their chance deep down the field in attacking the Bears’ safety group, where both of their starters were limited participants in practice throughout the week due to injury. Forcing Brown and Davis to the middle of the field where the safeties would typically need to contribute could be a way to both minimize the impact of Fuller and Johnson while exploiting a mismatch and getting the receiver group going.