This Is The Greatest Defense in NFL History
The Titans had by far, unequivocally, their best game of the season on defense. Not a high bar to clear, I know, but Tennesse played like a team on a mission in Week 9. A mission to actually be serviceable on defense.
Mission accomplished, and then some. The overall box score will look good in the Titans favor, but it won’t tell the full story of just how Chicago was clearly outmatched until an impressive showing in garbage time.
Up until the Titans took a 21-point lead early in the fourth quarter, and the gameplan became more conservative, the defense was controlling the game in ways they hadn’t done all season.
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One number to know: 0. That’s how many points Chicago had up until the fourth quarter. Until then, the Bears had six drives end in punts, three of which coming in the form of three-and-outs, one ending in a fumble, one ending with a turnover on downs, and one marking the end of the half.
All told, Chicago’s offense ended the first half with 90 net yards of offense, and just 157 before their first scoring drive began. So much of the Titans success throughout the game came, finally, in part due to some excellent coverage– taking away the deep ball and limiting explosive plays. Despite completing 18 of his 26 passes before their first scoring drive, which began late in the third quarter, Nick Foles managed only 167 yards through the air. And in the first half alone, Tennessee held the Bears quarterback to just 10/17 in the passing game.
The final game numbers will look a bit different. The Bears ended with over 125 yards more total offense than the Titans and twice as many first downs. But much of what Chicago managed to put together came at the end of the game, with a win essentially wrapped up for Tennessee. A defensive effort that strong had escaped the Titans until that Week 9 win, and it came in large part due to two areas the team has struggled in throughout the year– bringing the quarterback down and getting stops on third down.