Fixing The Issues
The Tennessee Titans held the Chicago Bears to 2/15 on third down.
Maybe that didn’t sink in.
The Tennessee Titans, the team that had previously been allowing teams to convert on 62% of their third-down conversions, a team that was on pace for the worst third-down defense in the HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE, held a team to just two successful third-down conversions on 15 attempts.
The Titans were so bad on third down defense that even after their stellar performance on Sunday, their success rate went down by 7% and they’re still the league’s worst third-down defense. But, it’s a step in the right direction. A step in the right direction in what is far and away the biggest problem area on the Titans defense.
Tennessee, perhaps surprisingly, is pretty good on defense on first and second down. They’re forcing the seventh most third-down attempts in the league, which shows that teams aren’t converting against them on early downs. If the Titans can hold firm on third-down from now on, they’ll be in good shape.
But if they can rush the quarterback like they did against the Bears, they’ll be in great shape. After not recording a game with over two sacks all season, and after not recording a single sack since Week 6 against the Houston Texans– the Titans finally broke out and got into the backfield, bringing down Nike Foles three times, and pressuring him a lot more.
It was a breath of fresh air for a Titans defense that had been struggling in those two categories, and when working in tandem with the league’s best run stopper in Jeffery Simmons and a revamped secondary with the addition of Desmond King covering the slot, the Tennessee Titans defense suddenly looked solid. And just in time, too.