Tennessee Titans deepest position is…defensive back?
By Will Lomas
Titans scheme is hurting them
An example of the Titans defensive play-calling actively hurting the team comes from the big change they made nearly a month ago.
Tennessee seemingly figured out a way to slow down opposing offenses by allowing Malcolm Butler, Desmond King, and Breon Borders to match up with opposing receivers. The change here was that instead of each corner playing one side of the field, Tennessee tried to make receivers deal with cornerbacks that they would struggle with stylistically.
The results from this defense speak for themselves, just look at the receivers that Malcolm Butler was covering in these games:
-Chase Claypool vs Butler: 1 reception, -2 yards
(Claypool’s average vs every other defense this season): 4 receptions, 62 yards)
-A.J. Green: 2 receptions, 19 yards
(Green’s average vs every other defense this season): 4 receptions, 38 yards
-Allen Robinson: 4 receptions, 48 yards (through 3 quarters until the Titans went conservative in a blowout)
(Robinson’s average vs every other defense this season): 7 receptions, 75 yards
Instead of sticking with that defense, Mike Vrabel and Shane Bowen decided to abandon that in one of the most important games all season, and they did it on a short week no less.
This resulted in an embarrassing defensive performance which saw the Indianapolis Colts punt exactly one time all game and that was in the 4th quarter when the game had already been decided.
That wasn’t an issue with the players not being good enough, it was an issue with the coaching staff not understanding what is working and failing to adjust to a team absolutely abusing them. That is enough for me to feel confident saying that the defensive back talent on this Titans team ranges somewhere between “better than they get credit for” and “criminally misused”.
Now that we have that figured out, just how deep are the Titans?