One small improvement for the Titans offense.
The Tennessee Titans have a top-5 offense in the NFL, and they are racing towards their best offensive season since the NFL-AFL merger in 1966.
So why fix something that isn’t broken? Why am I talking about something that the Titans should change in Week 13?
For as dominant as this Titans offense has been this entire season, there is something that has been driving me crazy. Whether they are running screens, lining up Derrick Henry at wide receiver, or just trying to get an easy dump-off pass, it seems impossible for the Titans to get a running back to catch the ball and make a play in the passing game.
This isn’t just a case of selective memory either, I went and checked, and obviously, Derrick Henry is the Titans leading receiver at running back with 14 receptions for 93 yards. The only reason why that number even looks average is that one of those receptions went for 53-yards in the overtime game with the Houston Texans.
In the entire NFL, there are 51 running backs with 14 or more receptions. Here is where Henry stands among those:
-46th in receiving yards
-34th in yards per reception
-47th in yards per target
-50th in catch percentage
-47th in yards per game
Sure, Henry might pop one for a long gain 1 out of ever 15 receptions, but with an offense that has A.J. Brown, Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis, Derrick Henry (the runner), Adam Humphries, Anthony Firkser, and Ryan Tannehill, is that ever going to be the most optimal play?
Then again, throwing the ball effectively to the running back is one of the best ways to get easy yards and take advantage of the cushion that the DBs are giving your WRs.
How can the Titans take advantage of that?
The thing is, the Titans already have the perfect solution for this, they spent a 3rd round pick on him in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Darrynton Evans should finally be nearing his return, and that means that you should finally get a chance to add a running back with real speed out of the backfield and natural hands.
Even better, the Titans showed this past weekend that they have formations where two different players line up in the backfield next to Tannehill. Between that, and Darrynton Evans history of lining up at wide receiver, this is something the Titans should definitely take advantage of going forward.
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Arthur Smith is creative enough to find a way to get Darrynton Evans 15 or 20 receiving yards a game without getting out of their flow.
Through 11 games this season there have been 103 passes to running backs or runs by a running back not named Derrick Henry. If you take those nine plays per game and turn them into 6 runs and 3 targets for Darrnyton Evans, then that should be more than enough chances for him to make some plays in space.
This is something that nearly every team in the NFL is taking advantage of except for the Titans, but despite that, Tennessee is still a top-5 scoring offense. This is the one way to optimize this offense without losing their identity and it could be enough to make this the highest-scoring offense in the NFL.