Tennessee Titans: 3 Things that went wrong, why they won’t reoccur

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Todd Downing needs to pass the sticks to the Tennessee Titans QB.

Tennessee’s offensive coordinator Todd Downing isn’t the NFL’s worst, but he could have fooled most people on Sunday with the complete lack of understanding he showed.

If you have seen the Tennessee Titans’ offense over the course of the past two seasons, you’d know that they thrive on play-action passing as The Football Outsiders detail so brilliantly here. The offense hinges on linebackers being forced to decide whether they are going to commit to stopping Derrick Henry or if they are going to trust their defensive linemen to win up front.

Instead, Downing decided that he didn’t need play-action passes, and surprise, surprise the Titans scored 13 points.

Calling the wrong play is unfortunate, but it happens. Changing an offense that scored 30 points per game last year to fit your ‘system’ which has never worked, is a fireable offense even in Week 1.

Unfortunately, you can’t fire an OC and just implement a new offense in the middle of the year. That is the only reason why Todd Downing should have a title today.

While he keeps the title, control of the offense should shift to Ryan Tannehill who helped Arthur Smith build the offense over the last two years. As soon as that game was over Mike Vrabel should have pulled Tannehill into an office and shut the door behind them with a ‘no Downing’s allowed’ sign taped to the handle.

Like in 2019, Tannehill should control every part of the hurry-up offense and more overall responsibility on him means that the Titans can get to the line of scrimmage with more than 10 seconds left on the play clock.

History has shown that Downing is going to fail to adapt, so Vrabel should take the choice away from him now.