After two weeks the Tennessee Titans are 1-1 thanks, in part, to an overtime victory against the Seattle Seahawks. It was hard to see that there were positives in a Week 1 blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals, but let’s be honest. Victory Mondays are always a little easier on the fan base.
There are a lot of reasons why fans should be excited. For one, the Tennessee Titans avoided being one of the teams that starts 0-2 and has to deal with the baggage and commentary that goes with that record.
Another reason is that the Titans are the only AFC South team to win a game outside of the division, with the rest of the teams being a combined 0-4.
However, the most important reason why Tennessee Titans fans should be excited is that on Sunday the 2020 Tennessee Titans looked like an improved version of, well, the 2021 Tennessee Titans.
That is what the Tennessee Titans should look like right?
That was the plan all offseason, but the Titans looked so rusty during Week 1 that they didn’t even look like the same team. As a matter of fact, they were worse than rusty because rusty implies that they were close to doing something right, in reality, the best way to describe them is probably just to call them lost.
It is so strange that the Titans looked so out of place at home with a mostly healthy roster, but on in the most hostile stadium in the NFL, without their best linebacker, their left tackle, and their best slot receiver/pass-catching tight end, they looked comfortable.
Julio Jones was incredible and instead of fans trying to excuse his drops as him being covered, they get to praise him for making some tough catches.
The offensive line held up well for the most part even when they had to deal with their left tackle and left guard missing time.
Derrick Henry woke up two weeks early and exploded for a monster game with more than 200 yards from scrimmage.
The defense looked much more active and aside from some admittedly massive miscues on the back end, players like Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, Harold Landry, Bud Dupree, Kristian Fulton, Teair Tart, and Larrell Murchison all had very nice days.
Most importantly, Todd Downing had a good day. Not just from a results standpoint, but because he took the memo that the offense desperately needed more play action.
Against the Seattle Seahawks, Derrick Henry spent the first half clawing for positive yardage on the ground. However, the reason why the Titans could keep up with the Seahawks was that they were using play-action and the success of play-action doesn’t depend on how good or bad the actual run game is doing.
The Titans finished the first half settling for short field goals three times on drives that could have easily resulted in touchdowns.
Sticking to this script and not panicking and going to the pass-heavy offense from Week 1, kept the Titans in this game. When the 4th quarter came around the Titans scored 14 unanswered points and then hit a field goal in overtime to win.
Resiliency is important and it is going to be talked about a lot this week, but what matters more is knowing who you are.
The Tennessee Titans are a play-action team that thrives on forcing linebackers and defensive coordinators to fully commit to either stopping Derrick Henry or dropping into coverage. Knowing that made the difference in this game and it should give Tennessee Titans fans hope that the team they thought they were getting all offseason is actually there, they were just a week late.