It wasn’t supposed to be this way. After allowing Corey Davis to leave during the most recent offseason, the Tennessee Titans still should have been in decent shape offensively, especially since they were led by Ryan Tannehill, or at least, that’s what we thought.
The game’s best running back, Derrick Henry, was still here to join Tannehill in the background. As was one of the game’s best young wide receivers, A.J. Brown, and even though Tennessee also lost Jonnu Smith, the combination of Geoff Swaim and Anthony Firkser should have aided in a little ‘addition by subtraction’.
Then, the coup de grâce occurred for the other potential powerhouses in the AFC. The Titans’ addition of Julio Jones shifted the balance of power in Tennessee’s favor some, or at least that’s what we thought.
Fast forward, and A.J. Brown, after catching a touchdown pass in Week 1 has struggled with drops before eventually getting injured and sitting out the most recent game, an overtime loss to the New York Jets.
Ryan Tannehill may have the cure for the Titans’ offensive ills.
Emotions are high all over any circle in which Tennessee Titans football is the most popular topic of discussion, and as you might expect, offensive struggles are on all of our minds.
Ryan Tannehill has gotten beaten up because the team hasn’t been able to protect him with any consistency. As was the case last season, Darrynton Evans can’t get healthy. The Julio Jones addition hasn’t led to much, and that’s meant that, more often than not, Derrick Henry is Tennessee’s lone weapon on the offensive side of the ball.
On the Wednesday leading up to the Titans’ fifth game of the season, a road date versus the rival Jacksonville Jaguars, Ryan Tannehill spoke with the media. Here’s some of what he had to say. As you might expect, he put much of the responsibility on himself.
"The bunch sets can help us a little bit, but at the end of the day, we have to be able to go out and beat the man across from us. As a quarterback, it’s my job to find the good matchup and put it in a good location."
Sure, that’s what you like to see from a good leader, but is it as simple as that? If most of his day is spent staring up at the heavens or lying face down in the turf, what’s he supposed to do. Cross your fingers when thinking about the offensive line. If they can do their job, QB1 can execute game plans like the following.
"You want to get the ball out, but you have to be able to give your receivers something to help them get open… It’s a balance of trying to create rubs or bunch patterns or whatever the case may be to help them get open. But you can’t be in a bunch every single play. It’s a balance of that."
As mentioned, the Jags are next on the schedule. If anyone can help Tennessee get back on track, it’s those guys. Can Tennessee take advantage? Perhaps QB1 ties things together in the best way possible.
"Everyone has played a part (in this team’s struggles), and as a group, we just have to clean it up. We’ve had opportunities and we’re this far away for a lot of reasons on different plays. As a group, we just need to be able to execute once we get down there. We’re moving the ball well. We’re getting first downs. We’re sustaining drives, but we have to be able to score in the red zone."
Again, this is an awesome opportunity against an inferior football team. Then again, that’s what we said about Week 4’s game. Tennessee is in first place in the AFC South. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry are healthy. Let’s hope this is the bounceback game this team needs.