Last week the Tennessee Titans offense was healthier than it has been in months and that was clear for most of the game.
Despite the score, the Titans drove the ball down the field well and settled for field goal attempts in situations where a slightly healthier football team would have converted and scored.
Still, it isn’t too much to ask for the players that aren’t on the field to do just a little bit more.
Ryan Tannehill got a lot of flak over the last month, but he wasn’t getting help from anyone else on the offense. The offensive line, the wide receivers, and the tight ends all left a lot to be desired at different points.
What makes it worse is that every sign of improvement was followed by an inconsistent encore. Look at how the Titans’ offensive line performed with an extra week of rest after a game where they handled the New England Patriots defensive front for most of the game.
The good news is that the players the Titans have on the field are capable of being better. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, there were several plays where someone turned the wrong way or where someone didn’t quite get enough of a block to give Tannehill long enough to hit an explosive pass.
As hard as it is to preach patience in Week 15, Tennessee Titans fans are going to have to be patient a little longer.
It seems like the defense is willing and able to be the identity of the Tennessee Titans for a while, and during that time the offense is going to need to get a little bit more out of the players they have now.
“Exhibit A” of that is Julio Jones who played less than half of the snaps on Sunday. The Tennessee Titans coaches made that decision to ease him back into games and manage his workload, and they may try to do that with A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry as well.
Even when those two come back, players like Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Racey McMath, D’onta Foreman, Dontrell Hilliard, and Jeremy McNichols might be asked to make a play while their counterpart is getting rest on the sideline.
Right now the most important thing is making sure that everyone on the field is comfortable when their number is called and then the Titans can try to create explosive plays.
In the meantime, the backups that are being forced to start are going to have to nail the fundamentals and try to continue to build on a solid but unspectacular performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars.