The Tennessee Titans’ offense had plenty of positives, but their conservative mind set and their inability to do the little things right crippled them in the end.
Todd Downing is being raked over the coals, which is exactly what everyone should be doing after his poor job as OC was excused away due to injuries across the board last season. However, there is another name that deserves praise.
You probably know that Tim Kelly was hired on to help with the offense this year, but you might have forgotten that his role is Tennessee Titans Passing Game Coordinator.
While Downing is still the OC, that would suggest that Downing is free to do what he wants when he calls running plays, but the passing plays are designed by Tim Kelly. I also think it is fair to say that the overall passing methodology should be credited to Kelly too.
When you look at the Tennessee Titans’ passing game yesterday, it was far and away the best part of the offense.
Tim Kelly’s biggest change for the Tennessee Titans
In 2020, the Tennessee Titans had an offense that was putting up 30 points per game and they did that with Corey Davis as their leading receiver until the second half of the final game of the season when A.J. Brown passed him.
The reason why that offense worked so well is that it relied on four things:
1. A running back that was dangerous every time he touched the ball.
2. A passing game without a disproportionate number of targets to one receiver.
3. Reliable and effective players at every skill position.
4. A heavy dose of play action passing.
In Week 1, the only thing that the Titans were missing was a running game that threatened defenses on every carry.
After Jon Robinson built this roster so that there would be talent across the board, Tim Kelly made sure that the passing game was filled with play action passes. As you can see above, there were more play action passes in that game than there were in 90% of Tennessee Titans games last year.
That resulted in a crisp day from the passing game, and if Mike Vrabel and the staff decided to go for another play instead of kneeling the ball and losing two years to end the game, then we could be talking about how the play action passing game was back in Tennessee.
We will hold off the celebration until the team wins a game, but for now, it is a positive sign that the play action was used and that the play action was working. I think every Titans fan out there is fine assuming that Derrick Henry will get better as the season goes on since that is what he has always done.