Breaking down the Tennessee Titans problems on offense

Malik Willis Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean)
Malik Willis Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean) /

The Tennessee Titans are playing winning football and that has been the continued standard through the Jon Robinson-Mike Vrabel era.

At the same time, the Titans’ offense has been less than stellar and seems to be the only thing standing between the team and its yearly Super Bowl aspirations.

Everything that is, is a combination of things and the Titans’ offensive woes are no exception. If it were as simple as firing Todd Downing, the Titans probably would let someone else like Tim Kelly call the plays and keep the proceedings internal, (if they aren’t doing something like that already).

Let us take a look at why the team hasn’t been explosive and what can be done to open up the Titans’ offense.

Why the Tennessee Titans offense is struggling

Team Identity

As a run-first, (and second) offense, the Tennessee Titans are committed to Derrick Henry, and rightfully so.

The problem here is that it’s no secret to opposing defenses and not everyone fears King Henry.

Translation: bully-ball has been a winning formula for the team but the formula loses most of its juice against teams that can plug the gaps with size and speed, teams that are generally fearless like the ones you see advancing through the postseason. A slight shift to a more balanced attack from a philosophical standpoint would help the team in many ways even if it doesn’t sound as tough as smash-mouth football.

Play Calling 

Offensively, the play script for a game is designed to fit the wishes of the front office as it relates to team identity and personnel. This is not just a Todd Downing thing though he has admitted to not being good enough at times this year.

According to, the Titans are 28th in pass play frequency sitting at 48%. For reference, last year’s final four are all above 55% right now and three of them rank in the top ten.

Perhaps the solution lies in drawing up more dynamic route combinations so that receivers get more open more often. If more drives are sustained maybe more passes can be called. As Mike Mularkey would say; we need some EXOTIC to go with the smash-mouth culture here.

Pass Catchers

The aforementioned identity shift would be an instant boost to the morale of the WR/TE rooms.

It’s easy to imagine the production increasing here as the incentive does. As a former WR in high school and college, I’ll say that routes are run with more effort, precision, and focus when there’s an actual chance the ball might be coming your way.

Injuries have ravaged this group for the Tennessee Titans but a more concerted effort to get the pass catchers touches would help in a few ways. Run-blocking energy and morale would increase, life becomes easier for #22 while keeping defenses honest with spacing and spontaneity, and the improved Titans’ Offense would be a marvel for the 12th man!