In my last article on the Tennessee Titans offense, I called for more balance, more deviation in the attack, and more creativity from Todd Downing.
The main motivation to write this article is that I wanted to show gratitude because my call was answered!
It is only one game, but any change for the positive is a good sign. Now, the elephant in the room here is that the “mastermind” behind the groundbreaking performance decided to follow up his best performance by making one of the worst decisions imaginable.
While Todd Downing will still be the Tennessee Titans OC, no one is excited to answer a question about him this week.
Looking at the Xs and Os, what changed and why was this offense so much better on Thursday?
What changed for the Tennessee Titans?
Ryan Tannehill looked confident, chipper, and crisp as he seemed to have put the ankle injury behind him for the most part. In the snow at Lambeau in his second game back, Air Hill posted a line of 22-27, 333 yds, 81.5% with a 127.3 QBR. The ground-n-pound Titans don’t lose when its QB plays like this.
Another player who looks back to full health is Treylon Burks.
His impact showed immediately on the first drive against the Green Bay Packers as he ran under a bomb from Tannehill on 3rd and 7 for a 44-yard reception.
Burks finished the day with 7 receptions for 111 yards and he looked every bit as explosive as his statline suggests. He possesses a combination of size, strength, speed, and skill that will open things up for everyone on offense if he can stay healthy and improve.
The 2nd year left tackle-turned-utility lineman looked like a real baller under the primetime lights at Lambeau. He played left guard and at 6’6, 300+ he seems to be a better fit at the position than Aaron Brewer who looked much better at the center position. What happens when Ben Jones returns, who knows but the Titans need to keep Radunz in the lineup. He is definitely a top 5 offensive lineman on the team.
Okonkwo seems to get more snaps by the week even though his targets remain low. However, his presence as an explosive playmaker and Hooper’s recent string of contested circus catches give the Titans a top-notch tight end duo threat going into the second half of the season. Among many things, this makes life easier for possession receivers like Woods and NWI as they will see more single coverage with more room to work the intermediate routes and keep the chains moving.
In Tuesday’s presser, Vrabel addressed the state of the offense as it relates to Todd Downing’s status. “We’ll continue forward with how things work with Todd as our offensive coordinator, but those things can change” Vrabel said.
While he did not reveal who will call plays if Downing is out, Vrabel’s verbiage throughout the presser indicates that the offense will attempt to mirror and build on Thursday night’s showing regardless of who’s in that position. The good news is that the players and the rest of the coaching staff also know the offense which means the play script and the practice week installations should be similar.
With or without Downing, the offense will look to build on its recent success and should be able to do so all things considered. Titans supporters everywhere have a reason for optimism because things are “looking up” for the offense and the team despite the non-relenting waves of adversity.