In this article, we examine the negative defensive plays from the Tennessee Titans in their match up against the Cincinnati Bengals for week 10 of the 2017 NFL season. While the team did pull out a victory, the defense did have it’s share of mishaps.
Tennessee Titans Film Review:
This pass falls for an incomplete pass, but it’s merely by luck because Andy Dalton makes a horrible throw. It’s a second and ten situation, and the defense is thoroughly defeated on this play. The first problem on defense is Adoree’ Jackson, and the bad coverage here. Jackson has inside help with a safety and a linebacker, thus indicating Jackson is in charge of protecting the outside. Notice how Jackson turns his hips to the inside, which tells you that he wants LaFell to move to the inside. However, LaFell runs directly at Jackson’s hip because the rookie gave away his intentions too early, without lining up outside of the receiver. Jackson needs to move to the outside faster, thus forcing LaFell to take a larger angle to attack his hip, and therefore throwing off the route. Once, LaFell attacks the hips of the rookie corner, Jackson is now in a weaker position because he’s susceptible to the outside move. Jackson does a good job of turning his hips to attack the outside route, but it makes him vulnerable to the comeback route. LaFell plays the rookie like a violin on this play, but Dalton makes a bad throw. The second aspect of the play is the tight end for the Bengals who runs down the field to be wide open behind the linebackers, but Dalton doesn’t even see this option. The defense is lucky to come away from this play without damage.
If you wonder why Le’Veon Bell is a great runner, here is an example of where Bell would thrive, but Joe Mixon caps the ceiling. The Bengals have the left tackle and guard pull block, and they have it set perfectly. However, Mixon doesn’t wait for his left tackle and goes ahead of him, and gets tackled. If Mixon had waited for a block from his tackle, it was set up to be a much larger gain. Bell is famous around the league for being patient behind his blockers, and taking advantage of such situations. It’s a bad play for the defense, but once again, it could have been worse.
The Titans get caught in a bad set up, where they get burned by the Bengals. The offense has two receivers in a stacked formation to the right side, but the Titans only have one defender in the area, and a safety well back of the line of scrimmage. The Bengals see this, and move Brandon LaFell a bit closer to the line of scrimmage, because the safety is going to get burned without help. Johnathan Cyprien doesn’t even pick up LaFell, instead staying back near the other receiver, giving LaFell free release. The Bengals receiver simply runs down the field and is wide open for the touchdown pass, and this time Dalton does not miss. This is just an atrocious play call from the defense because they do not adjust to the audible from the offense.
This is just a great set up by the Bengals, because it’s a read option call and it baits the defense. Dalton fakes a run play to the running back, who eventually becomes the blocker, and then a quick shovel pass to LaFell, who almost runs away for the TD. The offense has set up blocks to allow a running lane for the receiver, and it takes a last second tackle by Cyprien to save the touchdown. Watch Brice McCain on this play, because he’s initially lined up with LaFell on this play. He starts to move with LaFell when the play starts, but notice how he freezes when Dalton has the ball. Since it’s an option play, McCain has to at least consider the possibility of a pass towards his area, and that’s exactly what the Bengals are hoping for. The slight pause in his chase of LaFell means that he’s a step behind the receiver when he’s down the field, and no longer in position to make the tackle.
The Titans are caught guessing on this play, and it leads them to give up an easy pass. The defense is in zone coverage, but all three linebackers bite on the play action. Once Dalton decides to pass, all he has to do is read the slot defender. If the defender stays with LaFell, then AJ Green is going to be open for an easy pass behind him. If the slot defender stays back in zone coverage, then it’s an easy pass to LaFell. The defender stays in zone, and since the linebackers in the middle of the field had bit on the play action, it’s an easy pass to LaFell for nine yards.
If I criticized Mixon earlier in the article, he makes a great cut here to score the touchdown. Brian Orakpo blows up the play and is poised to tackle Mixon, but the young running back makes a great cut to the middle and finds a hole.
Once again, Andy Dalton misses a pass that could have easily been a touchdown. AJ Green absolutely schools Logan Ryan on this play with a double move and is easily by the defender. However, Dalton just doesn’t have the arm strength to make this deep throw, and the ball falls well short of the target. Green is forced to slow down and try to catch the ball in traffic. This play isn’t an indictment on Ryan as much as the respect that Green should garner because he’s a true No. 1 receiver. If Dalton has a better arm, this is a touchdown.
As weird as it may seem, I debated internally about putting this 70-yard touchdown play in the positive article. It’s a terrible touchdown to give up, especially since it squanders the lead. However, Logan Ryan did pretty much everything he could do on this play, it’s just a perfect pass and then run by AJ Green. The defense on the whole plays this pass great, as there aren’t any easy passing lanes at all. Dalton makes a throw just out of the reach for the diving Ryan, and then Green makes the safety miss for long touchdown. While the idea of Ryan diving for the ball, and thus giving up the chance to make the tackle after the catch, can be debated, you have to consider that he expects safety help in the middle. The cornerback expects the safety to help him tackle, therefore he goes for the pass break up. In the end, the play ends up in the negative plays article, but it stems more from a great play by the Bengals.
While the Tennessee Titans did pull out the victory, they certainly had their share of problems against the Bengals. They have weapons around the field, and it can be a tough match up for any team. Again, I will write longer and more thoughtful conclusions in the future, but since these are months over-due, I’ll keep it short. As usual, please like, share, and subscribe!
Links to Week 10 Articles:
Primarily, I work as a real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty in Franklin, Tennessee. I’ve lived in Nashville for almost a decade now, and my love for the city only grows deeper, like a 440 pothole. I follow the Titans closely, so I enjoy writing about the team and breaking down film. However, my main job consists of being a real estate agent, therefore if you need any kind of help with the sale/purchase of a home, I’d be happy to help you through the process. If you just want to talk about real estate, feel free to email me as well. I write a real estate blog as well, which I’ll leave a link to at the bottom of this section (as well as a few other places on the website) so please check it out.
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