The Tennessee Titans kicked off the pre-season by teeing off against the Green Bay Packers, albeit it ended up in a loss. This is an exciting season for the Titans, as they look to build up on their playoff run from last year. Let’s break down the film:
This is the highlight throw from Mariota in this game, and it’s a good recognition play from the quarterback. First of all, I have no idea what defense the Packers are playing here on 3rd and 7. Is this a 3 safety look? Once receiver Nick Williams catches the ball, there are three different players down the field from the Packers that seem to be acting as safties. Anyway, what’s impressive here is the throw from Mariota, because I want you to notice the timing. The route is set up to work against both defenders near the receiver. In the game, the slot defender slides over to cover Williams, but the slide causes his hips to be facing the wrong way, thus making him susceptible to the inside move. If the slot defender had stayed on Taywan Taylor, then the route is designed to be a quick hitter, thus allowing Williams enough space to reach the first down marker, as you can see the distance at which the receiver breaks inside. This is very good ball placement by Mariota, although it can be argued the easier read was Taywan Taylor. However, the pre-snap read could have read zone to the right and Mariota wanted to avoid that problem.
This is actually a bad throw from Mariota, but good set up by the offense, because it’s extremely hard to defend. The key to this play is Nick Williams, because he’s setting the “pick” on this play, as his only job is to hinder the path of the defender on Darius Jennings, without getting a penalty. Once Williams accomplishes his task, this is an easy throw for Mariota, but he places it behind the receiver. Jennings does a good job of slowing down, catching the ball, and then finding his way to the endzone. On the first play, Mariota places the ball perfectly, but this is off the mark. However, the star of this play is the play-calling and it ends up in a touchdown.
This is a good run, as Henry cuts it outside. There isn’t much for me to write here, but just wanted to point out the defender. The defender makes contact with Henry at the 27-yard line, and then gets dragged to the 23-yard line before another defender finally tackles Henry. That’s impressive.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Luke Falk in the draft (I would have picked someone else in this game: Equanimeous St. Brown) so I was interested to see how he would perform in this game. I have to say, not a very good throw on this one. His arm strength was questioned during the draft process, and now you can see why. This is just a terrible throw.
On this play, Falk does a good job of staying focused down the field, and allowing the play to develop. As you can see, the Packers’ defenders get confused and double cover the running back out of the backfield, leaving Tim Semisch wide open for the touchdown. As much as I think the lack of arm strength will hinder Falk, he is fairly accurate and stays in the pocket well.
One receiver I did have interest in following for this game was Deontay Burnett, and he makes a nice catch here. It’s hard to show without the coach’s film, but the outside route is supposed to “pick” or impede the slot defender on Burnett. Without the other angle, I can’t tell if it’s successful or not. Nonetheless, Burnett does a good job of gaining separation, and then making the catch along the sideline. Luke Falk, hurt from my comments about his lack of arm strength in the previous example, shows very good ball placement here.
Conclusions and Takeaways on Offense:
- The Titans need Corey Davis to be healthy, because this offense needs a playmaker on the outside. The receiving depth is not great, unless Burnett keeps improving, or there is a surprise pick up.
- Derrick Henry is a monster, and you will notice that he runs better to the outside. Dion Lewis on the other hand runs better on the inside. Their strengths are opposite to their size, but it will help open up the offense.
- Marcus Mariota looked comfortable at the helm, and seemed more inclined to run, which is a great wrinkle to any offense.
- There were no major injuries as far as I’ve heard, so that’s always welcome.
Thanks for reading, and please check out the defensive film breakdown as well. These aren’t as extensive as the in-season ones because they are pre-season games, and because the coach’s tape isn’t available. Please make sure to like and follow on Twitter.
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