In this article, we look at the negative rushing plays: Titans vs. Dolphins (Week 1) and see how Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry disappointed the offense. Although to be fair, it was more run blocking issues than any particular problems with the running backs themselves. For the positive rushing plays, please click here
Negative Rushing Plays:
The culprit on this play is Luke Stocker, who did not have a good day blocking in this game. On this play, he is assigned to block a defender, and has help from Jonnu Smith momentarily. However, Stocker blows the block, allows the defender to go up the field, which causes Henry to cut back too early and right into the teeth of the defense. Jonnu Smith doesn’t do a great job at blocking either, but it’s Stocker’s miss that kills any realistic chance of positive yards.
I shall call this play the DeMarco Murray special, because far too many times I saw him run into his own player last year. On this play, Henry shows good vision to go towards the outside, as you can see the linebacker coming up to plug the hole up the middle. Unfortunately, he gets too close to Corey Davis, which causes a collision and his momentum is stopped as Davis falls to the ground.
On this play, we have Jonnu Smith as the biggest reason for the negative yards because he lets the defender get up the field too early, which causes Lewis to go down quickly for a loss of 5 yards. If Smith blocks the defender, the Titans are well set up to turn this play into some major yards, as they have blockers running down the field.
The Dolphins play some mind games with the Titans, and Blaine Gabbert falls right into it. On this play, Reshad Jones comes up to the line at the start of the play, but decides to back away as Gabbert calls the audible. Unfortunately, Gabbert is reading Jones to be playing back, so he calls a play to go towards the hole that the safety is vacating. However, Jones was bluffing, and comes running down to the line of scrimmage as the play is about to start, which causes him to be completely unblocked and have a direct shot at Dion Lewis. The running back doesn’t have a shot on the play because Jones is in the backfield before Lewis can even attempt to make a move.
The running game definitely didn’t get going early, and there were some blocking issues as well. However, as you see in the positive rushing game article, they did have their moments.
Thank you for reading the negative rushing film breakdown: Titans vs. Dolphins (Week 1) article, and please follow us on Twitter.
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