Welcome to Negative Rushing Plays: Titans vs. Texans (Week 2) article, as we break down film to see the negative rushing plays for the Titans, in their victory against the Texans.
Negative Rushing Plays:
Kevin Pamphile did an admirable job filling in for Taylor Lewan, but this play shows why blocking assignments may have to be adjusted. On this play, Pamphile has a chip block on the initial defender, who is then handed off to Jonnu Smith. However, Smith can’t handle the defender on his own, which isn’t surprising because it is JJ Watt. Josh Kline slides over to provide extra protection, so technically the offensive line dedicated three blocks to JJ Watt alone. Pamphile moves onto the second tier, but decides to leave a linebacker with a direct line towards the cut back lane unblocked, rather sealing off a defender to the side. In this case, Pamphile has to block the middle linebacker, and at least allow Henry a chance. Unfortunately, the middle linebacker is sitting square in the cut back lane and there is minimal gain on this play.
It’s probably not a good idea to isolate Jonnu Smith with the sole responsibility of blocking JJ Watt on any play. The play is blown up because Watt breaks into the backfield and tackles Dion Lewis.
JJ Watt vs. Tyler Marz is another match up that isn’t going to work out too often. In this case, you can see what the Titans are hoping to accomplish. They are running a zone blocking scheme in which the blockers slant the defenders to the left side of the formation, allowing the running back to then cut back to the outside on the right. Marz has the task of letting Watt attack the B gap, and then push him far enough for Henry to cut back. Unfortunately, Watt thwarts the plan by fighting back against Marz, which prevents the young tackle from clearing Watt out of the way. Once Watt hasn’t cleared the cutback lane, this play is dead, and Henry is tackled for a loss.
I know I sound like I’m hyping JJ Watt here, but he wrecks another play. In this instance, Josh Kline is the victim as he throws him to the side and blows up this play for a loss as well.
The Titans won this game, and there weren’t any spectacular mistakes on their part. JJ Watt is one of the best players in the league, so it’s natural for him to figure prominently in the plays that were negative for the Titans. However, the team did limit their mistakes (as you can see with this short article) and came away with a victory.
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