Welcome to Positive Passing Plays: Titans vs. Eagles (Week 4) article, as we look at the positive plays from Titans victory. The coaching staff made some gutsy calls in this game, and pulled out a great victory against the defending champions.
This is just a great throw from Mariota, puts the money exactly where it needs to be, and gets a long completion. The only thing to notice on this play is Mariota staring down the safety to hold him in the middle to allow Davis space to get down the field. Watch the timing of this throw, because Mariota begins his throwing motion before Davis breaks down the field. That’s just great anticipation from the young QB. Another thing I want you to notice here is the other side of the field, because I wanted to compliment the coaching staff, and why it’s such an improvement from last year. The Titans have two receivers to the left side of the formation, and Dion Lewis coming out of the backfield. This is where talent plays a major part in success for certain plays. Tajae Sharpe runs a crossing route from the outside, Lewis runs out from the backfield, and Nick Williams runs a rub route and then runs up the field. However, notice the linebackers because they both run towards Lewis because he’s such a dangerous player in the open field. In this case, it doesn’t matter, but I just wanted to point out how talent forces mistakes.
A great throw from Mariota, shows very good anticipation on the throw to Corey Davis. I want you to notice Derrick Henry on this play as well, because he’s designed to keep the defender in the intermediate area instead of falling back towards Corey Davis. If the defender went back, then the pass to Henry is the option here. This is why you will hear a ton about 3 down backs in the draft because a pass catching back helps open up routes for receivers, even if they aren’t the primary options on a play.
This is actually a late throw by Mariota, but there are to great things to note on the play. Mariota makes a great move to avoid the rusher and free himself in the end zone. A lot of QBs tend to get nervous near their endzone, so it’s good to see Mariota being calm in the pocket here. The other thing is the route by Taywan Taylor because he pretty much runs a triple move route. He runs an out route, then a go route, to end in a comeback route. The timing is a bit off because Mariota doesn’t release the ball early on this play, until Taylor makes his comeback. Ideally, this throw gets there just a bit earlier, but Mariota hesitates just enough to delay it, but still completes the pass.
A great throw again by Mariota, as he hits Corey Davis in stride for a big gain. The set up on the play is great as well because they have a clear out route to also hold the safety. Nick Williams is running a rub route, where he pretends to be blocking for the run, then runs a crossing route, which would be wide open as well. However, this is just a perfect throw from Mariota. One other question, how is this not a late hit on the QB? Mariota gets hit when the ball is about 12 yards down the field.
This is a mediocre pass from Mariota because it’s a dangerous throw, but the result makes it to the positives article. The offense is running Corey Davis behind Jonnu Smith on crossing routes and both are wide open on this play. However, the defender on Smith is trailing so far back that he’s almost directly in line to the pass. The ball is caught by Davis, but this is a dangerous throw from Mariota when Smith is wide open for the easy pass.
There isn’t much to decipher here, I’m just putting it here because Dion Lewis breaking tackles in the open field is a thing to watch. Every week, he does this at least once and it’s just amazing to watch.
If you read the negatives article, there is a back shoulder pass to Taywan Taylor that falls incomplete, because the Eagles switched on a pick route. In this case, the defenders get confused on responsibilities, because two defenders chase the same receiver, which allows Tajae Sharpe to be wide open on the crossing route. On this play, Jonnu Smith and Sharpe are open because of the confusion. This is another instance where a Titans receiver, Smith, runs a chip block before moving into a route and ended up wide open. I’m wondering if this is going to be a staple for the offense moving forward.
I guarantee you, this is a field goal attempt last year. The team is down 7 in the 4th quarter, and in field goal range, which is an automatic FG attempt last year. The play is simple with a roll out from Mariota, with really only one option on the play. Mariota rolls out and once he gets past the initial defender, it’s just reading the cornerback on the play. If the cornerback stays back, then Mariota runs for the first down. If the defender comes up for Mariota, then toss the easy pass to Dion Lewis, which is what happens. I have to give props to the coaching staff here because the easy decision was to take the field goal attempt, but they stayed aggressive.
If you go to the negatives article, and watch the missed long pass to Taywan Taylor, this is an extremely similar play. The Titans run a play action pass post route deep down the field, and Corey Davis brings it down for a long conversion. Notice the route from Davis on this play, because he attacks the outside hip of the defender as he’s running down the field. He does this, so the defender stays towards the sideline, which helps create space for the receiver to work in the middle. This is a great throw from the Mariota, and a route combination which the coaches saw almost worked earlier in the game, and used it to their advantage.
Hip positioning is very important for a defender, and you can clearly see why on this play. The offense runs Sharpe to the outside from the slot, while Taylor cuts behind him to see if the Eagles are switching. The Eagles stay in man coverage here, but Sharpe recognizes the hip positioning of the defender is completely off here. He cuts back inside of the defender, which leaves him wide open for a pass and Mariota lays in a perfect throw for the touchdown. Why is it important? On this cut, Sharpe cuts 90 degrees to cut upfield and run free, while the defender has to make 180 degrees turn, which will take longer. The team expertly takes advantage of man coverage here, and a great route from Sharpe.
This is the much hyped no look pass from Mariota, although I’m not 100% convinced it’s a no look pass. Mariota is trying to hold the defender with his eyes on this play, and then makes a great throw to Taylor on the sideline. The defender gets caught looking into the backfield and loses the receiver. This is just terrible defense from the Eagles, but you have to give major props to Mariota for making this pass.
Dion Lewis everyone, the secret weapon for the Titans offense. First of all, absolutely amazing call by the coaching staff here to stay aggressive in overtime. The most important part of this play is Mariota holding the middle linebacker in the middle with his eyes. Watch as Mariota is looking towards the middle with two crossing routes converging there, which holds the middle linebacker until it’s too late. Mariota looks at Lewis at the last second, and throws a good pass to Lewis. The free agent running back does the rest with making people miss in the open field and absolutely energizing the team with this conversion. This is just an amazing call by the coaching staff, and good execution from the players.
The final touchdown of the game, which won the game for the Titans. Remember the touchdown to Sharpe earlier in the game and the importance of hip discipline? Well it shows up here as well, and the team takes advantage. Watch the defender here because he’s facing the wrong way with his hips, which puts him at a disadvantage when Davis turns inside. The young receiver breaks free and is wide open in the end zone. Mariota doesn’t make a great throw, rather throws the ball high so his receiver can make a play on the ball. Ideally, the throw would be when Davis breaks free, but they’ve miscommunicated a couple of times in this game, therefore it’s understandable to not overthrow your receiver. Corey Davis makes a great catch for this first touchdown of the regular season, in his career, and the crowd goes wild.
The Titans won an exciting game against the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles, with a great performance by the offense and defense. Marcus Mariota had a great game, after many doubted his availability due to his injuries. The offense looked great, having numerous receivers be open, and great throws from the QB.
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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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