Welcome to another film breakdown of the Tennessee Titans, as we look at the negative plays from the game against the Colts. The Titans did win the game, but it wasn’t without errors. Let’s examine these plays, and see what went wrong. I will be writing these articles for the Titans, so please like us on Facebook and Twitter.
This play is borderline negative, because the result is caused by a great move from the defender. Notice DaQuan Jones on this play, as he blows up the Colts’ plans. The Colts offensive lineman are trying to push Jones towards the center of the line, and therefore open a lane to the right side of the formation for running back Marlon Mack. The initial run seems to be going towards the right side of the formation, but Jones absolutely blows it up because he gets by the guard and stands exactly in the running path. However, Mack makes a nice cut to the left, which unfortunately draws the linebacker into the hole as well, opening a cutback lane for the running back. If Jones was merely blocked on this play, the linebacker would be running towards the hole unblocked and Mack wouldn’t make the initial cut, and therefore the play was probably destined to be a short gain. The only other aspect of note is the tackle by Adoree’ Jackson on the tail end of the play, as he fights through a block to make the play. Mack seems set up to run right by him, but Jackson makes a great tackle while shedding the block and saving a touchdown. Again, this play is only negative because Mack makes a great cut at the line and runs for 22 yards.
This is a simple play and not a drastically terrible play. However, the rawness of Jackson needs to be pointed out because he’s giving away a free first down on this play. Notice the outside receivers on both sides of this formation, because they make their moves around the same time. Jackson opens up his hips far too early on this play, trying to get outside leverage, allowing for a free release to the inside for the Colts’ receiver. Jackson not only opens up with his hips, he’s drifting towards the sidelines which causes a greater gap between him and the receiver running inside. On the other side of the formation, the cornerback stays in a backpedal, allowing him to change directions faster, and would have been in a better position for an inside slant route. His receiver is open as well, but it’s more fundamentally correct. Furthermore, notice the safety on the side of Jackson, as he’s providing help over the top, which should have allowed for Jackson to be more aggressive.
The end result of this play is a drop by the Colts’ receiver, but highlights a spacing issue by the Titans defense and how the running back moving to the outside influenced this play. Pay attention to the left side of the formation during this play. The safety is lined up with the slot receiver on this play when the defense is setting up. When the running back moves to the outside, the safety adjusts by moving over to the outside by a few steps, which leaves the inside of the field wide open. Notice the slot defender on this play, and watch were his hips are pointed towards. The defender knows he doesn’t have any help in the middle of the field, so he needs inside leverage on this play. As soon as the ball is snapped, the defender allows for Moncrief to move to the outside, but the safety is now out of position. If the safety had been in his original position, then this alignment is perfectly set up for the defense. Without safety help, the slot defender is in trouble because he is turning 180 degrees as the receiver runs with him to the side. To make a play on the ball, the defender then has to turn another 180 degrees towards the QB, which will naturally slow him down. This is a perfect set up, read, and throw by Jacoby Brissett, but the ball is just flat out dropped.
We saw the repercussions of having a mobile QB, such as Mariota, as a positive for the team in the earlier articles, but now the defense faces a similar problem. Jacoby Brissett isn’t quite the same runner as Mariota but he is a mobile QB that can run the read option. On this play, notice DaQuan Jones to the left of the formation as he’s in good position to defend the tight end. However, the Colts are running a read option, which freezes Jones and allows the tight end to run right by him. At the point of decision, Jones must worry about the running back, the quarterback, or the tight end running by him. Jones gets caught staring into the backfield and gets burned. Mobile QBs have long been proclaimed as the weapons of the future, but the prophecy hasn’t manifested mainly because of injuries and lack of progression as passers. However, a mobile QB presents a litany of issues for defensive coordinators because the defense has to prepare for another running threat on every single play with the QB.
The defense had some mental errors, and got helped by mistakes from the young Colts offense. However, they did make enough plays to get the win. Thanks for reading this article, and please feel free to share with your friends.
Question for Comments:
- Do you prefer a pocket passer or mobile QB?
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