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Positive Defensive Plays – Titans vs. Ravens (Week 9)

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In this article, we break down the positive defensive plays from the Tennessee Titans, in their game against the Baltimore Ravens during week 9 of the 2017 NFL season.  Yes, it’s a long first sentence, but SEO needs a proper first sentence apparently.  While the other articles dealing with the offense were somewhat short in comparison to the usual length, this returns to the “I wasted too much time reading this at work” length.  As usual, please like, share, and subscribe to the website.  

Positive Defensive Plays:



On this play, Jurrell Casey makes a great tackle for loss on the running back.  Notice how Casey sheds his block, and then chases down the running back.  The edge is set by Erik Walden, which forces the running back to cut back inside, and right into the arms of Casey.  This is a good play by the defense, as they blocked all the avenues for the running back. 



While Kevin Byard gets the interception on the play, it’s really Logan Ryan that makes the extraordinary effort here.  The Ravens run a play action to draw the safety, and notice how Byard gets drawn to the line of scrimmage.  Joe Flacco notices Byard being drawn in by the play action, and decides that he has two options on this play going down the field.  Notice the outside cornerback giving inside leverage to the receiver by turning his hips too early, which allows the receiver to pull a slight double move in his route.  When the cornerback turns his hips, the receiver cuts slightly outside, which forces the cornerback to turn to the other side, at which point the receiver cuts back inside.  In the middle, Ryan cuts off the inside release, rather forcing the QB to throw over him.  Flacco makes a great read, knowing Ryan is in position to make the play on the slot receiver, so he targets the outside receiver since he has inside position and the cornerback out of position.  In a vacuum, this is a great throw as it goes directly to the receiver and it’s going right into his arms.  However, Ryan makes a great decision to abandon his receiver when Flacco throws the ball, and attacks the route of the outside receiver, and bats the ball up.  Byard is there to catch the ball and run up the field, but it’s really Logan Ryan that makes this a positive play. 



This is another great play by Jurrell Casey, as he fights through a double team to sack Flacco.   When the Ravens’ QB is moving up in the pocket, Casey is being pushed in the other direction, but he makes an adjustment, reaches out, and brings down the QB.  This is just a great individual play from the defensive tackle. 



If you remember the Jackson run on the positive plays article, then you’ll notice the slight movement by the running back at the start of this play.  However, the Titans don’t bite on the slight hesitation, as you can see the linebackers going towards the other side of the field, right into the running lane.  They completely block the running lane, and stop the running back for a loss.  Brian Orakpo makes a great play as well, because he seals off the edge, which forces the runner to cut back inside, right into the heart of the defense.  This is great discipline by the defense, and a great individual effort by Orakpo. 



Kevin Byard comes up with another interception, and he is the sole defender responsible in this case.  Flacco is staring down Ben Watson on this play, and Byard is being aggressive on the tight end.  There is no reason for Flacco to throw this pass, especially on first down.  The QB decides to take his chances by throwing up a 50/50 pass to Watson, and Byard picks it off.  This is perfect coverage by Byard, and the QB should have moved onto other options or thrown it away.  Considering the Titans only rushed three, there was enough time for Flacco to find other options. 



This is an excellent play on a third and short down, to get the defense off the field.  Wesley Woodyard makes the play by tackling the running back coming out of the backfield.  However, the guy that makes the play is really Brian Orakpo, who puts pressure on Flacco from the outside, which forces him to throw on his first read.  The read on this play is two-fold, the first read is the running back coming out of the backfield.  The read here is extremely important because Flacco needs to move the linebacker away from the middle, and if he’s covered, hit the receiver running the slant route in the same direction.  However, Orakpo puts pressure on the outside, which forces the QB to throw to his first read, instead of waiting to read the field.  The running back just doesn’t have space to run here, and Woodyard makes an excellent tackle in the open field.  This play technically would not have counted since Orakpo was held on this play, but they declined the penalty because they did not convert.   It just shows a great example of how Orakpo made this play, even though the box score wouldn’t show anything, nor was the play made in his zone. 



Another great play by Woodyard on this 4th and 1 situation.  Notice the formation prior to the snap, because Woodyard is lined up on the other A gap, which leads the Ravens to believe that the second A gap will be open.  The runner cutting across is meant to freeze the linebackers at least, if not move the linebackers.  However, the linebackers ignore the wide receiver and go right after the running back.  They go to block both A gaps, at which point there is nowhere to go.  Great discipline and execution by the defense here. 



The defense is in a single high safety look, with press cover across the board, except for the player in motion.  Flacco decides to test the rookie with a pass to Mike Wallace, and makes a very good throw.  Jackson shows some veteran poise by engaging Wallace early in the route.  He’s in great position to make a play on the ball and swats it away.  The caveat is of course that he was holding on the play and Wallace is rightfully angered for the lack of flag.  Jackson needs to let go of his hand on the jersey in this case, although he doesn’t get called for the penalty. 



An almost interception from the defense, with very good coverage.  The play is designed to move Byard away from the sideline, but he doesn’t take the bait.  Notice the slot receiver running straight up the field, as his biggest intention is to hold Byard in the middle.  When Flacco decides to throw the ball, Byard’s hips are turned towards the slot receiver.  The quarterback thinks it’s a one on one match up on the outside with Jackson.  However, Byard makes a great read on the play and is in position to make a play, and possibly get the interception.  Jackson also makes a play on the ball as well, although Wallace does have him beat.  The ball is a bit under-thrown, but this is a great play by Byard. 


It’s a great game by Byard and Orakpo, which helped the Tennessee Titans secure the win against the Ravens.  At this point, Joe Flacco certainly seems to be on the decline, and made some puzzling decisions throughout the game.  The defense held it’s ground and limit the damage against the Ravens’ offense.   Please like, share, and subscribe to the website to be up to date on all new articles.   

Links to other articles pertaining to Week 9 match up:

LeLei Mariota – Positive Passing Plays – Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens (Week 9)

Mata’utia Mariota – Negative Passing Plays – Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens (Week 9)

Positive Running Plays – Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens (Week 9)

Negative Running Plays – Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens (Week 9)

Negative Defensive Plays – Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens (Week 9)

KW – Kneel for the Win Play – Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens (Week 9)

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