In case you ever wondered where I pulled some of my ideas from, on Monday mornings (unless the Titans played on Thursday) I turn on Spotify and watch the replay of the Tennessee Titans game from the day before.
I usually do this and then map out anything important that needs to be talked about, or what I should be watching specifically during the game when I live tweet.
Since this was such a big game for Tennessee, I decided I should just show everyone exactly what I was looking at.
-First drive opening play was great, deceptive screen with nice run fake. Still, the lack of faith in the downhill running game on a drive that was called as conservatively as that drive is tough to stomach.
-Not rushing more than 3 in goal to go situations (or in any key situations) is going to be what determines if this team makes it to the playoffs. Dick LeBeau gifted points to Kansas City by rushing 3 and dropping Orakpo into a cover/spy role which let Alex Smith just walk in for a TD on 3rd and goal.
-I don’t mind the 2-point conversion. It gives you a chance to win the game against a team that actually probably has more talent than you do. If you miss, you have two options: A) Kick off and trust your defense B) onside kick if you don’t trust your defense.
-Mariota’s fumble is a big deal, but it stems from plays not working earlier and him trying to buy time for his receivers. He has limited mistakes in the 2nd half of the season, so seeing this isn’t normal but he more than makes up for it with the plays he makes when he moves in the pocket.
-Mariota was masterful as always in that quick strike, no huddle offense. He also did a great job selling himself as a threat to run on a lot of plays that held the linebackers and opened up runs for Henry and Murray.
-I have no problem with Lewan’s hold early in the game. Never let a speed rusher get around you with a clear shot at the QB. That is how injuries happen, trust that you can overcome either the penalty yardage or you can get it back later.
-I mean, Jack Conklin is great. He gets under pads and roughs people up in the running game, and in the passing game he is so solid once he gets his hands on you that it is so tough to do anything.
-Taylor Lewan did a great job with his feet, speed and consistency just like every week. Constantly trying to finish and stays in good position. Lacks Conklin’s punch, but his athleticism is leaps ahead. Two very different players both showing how to win in different ways.
-Taylor Lewan is a dang bully to Tamba Hali. Just gets on him and pounds him.
-Speaking of matchups that didn’t work for KC, any time Dontari Poe ended up opposite Conklin he lost.
-Kline is a good pulling guard and he gets out on screens well. However, he did struggle a lot with power in this game and gave up some inside pressures. Still maybe the best right guard this team has had in a decade, but that is an exploitable weakness that needs to be addressed.
-In a game where he could have just been soft due to the cold or the matchup (or the fouls that weren’t being called) Rishard Matthews had a key catch deep down the field on a flea flicker where he caught the ball over 2 time All-Pro safety Eric Berry and last year’s DROY and 2nd team All-Pro CB Marcus Peters. Maybe the Titans don’t need a new WR1.
-With the tough matchup on the outsides and at safety, I thought Delanie Walker would be more involved early.
-Walker was key in finishing this game. He ended up catching the last two passes and put Tennessee (barely) within Succop’s (who is amazing) FG range.
-Ideally Derrick Henry is a power runner by his body type, but when he sees that linebacker fill early he is great at planting his foot and getting outside. Elite speed and balance for his size.
-I’m not sure where he found it, but DeMarco Murray had a few stiff arms in this game that the defenders should be embarrassed of. Absolutely demolished DBs with it.
-Karl Klug isn’t underrated to Titans fans, but check out what he did Sunday against Eric Fisher at the 1:34 mark of the 1st quarter. I have the GIF on my timeline, but it was nasty. Guy is one of the best lunch pail guys on the Titans roster since KVB.
-Austin Johnson and Mehdi Abdesmad were not bad players. Johnson is deceptive quick in loops, similar to how Casey wins on stunts and MA is a nice power rusher inside at NT.
-Casey is still likely bothered by his injury, but he didn’t have as many “wow” plays in this game.
-Orakpo ended the day with a sack, but maybe his biggest play was the tipped on 3rd and 9 at the end of the 1st quarter. That stopped the bleeding for a team that was struggling on defense.
-Derrick Morgan gets a lot of attention from OLs by the way. See a lot of chips and TE help against him and Orakpo gets left alone. Sort of surprising.
-I never thought I would say this before the season, but Wesley Woodyards is the best (non-blitzing) linebacker on this team and it isn’t even close. It is Williamson who probably needs to get rotated out in nickel packages for Tennessee.
-Having said that, Williamson had a nice day today as a run defender, even catching Thomas on an outside run that forced a turnover on downs.
-Tyreek Hill is insanely fast. Having said that, there was a pretty clear hold on the outside by #17 for KC.
-Brice McCain had back to back big plays where he saw quick passes and attacked the ball. I think the Titans like him more inside, but Tennessee shouldn’t be afraid to try him outside and have another quick twitch player like Kalan Reed get some reps in the slot.
-Kevin Byard had a rough play against Hill in space, but the guy is so solid. Did great on 4th down to come in over the top and help keep the Chiefs out of the endzone to turn the ball over on downs.
-LeShaun Sims is the best CB on the team right now. Great pick in the endzone and all day he just blanketed KC’s wide receivers and even played against Travis Kelce some.
-Back on Brice McCain, I don’t know what he was credited, but early in the 2nd half I had him down for 5 big plays (3 PBUs and 2 tackles at or behind the line) that is huge for a CB.
-One of the adjustments at halftime was to put Kevin Byard in the 8-15 yard range instead of back deep and he played some middle zone. He is rangy and strong, and I have to say I kind of love moving him around.