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NFL playoffs strategy guide: Understanding the Tennessee Titans


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It’s been a long NFL season, but the postseason is finally here. Now, you probably didn’t get to study the entire playoff field in-depth during the regular season. No worries. We’ve put together guides that will help you become an instant expert on all 12 teams making up the field.

These guides will tell you how each team uses its personnel on both sides of the ball, what its strategic tendencies are and how efficient the team is based on several advanced metrics.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at the Tennessee Titans, who claimed the last wild card spot in the AFC with a 9-7 record. Let’s get to know them…

 

TITANS OFFENSE

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The Titans will base out of 11 personnel for the most part, with A.J. Brown and Corey Davis playing on the outside and Adam Humphries in the slot. Jonnu Smith is the tight end, and Tennessee will put one or two more tight ends on the field when they want to run the ball.

 

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Since Ryan Tannehill took over as the starting quarterback, the Titans have been one of the more play-action heavy teams in the league. When Tennessee wants to take a shot downfield, it’s almost always off of a play fake. Brown has been Tannehill’s favorite target on those plays. Smith, the tight end, has also emerged as a big-play threat, but he does a lot of his damage after the catch.

 

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Derrick Henry finished the season as the NFL’s leading rusher. He’s known as a downhill runner, but the hulking back has actually done most of his damage on zone running plays. Tennessee’s ground game is mostly run under center, which is how offensive coordinator Arthur Smith likes to run his zone-blocking schemes. That allows Henry to build up momentum before he approaches the line of scrimmage.

 

TITANS DEFENSE

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Defensive coordinator Dean Pees loves him some defensive backs. The Titans rarely play with more than two linebackers on the field. Former first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro is the third safety on the field when Tennessee plays its sub-packages, but he’s basically a linebacker these days. He’ll play alongside stud LB Rashaan Evans in obvious pass situations. The Titans corner depth has been tested over the second half of the season after Malcolm Butler was put on IR in November and Adoree Jackson missed the last four games. Jackson was back at practice before this week, however. He’ll likely take Tye Smith’s spot in the starting lineup.

 

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The Titans aren’t big on blitzing, but Pees is liable to send pass rushers from anywhere on the field. His “creeper” pressures have given offensive lines fits on third downs. For the most part, the Titans will play zone, but when they do play man, it will almost always be with one safety — superstar Kevin Byard — playing the deep middle and helping to protect the seams.

 

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Even with the defensive backfield getting hit hard with injuries in the second half, the backend of the Titans defense has held up just fine. It’s the pass rush, which has struggled to get home without the aid of Pees. Despite that, the secondary has not given up too many big plays. The front may not put a lot of pressure on opposing passers but it has been stout against the run.

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2020/01/tennessee-titans-wild-card-preview-rankings-offense-defense-tendencies-strategy

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I like the Titans, can't help it.  I am married to a Titans fan who was an Oilers fan so I better get along to go along.  You know what I mean.  When my kid was brought from the NICU into the recovery room to "meet" my wife, Steve "Air" McNair was making a leap and the first words my kid heard was mom screaming "Go Titans, Touchdown!"  True story.  So I can love the Falcons all I want.  But I'm not saying anything bad about Tennessee except on the rare occasion they play our birds.  

Anyhow, couple things:

Everyone knows (except the Falcons) that a strong back and utilizing tight ends = playoffs.  So TEN has the roster to succeed.  Might not win a Lombardi this year but will be in good position for next 2-3 seasons.  

And as long as it can't be the Falcons I hope it's the Titans.  But I wish it was the Falcons.  But hey, AFC, Go Titans.

A lot of Titans fans used to be Falcons fans back in the day.  They got DET, GB, and HOU and Lions and Texans are easy phone-in wins so they should at least finish 11-5.  

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6 hours ago, Killing Floor said:

I like the Titans, can't help it.  I am married to a Titans fan who was an Oilers fan so I better get along to go along.  You know what I mean.  When my kid was brought from the NICU into the recovery room to "meet" my wife, Steve "Air" McNair was making a leap and the first words my kid heard was mom screaming "Go Titans, Touchdown!"  True story.  So I can love the Falcons all I want.  But I'm not saying anything bad about Tennessee except on the rare occasion they play our birds.  

Anyhow, couple things:

Everyone knows (except the Falcons) that a strong back and utilizing tight ends = playoffs.  So TEN has the roster to succeed.  Might not win a Lombardi this year but will be in good position for next 2-3 seasons.  

And as long as it can't be the Falcons I hope it's the Titans.  But I wish it was the Falcons.  But hey, AFC, Go Titans.

A lot of Titans fans used to be Falcons fans back in the day.  They got DET, GB, and HOU and Lions and Texans are easy phone-in wins so they should at least finish 11-5.  

I actually think our offense is set up to succeed with this type of offensive scheme/philosophy. We have a majority of the personnel to run it effectively minus an RB. If we can get Lance, and then somehow trade up and get Harris (long shot), we are set offensively.

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