The Titans opened the season with five straight wins, but their defense wasn’t playing at a particularly high level during that streak.
The unit’s shortcomings have been harder to obscure the last two weeks. They allowed the Steelers to convert 13-of-18 third downs while falling behind by 20 points in a Week 7 game they wound up losing by three and Sunday’s loss to the Bengals looked similar.
Cincinnati converted 10-of-15 third downs and went up by 17 points in a game they eventually won 31-20. The Titans didn’t have a sack in either game and they’ve only had seven all season.
The Titans are operating without a traditional defensive coordinator after Dean Pees retired in the offseason. Head coach Mike Vrabel and outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen each handle some of the duties and Vrabel said after Sunday’s loss that setup isn’t a factor in their struggles.
“I would say that that’s not a factor,” Vrabel said, via Erik Bacharach of the Tennessean. “I’m positive that that’s not a factor. We have to continue to coach better and play better. I’m certain that that’s not what’s leading to us giving points and us not getting off the field on third down.”
Vrabel said the team will look at possible personnel changes as they try to come up with the kind of defensive effort they need to get back to winning.
Mike Vrabel: Lack of defensive coordinator not a factor in defense’s struggles originally appeared on Pro Football Talk