Tennessee Titans scouting report: Scouting the Titans’ offense and defense for Week 11

Neil Dutton
·7 min read

Week 11 is another crucial week for the Baltimore Ravens in their push for a playoff berth in 2020. The Ravens, sitting at 6-3 and having lost two of their last three games, play host to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are also 6-3 and have dropped three of their last four games.

Mike Vrabel is in his third season as the Titans head coach, and the team has gone 9-7 in each of the last two seasons. This season, the Titans rank 16% in overall DVOA according to Football Outsiders. The Titans have looked good on offense, for the most part, this season behind quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry. But the team’s Achilles heel has been their defense, which has performed well below expectation in 2020. The Titans were expecting big things from free-agent acquisitions Vic Beasley and Jadeveon Clowney to beef up their pass rush. But this has not happened.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Ravens can expect to see from the Titans this week.

Titans offensive overview

Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans offense is led by second-year offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. They rank third in offensive DVOA in 2020, thanks in large part to their ground game. They are 27th in the NFL in pass-to-run ratio while passing the ball 54% of their time in neutral game situations. This is the 26th highest rate. The Titans line up in 11 personnel on just 44% of their offensive plays. Only two teams go with three wide receivers at a lower rate than the Titans. They are fourth in their usage of 12 personnel and third of 13, while also trotting two backs out on 12% of their snaps. This is the eighth highest rate of usage of 21 personnel. They like to use play-action off their ground game, and have called 106 play-action passes this season. This is the third-most in the entire league. Despite the athleticism of their quarterback Ryan Tannehill, they are not a high percentage user of RPOs. Indeed, they've only called eight such plays all season. The Titans have scored 249 points this season while racking up a combined 3,371 offensive yards. These numbers are good for 11th and 14th respectively. The Titans come away with points on 45.2% of their drives, the 11th highest rate in the league, while they turn the ball on just 4.3% of their possessions. This is the lowest rate in the NFL.

Titans offense - Passing

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Player

Pos

GMs

Yards

Att

Comp

Comp%

TD

Int

Yd/Att

Rating

Ryan Tannehill

QB

9

2126

281

182

65%

20

3

7.6

106.9

The Titans passing attack, led by Ryan Tannehill, has picked up 2,033 yards this season. 24 teams have more passing yards than the Titans. Only six squads have more passing touchdowns, however, as the Titans currently have 20 for the year against just three interceptions.

Player

Pos

GMs

Tgt

Rec

Yards

TD

YPR

Yd/Tgt

Tgt Share

A.J. Brown

WR

7

52

32

476

6

14.9

9.2

24%

Corey Davis

WR

7

48

34

436

3

12.8

9.1

24%

Jonnu Smith

TE

9

43

26

318

6

12.2

7.4

16%

Anthony Firkser

TE

9

34

25

249

1

10

7.3

12%

Adam Humphries

WR

6

31

22

219

2

10

7.1

16%

Derrick Henry

RB

9

20

11

87

0

7.9

4.3

7%

Kalif Raymond

WR

9

12

9

187

0

20.8

15.6

4%

Jeremy McNichols

RB

9

8

5

27

0

5.4

3.4

3%

Cameron Batson

WR

5

6

6

53

0

8.8

8.8

4%

Geoff Swaim

TE

4

4

2

10

0

5

2.5

3%

Khari Blasingame

RB

8

4

3

23

0

7.7

5.8

2%

MyCole Pruitt

TE

6

4

3

17

1

5.7

4.2

2%

Nick Westbrook

WR

8

4

1

7

0

7

1.8

2%

Cody Hollister

WR

2

1

1

12

0

12

12

1%

D'Onta Foreman

RB

3

1

1

5

1

5

5

1%

Ryan Tannehill

QB

9

1

1

0

0

0

Titans offense - Rushing

Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The Titans ground attack, as Ravens fans will remember all too clearly from the playoff loss against them following the 2019 season, revolves around running back Derrick Henry. The Titans have amassed 1,338 yards on the ground so far this season, the sixth-most in the league. They have the seventh-highest yards per attempt average of 4.8 and they rushed for 10 touchdowns.

Player

Pos

GMs

Att

Yards

TD

YPC

% Tm Att

Fum lost

Derrick Henry

RB

9

201

946

8

4.7

72%

0

Jeremy McNichols

RB

9

26

173

0

6.7

9%

0

Ryan Tannehill

QB

9

24

114

1

4.8

9%

1

D'Onta Foreman

RB

3

17

66

0

3.9

18%

0

Darrynton Evans

RB

2

5

21

0

4.2

7%

0

Senorise Perry

RB

1

2

9

0

4.5

6%

0

Adam Humphries

WR

6

1

0

0

0

1%

0

Cameron Batson

WR

5

1

11

0

11

1%

0

Jonnu Smith

TE

9

1

1

1

1

0%

0

Kalif Raymond

WR

9

1

-3

0

-3

0%

0

Titans defensive overview

Aab4199

The Titans do not have an official defensive coordinator, relying on head coach Mike Vrabel to call the defensive plays. This has not led to a great deal of success in 2020, with the Titans ranked 24th in defensive DVOA. The Titans have allowed the 17th most points this season while surrendering the 11th most yards. 42.4% of the drives against the Titans have ended in a score, the 18th highest rate in the NFL, while 14.1% have ended with a Titans takeaway. That's good for 8th, and is all the more impressive considering the average drive against Vrabel's charges lasts for three minutes and 10 seconds. This is the second-longest drive average in 2020. The Titans are not a heavy blitzing squad, with Vrabel sending extra rushers on just 29.2% of the Titans defensive plays this season. This is the 17th highest rate in the NFL.

Titans defense - Passing

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans have allowed 2,497 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in 2020, good for seventh and fourth-most in football. They have managed nine interceptions, the fifth most in the league. They have not been great at getting after the quarterback, despite offseason investment aimed at improving their pass rush. They have a mere 11 sacks after nine games, a figure exceeded by 26 other teams, while they sit 30th in sack rate at 2.9%. The Titans have racked up 70 pressures and 47 quarterback hits, but 24 teams have more pressures than this while 16 teams have more hits to their name. The Titans pressure rate of 17.9% is 29th. Harold Landry leads the team with 2.5 sacks. He also owns 11 of their 47 quarterback hits and 18 of the pressures. In pass coverage, teams have looked to attack cornerback Malcolm Butler. According to Pro Football Reference, 43 of the 68 targets sent in his direction have been completed for 480 yards and two touchdowns. But linebacker Jayon Brown has been even more picked on. Brown has given up five touchdowns among the 42 receptions chalked against him. The Titans have sent three players on more than 30 blitzes this season, namely Kenny Vaccaro (35), Landry (35), and Rashaan Evans (32). This trio has combined for 10 hurries, nine knockdowns, and 24 pressures in addition to four sacks.

Titans defense - rushing

Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans have allowed 1,086 rushing yards at an average of 4.5 yards per attempt in 2020. Nine rushing touchdowns have been scored against them. 15 teams have allowed more yards on the ground but only 10 allow a higher yard per attempt average. The Titans have amassed 33 tackles for loss in 2020, with Landry the way with six. This is good for 21st in the league. More concerning are the 65 missed tackles Titan defenders have been charged with. Only 12 teams have more.