The Titans Can’t Be Labeled As a True Super Bowl Contender Until Their Defense Gets It Together – BlackSportsOnline
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NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 25: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball in the second half of a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Nissan Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Steelers defeated the Titans 27-24. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)


The Titans Can’t Be Labeled As a True Super Bowl Contender Until Their Defense Gets It Together

I think it’s safe to say that the Titans’ defense is holding this team back.

Mike Vrabel’s defense gave up over 360 yards of total offense, and once again failed to find any sort of consistency with their 3rd down defense. Pittsburgh was 13-18 on third down today, and they found their success in a multitude of ways. It’s a problem that the Titans have failed to fix so far this year, and there’s no concrete solution out there at all.

One contributing issue to the 3rd down defensive problems has been the lack of speed at corner, which makes the Titans play a lot of off coverage in the secondary. Malcolm Butler, Johnathan Joseph, and Tye Smith aren’t corners you can rely on to keep up with speed down the field. It’s why the Titans play so much zone as opposed to man, simply because their corners right now can’t man up and stay in front of their man.

It isn’t all bad when it comes to riding with a zone heavy pass defense though. A positive that comes with that plan, is that you decrease the chances of your defense getting shredded by big plays down the field. But you’re then vulnerable to opposing offenses eating away at your defense inch by inch on 1st and 2nd down.

Once that happens, those 3rd and longs you want to force as a defense, turn into more easier to convert 3rd and shorts. It’s why you see teams convert so many third downs against this Titans defense, they simply can’t win on 1st & 2nd down.

However, even when the Titans do force those third and longs, they still can’t find ways to get off the field.

It’s a mess defensively for the Titans, and it isn’t just one group on the defense that’s causing the problems. Sure, the corner group is currently a liability, but the Titans’ pass rush still can’t seem to muster even a lick of pressure. Jeffery Simmons is by far the best player on this Titans defensive line right now, but who else is there to help cause problems within the front 7?

Harold Landry and Vic Beasley are nowhere to be found, and Jadeveon Clowney is struggling to find success off the edge as a pass rusher. It’s a myriad of no shows and a simple lack of consistency from their talented defensive players, all combining together to make one crap show of a defense for the Titans.

If you’re looking for solutions to this mess of a defense for the Titans, there aren’t too many in house right now. Getting Adoree Jackson back will help a little bit with the corner group, but even when he does return, you still have to worry about Butler and Joseph as your depth corners when teams go 4-5 wide.

The pass rush like I said earlier, is still a problem. All you can truly do at this point is hope Clowney, Landry, Beasley, and even Derick Roberson step up as the season chugs on.

Even the Titans’ linebackers have had too many problems with stopping the run and filling gaps on run plays.

It’s a multitude of problems that are plaguing the Titans’ defense right now, and until they solve them, they’re not going to be looked at as a legit Super Bowl contender.

Here’s the deal.

This sort of play can’t happen if the Titans want to be seriously considered as Super Bowl contenders. You still have to go through the likes of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City if you want to get a chance to play for a title. All 3 of those teams present a number of problems offensively, and will have the Titans scrambling for answers defensively if they can’t get their act together.

Luckily for the Titans, it’s still early. You still have plenty of time to go back, identify what your problems are, and address them to the best of your ability.

Sometimes you get improvements, sometimes you don’t.

But in the Titans’ case, they better hope they find those hidden keys to unlock some improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

If they can’t find them, it’s going to be hard to see this team making a lot of noise in January.


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