5 numbers that tell the story of Titans 16, Broncos 14

One of the great things about modern NFL football is all the data that gets collected and can be analyzed to help us understand or provide context for the chaos that is unfolding on every snap. With that in mind, this will be a weekly piece where we take five numbers from the previous game and use them to explain some of what we saw between the lines.

Titans-Broncos didn’t offer a ton of eye-popping stats. Yes, Derrick Henry broke 100 yards rushing for the 8th time in his last 10 games, but it was among the more pedestrian 100-yard games you’ll see from the big back. Sure, Corey Davis put together his best showing since Week 10 of 2018, but that didn’t quite make the cut either.

We are looking to go just a little bit beyond the typical box score stats — for the most part — so let’s get into the five numbers I found most interesting from Titans 16, Broncos 14.

0

That was the number of pass attempts targeted more than 20 yards downfield by Ryan Tannehill on Monday night. After finishing 3rd in the league in average depth of target (ADOT) in 2019 with an average targeted pass of 10.1 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, Tannehill was much more conservative in Denver.

The absence of attempts beyond 20 yards helped contribute to his ADOT of 6.3 against the Broncos, good for just 22nd in the league. The big shot plays that characterized the Titans passing offense under Tannehill in 2019 simply were not there.

This is something that I am planning to dig further into for my All-22 review piece coming exclusively to BroadwaySportsMedia.com this week. Were the Broncos doing something specific to take away the deep shots that Tannehill thrived on last year? Or did the Titans intentionally steer clear of Denver’s excellent safety duo of Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson?

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Comments

  1. Great article. Looking forward to your review of the all-22 and your further exploration of why no deep shots.

    My guess is we threw 0 passes over 20 yards because we were playing against quarters coverage. Quarters coverage (with two really good safeties) generally dictates that you have to nickel and dime the soft-spots underneath unless your run game is producing on a high enough level to make those safeties start playing too close to the line where you can take a shot over the top of them.

    It’s like when we played NE in the wildcard game last January and Tannehill/Brown ”didn’t produce” when NE simply dictated “no deep shots” by keeping the best two-safety tandem in the league in a two high shell 12+ yards from the line all night long.

    Unless you have Pat Mahomes’s arm and Tyreek Hill running your routes, you don’t take that dare. You just throw underneath and give the ball to Henry 30 times.

    Brilliantly called game by the Titans the other night.

    We will get our deep shots against other teams who aren’t so easily able to restrict Henry’s violent outbursts.

  2. Why didn’t David long play more? Seemed like Compton and dzunbar really struggled against the run once Evans was out. Really expected long to be the 3rd LB.

    1. I think the Compton over Long decision was all about wanting to get a guy with some experience calling a defense on the field. Compton is a vet with that experience and Long is still relatively green, especially when it comes to getting the defense organized and ready.

      Dzubnar getting defensive snaps was far more puzzling, but Long outsnapped him 10-3 so it’s not like Dzubnar was playing above him in the rotation necessarily.

  3. Great article and insights as usual Mike ! Remember Denver had a long time to game plan for us and ran a great defensive scheme. I tip my hat to them. I lived in Denver for 2 years – it’s very difficult to beat Denver at home and their fans like ours are classy and great ! Bigger tip of the hat to Tennessee for the win,,,, add 10 points on missed field goals and they win in an impressive fashion. This is going to be a fun team to watch. We need to get the deep ball going. I played safety in college the deep ball will be there all year for us ! If I were John Robinson I would be on the phones for a deep threat.

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