A big win on the road against a playoff contender in Baltimore takes the Titans to 7-3. It’s hard to be anything but encouraged by the offense, especially with how they rallied late and put up the second-highest point total of the year allowed by Baltimore.
Alternatively, the defense continues to be a mixed bag. Box-score scouting would lead us to the same conclusion as the offense. This was also the second-lowest total the Ravens scored all year.
Perhaps it’s just the pessimist in me after studying this defense all year, but I couldn’t help notice the opportunities the Ravens left on the table.
We’ll dig into these things and I’ll explain a bit about what I mean. First, let’s check in on the late-down defense.
3rd/4th Down Defense
Back to the 3rd down defense we all remember. Not as awful as, for instance, the Steelers and Bengals (74% and 69% conversion rate, respectively, against Tennessee), but bad nonetheless.
Checking in here on where the defense stacks up historically. Continued improvement on this list. Not the worst of all time, which is a good thing. Still, the team isn’t exactly separating themselves from this group. Worth noting that only two of these teams have a winning record.
As you may have noticed, no coverage charting this week. That will likely continue. The coverages are generally consistent week over week with a preference for man roughly half the time, and a variety of different looks the rest of the time. In games where that tendency looks different, I may go back and chart it. Otherwise, that won’t be a focus of this series moving forward.
Onto the fun stuff.
The Titans came out with a really great strategy on run downs. It was similar to their strategy last year in the playoffs against Baltimore, but with a little different twist.
In the image above, you’ll see all the interior run defenders are stacked inside the tackles. This is an unusual alignment. Nearly always a front 7 defender acts as an overhang player. So, the interior players are going to squeeze the gaps in front of them, which you’ll note are all accounted for.
But, what about the outside gaps? That’s where the secondary comes into play.