In the Trenches: Vikings Review

This is not the Tennessee Titans we are used to. From clutch kicks to never quitting, this is not the same franchise that would always seem to find ways to lose close games.

There were a ton of positives from last weekend and a few lows. It looks like LT Taylor Lewan will be back sooner rather than later, which is great news. It just so happens that Lewan and others will have some additional time to heal with the Pittsburgh game now postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

A casualty of the postponement is the “preview” section of this article. To make it up to you, I will break down a few more plays from the Titans’ win over Minnesota (and include pretty pictures).

Offensive Review

Starting with the offensive line, the injury late in the first quarter to Lewan was not ideal. Backup swing tackle Ty Sambrailo replaced him, and it seems that Lewan won’t be out for too long.

Overall, my impression is that this offense is close. The pass blocking has been near an elite level (outside of relying on a backup for three quarters this week). This is a very welcomed surprise, but as stated last week, this is not who the Titans want to be.

Run blocking and controlling the clock are what this team (and defense) needs to do better. My issues on plays may seem like nitpicking, but there seems to always be a technique or assignment miscue on every play. This is preventing the one-yard gains from being eight-yard gains and the eight-yard gains from being long touchdown runs.

Individual Notes

Below are my thoughts on the starting five from this game.

  • RT Dennis Kelly: I will keep this brief. I continue to be very pleased with Kelly. Outside of a few pressures here and there this season, he has been very good. He and Jones are close for best so far in 2020.
  • RG Nate Davis: Davis continues his strong season in the passing game. He still gets beat at times at the point of attack due to stopping his feet at contact. He does work well with Jones and Kelly on stacks, but I think his next step is to clean up his technique in one-on-one opportunities
  • C Ben Jones: Jones continues to be a steady and solid anchor for this line. I’ve always thought he was an above average offensive lineman in the NFL, but he has found a new level this year. His pass protection has been great, not allowing any pressure up the middle. He’s also been aggressive in the run game, not allowing down lineman to reset the line while always constantly working hard at the point of attack.

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    Author: Ryan WatsonThe resident Old Dude who's found a way to still be involved with football after years as a college and high school football coach. An O-line truther who cut his teeth coaching wide receivers. A Titans fan since he started paying attention to football again after coaching, roughly 2008. The other half of the greatest podcast you've never heard of (the numbers were very telling) Taking It To The House Sports. Currently involved in multiple podcasts on Broadway Sports Network talking shop on Coaches Corner and trying to guide fantasy football decisions on The Flex.

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