Week 17: Three Up, Three Down

The Titans have clinched the AFC South and are in the driver’s seat for the #1 seed in the AFC. If Tennessee wins on Sunday against Houston, they’ll have a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

Three Down

Turnovers: As they did a week ago in the win against the 49ers, the Titans did not turn the ball over. It appears that taking care of the football helps win ballgames.

Opposing team’s yardage: The Dolphins were held to just 256 yards of offense. Tua was held to 5.39 yards per attempt and was desperate to give the ball away. He certainly does not look like the answer for Miami longterm.

Complaining: One of my favorite developments from the game yesterday was the silence when it comes to the offense. Too often we’ve heard that Todd Downing is terrible and should be fired. The complaining about the offense started early this game despite the onus being on Tannehill missing a few passes early.

Soon, the naysayers had little to say. The offense put up 34 points, and 54 points total over the last 3 halves of football. It turns out that the offense needed its playmakers back and now that they are getting healthy, the sky is the limit.

Three Up

Coaching: We are going with three staples here for the “up” section. Coaching was great against Miami. We know how good this staff is with extra time to prepare for an opponent, and this week was no different. While the first couple series didn’t go quite as planned on offense, they made up for it later. The game felt over after the Titans went up 10-0 due to the complete dominance on defense. Vrabel should win Coach of the Year for his efforts with the most injured team in the league. If he doesn’t, scrap the awards.

Offense: Against a defense that had given up only 36 points in the last 3 weeks, the Titans put up 34 in dominating fashion. It was one of those games that felt like they could have had even more if they wanted it, there was really no reason to push the envelope. Redzone efficiency was excellent as well, with two touchdowns to wide open TEs in Swaim and Firkser.

D’Onta Foreman continues to impress, rushing for 132 yards on 5.1 yards per carry. It makes you wonder if they would have lost the Texans game if they hadn’t wasted carries on Adrian Peterson. He looks to be a great backup for Henry.

Defense: What a performance. 3 points allowed is sublime in the NFL and while the front four did a good job of harassing Tua, getting 4 sacks, the back end of the defense was equally terrific. Kristian Fulton cleaned things up after a poor performance against San Francisco.

Two things stood out to me as needing improvement:

1) Less Rashaan Evans. He was exposed on Sunday. David Long is healthy and needs to be playing over him.

2) Take advantage of turnover opportunities. Tua couldn’t wait to hand the ball over to Tennessee, but QBs in the playoffs won’t be so eager to oblige the defense. Catch those interception attempts and recover those fumbles.

All that said, if you hold the opposing team to 3 points, you’re going to win a lot of ballgames. Now they are on to Houston, who was looked ok with Davis Mills at QB.

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