This is a treasure trove. Thank you.
- We lost a lot of plays to designed roll-outs, screens and other things I'm hoping we only tried to aid our left side. We did a lot of chipping and a lot of horizontal movement behind the LOS. One read option play-action involved Jonnu cutting behind the entire line from right to left post snap to block the edge... Jonnu picks him up in the backfield and pushes him past Mariota who looks oblivious until he pumps getting the rusher to bite and steps up to deliver a strike. Great play by Marcus and Jonnu but this is a lot of trickery to go through to simply block an edge rusher.
- AJ Brown embarrassed the CB on the long TD. Looked like cover 3 or possibly man with 1 deep. The Titans run play-action in a tight formation with 1 wide. Brown takes an outside release granted by the CB before attacking the CBs low foot. He turns him inside and then out getting wide open on a beautiful route. I want to say the CB was likely in cover 3 expecting help to the inside but play action drew the LBs and a seam route by Jonnu on the opposite side from AJB made the safety pause as Jonnu was drawing even with his coverage. The same CB overruns AJB and let's him back outside before missing the diving tackle to stop the TD.
- Pass protection is an issue right now. Marcus dealt with way too much traffic changing his platform.
- Titans had a few deep routes dialed up that were never thrown.
- A lot of designed plays for 5 yards... quick outs with a route combined to push coverage or pick, check to a QB draw after spreading the field against a wide 9, check to a TE bubble after motion doesn't shift the D to the unbalanced side... etc. We are covering for our line in every way possible.
- Marcus was excellent pre-snap. He was just good post-snap and I think that is where he is as a player. I felt he tucked and ran on a play or two where he could have manipulated the pocket differently - one in particular where patience and a move could have left Davis 1v1 late on the slant/crosser. This is the sort of thing you'll see Mahomes or Wentz do, sometimes multiple times in one play - they'll make a small movement to change the throwing platform or fake like they're changing their spot in the pocket to make the rush react. He needs to be a tick quicker... up the beats per minute or refresh rate. I don't expect him to turn his reads into fakes like Mahomes but he's not far off from delaying the rush like Wentz.
The TD to Corey Davis is the best throw he's made this season. That was a play he made rather than a play he executed. That is where I think the coaching staff is with him - they like him but want more. They want him to open up and be riskier: run or throw the ball away instead of taking the sack (a preference for field position over ball security), trust your WRs and give them a shot at a play... etc. I've never bought criticism of Mariota's accuracy but I will give some credit to criticism of his throw anticipation. This one was an anticipation throw that left the D no chance. It was thrown well before Davis' break. Another thing to note is the dropback drifting left instead of straight back - Mariota saw the coverage and wanted this play pre-snap. I'm hoping for a more traditional passing offense with Lewan back and that should help getting the ball to the WRs on the outside... 2-3 steps of space can make all the difference for a passing lane.
- Twice Corey Davis ran a corner and up seam against the outside corner in cover 3. Each time he'd have a TD with a thrown ball. Once I believe the pass rush got there. The 2nd time, Marcus moved in the pocket well, up and left to clear traffic, and just as he looked poised to uncork deep left he chose the dump off to the RB in the middle. It wasn't a bad play but it could have been a big play. It was a long throw and the decision was split second. I want Marcus to try the deep shot and I think the coaches do too. He thought about it and went safe. What gives me hope is that he saw it and probably would have thrown with a clean pocket - there's still time.