In the words of the late great Jim Valvano, “Survive and Advance.” Well, that is pretty much what the Titans accomplished on Saturday. As I talked about in the game recap, the Titans couldn’t control their own destiny, but a win certainly provided a more positive outlook. Vying to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year, Tennessee overcame an overall poor performance to escape with a win. As Tennessee’s offense struggled to put anything together, their defense kept them in the game. Using the “bend but don’t break” mentality, Tennessee pushed it to the limits.
Offensive Player of the Week
While Derrick Henry has been the rock for Tennessee’s offense of late, we are going to go in a different direction this week. When the Titans looked like they were ready to call it quits, Taywan Taylor caught a 35-yard pass from Blaine Gabbert to start the Titans touchdown drive off right. While Taylor only mustered 3 catches for 64 yards, he was an essential factor in the outcome of the game. Taylor was only targeted 3 times on the day, so securing all three passes was vital.
A couple things to note on Taylors 35-yard reception. For one, the offensive line provided protection, something that seems to be at a premium of late. Derrick Henry’s effectiveness also allowed this play to develop, as it was play-action. Finally, Taylor’s speed really made this entire play possible. Taylor was practically double covered by Mason Foster and Fabian Moreau. This play is the perfect thing to show in the film room as to how Tennessee can continue being successful.
Prediction for Next Weeks Offensive Player
Before the season started, if you walked around the Titans locker room and explained this exact scenario they’d all take it. One game, at home, for all the marbles. Win or have your season ended. The Titans know what’s at stake here, and they will leave it all out on the table. Going into week 17, all eyes are currently on whether or not Marcus Mariota is going to be playing for the Titans. If Mariota should miss this game, the box will certainly be stacked for Derrick Henry. That’s where offseason signing Dion Lewis comes into play. Lewis hasn’t been a key part in this offense for a couple weeks now. It’s time to reinsert him into the game plan. The Titans need to be more than a Derrick Henry show to beat this Indianapolis Colts team.
This is the perfect game for Dion Lewis to shine out of the backfield catching passes. I fully expect Lewis to have 5-6 catches out of the backfield with a minimum of 7 rush attempts as well. Giving Lewis 10+ touches will bode well as a change of pace on this offense. It’s time to Titan Up, it’s all or nothing. Control what we can control and get the job done. #TitanUp