What. A. Win! The Titans put the league on notice with a statement win against the Browns last Sunday. Every Titans player played a role in that 30 point beauty of a beatdown. Which players stood out? Was it Delanie Walker in his first game back from that gruesome ankle injury? Kevin Byard with another beautiful snatch in the secondary? Or was it Cameron Wake playing like he’s found the fountain of youth? More importantly, which players can we expect to make the biggest impact week two? Let’s dive in!
Corey Davis and Adam Humphries have got to make their presence felt on the football field. Last week, Humphries saw just one target and Davis saw only one possibly catchable target out of his three. Humphries flashed such an instant connection with Marcus Mariota during the preseason. Davis was the training camp MVP. The Titans were very fortunate that the defense stepped up in such a big way. It isn’t fair to expect the defense to play a nearly flawless game every week. Eventually the Titans will need the offense to win them some games this season. Without Davis and Humphries that will not be possible.
Look for Davis to get going against the Colts this week. This week’s gamescript projects to be much more favorable for longer, slower drives. Both offenses are capable of hitting the big play, but their games are predicated around running the football and taking what the defense gives them. Davis will not be subject to the Denzel Ward lockdown this week. Mariota was targeting him early, but it was apparent Ward had taken Davis completely out of the game. If Davis is able to create better separation and give Mariota better looks in the passing offense. This should, in turn open up the coverage more and allow players like Humphries and AJ Brown to extend drives.
Last week the defense played a nearly flawless game. Big plays were given up here and there. The opening drive looked very easy for the Browns. After that, Dean Pees called a masterful game. The Titans rush defense looked much improved. Nick Chubb was efficient, but was never able to just rip off the big plays that makes him such a dangerous running back. The pass rush looked more potent and fluid. Watching the Titans shut down the high octane Browns offense has to give off more confidence about themselves going forward.
Okay, it’s no secret that TY Hilton has owned Adoree Jackson at times. Jackson is an athletic freak with elite speed. On paper he is a nightmare matchup for the explosive Hilton. In November of last season, Hilton caught all nine of this target for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Ouch.
Still, as competent and efficient as Brissett looked in week one, he is not Andrew Luck. Luck was a special talent at quarterback with elite play making ability. Luck placed a lot of those throws in windows where Jackson just couldn’t make plays on them. Other plays, Hilton just made Jackson look silly. Jackson made a much more respectable showing in the rematch, holding Hilton to just two catches for 61 yards.
Jackson has had this game circled on his calendar all offseason. If Jackson can limit Hilton and force Brissett to beat them elsewhere, the Titans are in a great position to walk off the field 2-0.