The Titans gave up 51 points on Sunday, but most of that was not on the defense. When you actually look at it, the defense has played pretty well over the last two weeks.
The Titans gave up 51 points against the Bears, and are still on pace to give up more points than any team in the history of the NFL, but they have actually played better over the last two weeks. Yes, you read that correctly. Keep in mind that the first 35 points in the game against the Bears were either from defensive scores, set up by turnovers or bad special teams play.
Andy Benoit of Football Outsiders previewed this week's game against the Dolphins, and he had some thoughts on what has been different about the Titans defense in those two games:
After ranking near the bottom of the league in most major statistical categories over the first half of the season, coordinator Jerry Gray realized that his ultra-bland two-deep zone scheme wasn’t working. (Most schemes don’t when the pass-rush is inconsistent and the back-seven defenders make a habit of missing tackles.) So, Gray has changed things up, going with more single-high coverages (both man and zone) and using a variety of hybrid coverages. There have been some growing pains -– like safety Michael Griffin getting caught out of position on a critical overtime third down in the loss to Indianapolis -– but at least the Titans aren’t playing from a reactionary position snap after snap. A lot of Tennessee’s coverage changes have come in the form of post-snap rotations.
Benoit goes on to talk about how changing the coverage after the snap is a good idea against a rookie quarterback like Ryan Tannehill.
Every coach on this staff is coaching for his job right now. It is good to see that Gray is willing to change some of the things that haven't been successful. We will see how well it plays out against the Dolphins.
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