Early in the season the Titans faced a Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, and Matthew Stafford. Jerry Gray pretty much refused to blitz in those games because he was terrified of giving up a big play. That strategy is not terrible if your front four can get consistent pressure and your team can tackle, but Gray's team did neither in those games. The result was 113 points allowed in just those 3 games.
Since then, Gray has taken a much more aggressive approach when calling his defense. We have seen multiple blitz packages each game with guys like Zach Brown and Michael Griffin applying pressure to quarterbacks on a weekly basis. We have also seen a lot more of Akeem Ayers with his hand in the dirt. The results, for the most part, have been really good.
Now the Titans face their biggest challenge at quarterback since those three early games. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best in the league against the blitz, so Gray has a tough choice when deciding how to call this game.
The best approach will be to carefully pick his spots. You can't sit back in cover 2 all day against Rodgers because he is going to pick you apart, but you also can't all out blitz because it will lead to big plays in single coverage.
As I said earlier this week, this game is a big test for Gray. A good effort here and there is no reason he shouldn't be the DC for this team again next year, but if the defense looks like it did in those early season games, Mike Munchak should seriously consider going in a different direction.
Looking for Tennessee Titans tickets?
Is it fair to put all of that on one game, probably not, but the Titans need a defensive coordinator that can hold up against even the best teams in the league if they are going to be serious Super Bowl contenders.