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Why Titans rushing attack looks strong.

Despite what your eyes tell you, the Titans running game has a lot of potential.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans offense is based on a strong running game, and despite the product you have been seeing the plan is working. Here are some key stats and some info on why the offense is just a hair away from being very productive.


The stat: The Titans have had a lot of success running the ball as evidenced by their league third YPA shows. With 55 attempts, Tennessee's rushing attack has provided the team with 269 yards, leading to 4.9 YPA. Sure Chris Johnson didn't break off a long run last night, but Shonn Greene and Jackie Battle lowered their heads and gashed opponents for chunks at a time, and that is the gameplan.

Why it is working: CJ isn't going to have 100+ yards every game, but he doesn't have to because the strength in this offense lies in wearing out the opponent by forcing them to run side-to-side. With the stretch plays, bootlegs, counters, and powers defenses will get tired defending every blade of grass while the offensive line only plays harder. This will lead to gashing runs in the third and fourth quarter, hence why the YPA is so high.

What can be better: The offense has been great in this department, but the team's side to side running is hurting them at times too. If the Titans could provide better seals on the edge (crack blocks by the WRs, TE/FB motions, running bunch formations playside) then the Titans could get more out of their sweeping plays.

1st down %

The stat: The Titans are also league third in 1st down % at 25.5%. This stat means that on 25.5% of the Titans running plays, they have achieved a 1st down. That is an impressive percentage, because a high number there usually translates to a successful short-game.

Why it is working: No one person can take credit for this stat, but the starting interior line and Jackie Battle are names that pop out. Whether the G/C/G have been pulling, zone blocking or going head to head with DTs they have done a great job so far. Levitre especially has looked smooth and comfortable at the next level and often creates a seal where RBs can get a nice 2-5 yard gain.

What can be better: Well as much as I like Reynaud, running the ball has not been kind to him this preseason. If the Titans would worry a little less about spreading carries and a little more about which RB could do the job better they could contend for the gold medal in this statistic.

TD/Fumble ratio

The stat: This stat mainly deals with trusting the running game. For example, a team with a high TD/Fumble ratio will be more likely to stick with the running game throughout the course of a game. This will generally lead to a more balanced attack and a more successful offense. The Titans are one of only five teams to have a 2:1 ratio heading into week three of the preseason.

Why it is working: The Titans are obviously preaching ball security to the running backs, and it is working. The Titans only have one fumble in two weeks of play, and that came on a fumbled exchange between QB and center. If the Titans continue to maintain ball security when running the ball, Jake Locker can keep dinking-and-dunking across the field.

What can be better: Consistency at center will help the Titans here, but honestly having zero RB fumbles is as good as it gets. Another option would be to score more, but the running backs are doing all they can in that department.