Evan Silva tweeted this yesterday:
#Titans demoted Rishard Matthews to play Andre Johnson more earlier in year. Matthews leads team in rec yards & has 5 TDs in last 5 games.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) November 7, 2016
I love bashing Mike Mularkey as much as the next guy, but is this tweet actually true? I went through the snap counts for the 8 weeks both Rishard Matthews and Andre Johnson were on the team:
*I know his name is spelled wrong in the tables
So there really isn’t any evidence that Matthews was demoted for Johnson. It looks like early in the season the usage for everyone in the passing game outside of Tajae Sharpe and Delanie Walker was pretty random.
That has changed, however. Check out this tweet from TJ Hernandez of 4 for 4:
Rishard Mathews has seen at least 17% of team targets in three straight games, including two games with a 20% target share— TJ Hernandez (@TJHernandez) November 8, 2016
Rishard Matthews was a priority free agent for Jon Robinson this offseason. It took a while, but he finally settled in as a playmaker for this offense. It also isn’t a coincidence that things have gotten easier for him with Kendall Wright back on the field. Wright brings another dimension to the offense that defenses have to respect. That opens things up for everyone else.