One of the biggest surprises from the Tennessee Titans’ offensive game plan in their Week 1 defeat to the New York Giants was the lack of involvement for presumed No. 1 receiver Robert Woods. It began in promising fashion when starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed his first passing attempt to Woods for a chain-moving gain of 13. It was a play-action hitter that quickly highlighted Woods in Tennessee’s play-action approach. It was surprisingly Woods’ lone reception. Woods was officially targeted twice.
Woods was actually targeted on three occasions. He recorded a reception, drew a penalty (not an official attempt/target) and had a third-and-five attempt go incomplete. Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing must get Woods more involved going forward, beginning with a Week 2 primetime showdown against the Buffalo Bills.
It’s an impossibly small sample size, but good things happened when Tannehill and the Titans got Woods involved. The passing offense must go through Woods, Treylon Burks, Austin Hooper and Kyle Philips. We didn’t see enough of that Sunday. The likes of Geoff Swaim and Dontrell Hilliard (even though he recorded two touchdowns) were far too involved. It was encouraging to see Philips so heavily featured, but the offensive strategy left plenty to be desired otherwise.
The Titans will need to score points in abundance against a haunting Bills defense that held the Super Bowl defending champion Los Angeles Rams to 10 points and under 200 net passing yards. Targeting Woods with more consistency increases their chances of doing so. Woods is too talented to play second fiddle to Swaim, Hilliard and Cody Hollister.
Mike Vrabel is left with more questions than answers following Sunday’s lackluster performance. Preparation for a contending Bills team begins immediately. The coaching staff must self-analyze while planning to feature a significantly heavier dose of Woods moving forward.