When you lose a game, there are numbers that can tell the story.
On Monday, when discussing the Tennessee Titans’ poor third-down play this year, Coach Mike Vrabel offered up more numbers to show why his club is only converting 15 percent of its third down chances through the first two games.
“When 13 of the 20 are third-and-10 plus, that’s tough sledding. That would be being efficient on first and second and being more consistent on first and second to bring up those opportunities that when they arise, aren’t third-and-11, and they’re third-and-three to five” Vrabel said.
Not being effective enough on first and second downs has put the Titans at or behind the chains on a lot of the third down opportunities..
Those situation are affecting a lot of different things, according to Vrabel, including Derrick Henry getting only 15 carries Sunday in the 19-17 loss to the Colts and the disapearance of Adam Humphries from the offense.
“I’m going to go back and I’m going to sound repetitive, but I don’t want to do this. If we can do better on third down, then it’s 20 carries or it’s 21 carries, then it’s more catches,” Vrabel said. “So, when you have two minute and you have third down, if we can just improve the sustainability of these drives, then we can get the ball to a lot of guys that maybe yesterday we weren’t able to consistently.”
As for Humphries, who has just three catches for four yards, including two for minus-1 yesterday, Vrabel said that the Titans being in third-and-long takes away some of his effectiveness on underneath routes.
:Adam’s strength is working underneath, and Adam’s continuing to work and get open. When you have those longer downs and distances, you have to push the ball further down the field,” Vrabel said. “We would like it to be, like we said, third-and-medium to where now when he does work underneath and get open in zone or beat somebody in man, he’s able to catch it and to get the first down at that point in time as opposed to needing third-and-11.”
The Titans did not practice on Monday, but had to submit an injury report for Thursday’s game in Jacksonville.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota appeared on it with a quad injury, and was listed as did not practice. Others listed on the did not practice included Kevin Pamphile(knee), Daren Bates (groin), Malcolm Butler (hip), Wesley Woodyard (quad), Chris Milton (collarbone) and David Fluellen ((hamstring).
Those listed as limited were A.J. Brown (knee), Reggie Gilbert (knee), Dane Cruikshank (ankle) and Jamil Douglas (knee).