Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Oct 2010

ESPN: Titans Need to Run Despite Poor Jaguars Secondary

In this week's MNF feature for ESPN Insider, we find that run-oriented teams actually play better when they stick to their usual strategy against teams with poor pass defense.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 18 Oct 2010

8 comments, Last at 20 Oct 2010, 11:39am by zlionsfan


by zlionsfan :: Mon, 10/18/2010 - 4:29pm

I wonder how much of that is a run-heavy team being less comfortable with the depth of its passing attack: fewer passing plays in the playbook, less practice with those plays, less experience with them in games. Even the Lions ... er, some random team with a terrible secondary can make plays if it knows what's coming.

I would think part of the success the run-heavy teams have with passing is due to its infrequency. Because the pass itself is more of a surprise, the details aren't as important. Vince Young dropping back to pass raises people's eyebrows; Peyton Manning dropping back to pass doesn't surprise anyone except for TV producers.

by Treima6 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/18/2010 - 6:10pm

As a Chris Johnson fantasy owner, I agree with this sentiment!

And before you say it, I already know you don't care about others' fantasy teams.

by stephenmcf :: Mon, 10/18/2010 - 8:00pm

speaking of which, anyone know when the next kubiak update is?

by tally :: Mon, 10/18/2010 - 10:22pm

Next year. Like July/August.

The midseason update we just got is the last for this year.

by Vincent Verhei :: Mon, 10/18/2010 - 10:16pm

It feels like the Titans are passing a lot, but at halftime, they have 19 rushes, 17 passes, and are up 17-0. Running leads to wins! (Of course, they're also averaging 2.2 yards per carry and 7.9 yards per pass...)

by Manonanon (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:47am

Not gonna claim the Jaguars weren't terrible in this game, but man could they not catch a break. 2 red zone turnovers, return man just falls down, they recover a fumble, and the call gets overturned, questionable OPI call, aborted snap on the 2 followed by a sack on the next play. I mean, actually playing well would have covered up for a lot of that, but sometimes a little bit of luck is important, and they just had none last night.

by stephenmcf :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:29pm

If anyone was wondering whether Trent Edwards was the problem in Buffalo or it was team, I think they got their answer last night. This guy has no idea what he's doing out there. I know he's still learning Jacksonville's "offense", but he is clueless. He barely attempted to complete passes in garbage time. He kept running out of bounds, short of the first down marker no less!

by zlionsfan :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:39am

I won't argue with your assessment of his passing skills, but I think he deserves a break with respect to scrambling.

For most QBs, the risk involved in going for those extra yards simply isn't worth the reward, and even for someone like Edwards who doesn't show a lot of skill at the position, he's still someone who can play the position. If he's a step slow getting out of bounds, the QB is now Luke McCown (or Todd Bouman, I guess).