One of the more shocking things I have encountered on social media is Arthur Smith hate. Yes, the man behind the third-ranked NFL offense is receiving some hate among Tennessee Titans fans.
A narrative is starting to arise that Smith is not a good offensive coordinator. I have seen fans say he is calling plays “not to lose.” I have also seen fans say he needs to go.
I have seen it all, and it seems like the fourth-down call versus the Jaguars in week 14 was the tipping point. Now I want to end the slander, and remind you of the sheer miracle Smith has performed on this franchise.
Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith took over a dull offense in 2019 after Matt LaFleur left to coach the Green Bay Packers.
Throughout this franchise’s history, the offense hasn’t been a strong suit. The last time the Titans finished a season with a top-five offense was in 1993 when they had the third-ranked offense in the NFL and were fourth in points per game.
The early portion of the 2019 season resembled what’s been seen in Nashville for two decades: an offense with an inability to move. Then, Smith and Mike Vrabel took the leap of faith over to Ryan Tannehill and the offense has fallen into shape.
A year later, the offense is the most consistent thing about this team. This particular Tennessee Titans’ offense may go down as the best in the Titans era.
It has a quarterback that’s playing out of his mind. Ryan Tannehill has 28 touchdowns and only five interceptions this season. He has 3,209 passing yards and could realistically reach 4,000.
It has two wide receivers approaching the 1,000-yard mark. Before this season, this team only had four 1,000-yard receivers since 2010. And if you go past 2010, you will find their next 1,000-yard receiving season in 2004 with both Drew Bennett and Derrick Mason.
A.J. Brown and Corey Davis could become the first Titans duo in 16 years to reach that milestone in the same season.
Imagine putting up those kinds of numbers in the passing game all while you have a running back that could come within a couple of hundred yards of a 2,000-yard season.
The #Titans offense is flirting with having:
– 4,000 yd passer
– 2,000 yd rusher
– Two 1,000 yd WRs
With 3 games left:
– Ryan Tannehill needs 264 ypg
– Derrick Henry needs 156 ypg
– AJ Brown, Corey Davis each need 55 ypg
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) December 14, 2020
All of this insanity has the Tennessee Titans offense currently third in the NFL at week 15. They are averaging 30 points per game, which ranks fourth in the NFL. Sounds like 1993, eh?
They have scored 30 points in their last four games.
The Titans offense comes in at second in the NFL at scoring touchdowns. They’ve done so 49 times, ranking behind the Packers (52). That’s a refreshing fact to fans that witnessed nothing but field goals for several years.
This efficient Titans offense gathers 6.1 yards per play, which makes them tough to stop, and helps make field goals less likely. Remember when this offense constantly put itself in 2nd or 3rd and long situations?
Arthur Smith can make some head-scratching play calls at times. And I agree, sometimes he and Vrabel can try to outsmart themselves and make some ridiculous decisions.
However, more times than not, Arthur Smith and this offense have been highly effective. This offense is one of the most fun units to watch in the NFL. We should appreciate that before it’s gone.
It’s right on par with the 1993 offense this franchise endured, and with three games remaining, its rankings could easily exceed that.
Featured image by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports