The Tennessee Titans are in the midst of an impressive playoff run for several reasons.
But one of the main reasons the Titans are one game away from the Super Bowl is because of a specific trait the team has exhibited this season — especially during the playoffs.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has passed for a combined 160 yards in Tennessee’s two playoff wins (he didn’t pass for less than 144 yards in any of his 12 regular season starts in 2019).
No wide receiver has had more than 45 receiving yards in either playoff game.
It hasn’t been necessary for the Titans to advance the ball down the field through the air. They’ve been able to rely on running back Derrick Henry, who is on a hot streak unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
Derrick Henry’s last eight games:
1,273 rushing yards
Henry has set a new all-time record for most rushing yards in any 8-game stretch in NFL history.
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) January 13, 2020
And every member of the Titans is just fine with the offense functioning this way. No one is demanding the ball. No one is complaining about the game plan. Everyone is just doing their job.
Rookie wide receiver AJ Brown, who caught 52 passes for 1,051 yards this season, recently told Titans.com “Regardless of how many times we touch the ball as receivers, we still have jobs to do. We are guys who do more than just catch the ball.”
“The goal is to win….we have to do our job, and if it’s blocking, then we’re going to do that”.
Brown added, “As long as we get the win, nobody cares.”
That kind of selfless attitude is the reason the Titans have been able to adapt throughout the playoffs. The Titans’ offense has always relied on the run, but not to this extent (at least not during the regular season). But that’s what was necessary to knock off the Patriots and the Ravens in the playoffs.
And it’ll likely be necessary against the Kansas City Chiefs’ high octane offense on Sunday, too.
Then again, maybe the Titans will throw the ball more against the Chiefs. But if they do, it won’t be because anyone’s feelings were hurt. It’ll be because it’s what has to be done to win the game.
Al Davis said it best. Just win, baby.
Featured image via Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports