The Five Best Plays: Tennesee Titans Edition
Every team has a collection of plays that our crucial to their team's success. These collection of go-to plays were used by teams in their time of need.
When a play works well against any defense consistently, that play is practiced more, used more and becomes part of that team's highlight reel.
The 2007 Patriots (16-0) used any play that involved Randy Moss on a streak (or "go") route as a go-to play.
The Denver Broncos of 2005, under Quarterback Jake Plummer, utilized the Play Action Boot Leg to tear apart defenses on a regular basis.
The Tennessee Titans of 2008 used five plays to great effect last year. I believe these were their go-to plays:
1. Right/Left Tackle Dive
2. The Stretch Run
3. Half Back Screen
4. Play Action Boot Leg
5. ?????? (you'll have to read to find out)
Note: all of these slides will include a link that you can copy and paste to view an example of the plays discussed.
Right/Left Tackle Dive
This "heavy" I-formation includes a Fullback and Tight End to help block. The Titans use LenDale White to run in this situation.
In other words, this is a right tackle dive play. This play is used for short down and goal line situations. White's job is to punch in a touchdown by following his blocks.
The Right Guard seals the Defensive tackle towards the left while the Right Tackle pushes the Defensive end to the right. The Left Guard "pulls" (moves on the other side of the Center) to help lead block with the full back.
Last year this play helped LenDale score a career high 15 touchdowns.
The Stretch Run
Any NFL analyst will tell you that the stretch play can be one of the most explosive plays in the running game. It can be ran out of the I-formation or the Single-back formation and even, although rarely, out of the Shotgun.
For the Titans, Chris Johnson's job is to follow his blocks, bounce to the outside and run along the sideline.
The Offensive linemen, Wide Receiver (optional), Fullback/Tight End try to get off their initial blocks, get downfield and hit someone.
The advantage of this play is the Running Back is already running when he gets the ball.
The Stretch run always moves towards the sidelines, so as the defenders move left or right, the Running Back can "cutback" (quickly change direction, usually towards the opposite sideline.)
This play helped Chris Johnson post over 1,200 yards in his rookie campaign.
Half Back Screen
You can't have a speedster running back like Chris Johnson without a good screen play.
Screen plays allow the release of Defensive linemen so that they come after the quarterback. The Quarterback then throws to the Running back who has moved behind the rushing Defensive linemen.
The Running back follows the two/three Offensive linemen that have moved in front of him.
Last year, the Titans burned up the opposing defenses with the Running back screen. Chris Johnson was the second leading receiver with 43 receptions in his rookie campaign.
Play Action Boot Leg
With a rushing attack like the Titans had last year, Play Action can be a danger for any opposing defense.
Any part time football viewer will know that Play Action is a designed play for a quarterback to fake a handoff to the running back and then dropping back to pass.
The Play Action Boot Leg is designed to fake the run and then the Quarterback scrambles while looking for an open receiver (usually a fullback or tight end.)
This play was key for the Titans last year. Tight end Bo Scaife had a career year with the Boot Leg. Scaife led the Titans in receptions with 58 catches in 2008.
The Titans best offensive weapon is their ability to kick the long field goal.
Rob Bironas has the most powerful foot in league, making 29 of his 33 attempts and coverting his only field goal over 50 yards.