Denver Broncos vs. Tennessee Titans: 5 2nd-Half Adjustments Titans Should Make
A huge trap game for the Tennessee Titans has reached halftime.
However, a loss to a very mediocre Denver Broncos team would take away all of the progress they made over the Ravens. After all, the Titans have already laid one egg this season against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here are five halftime adjustments Mike Munchak and company must make if they want to reach 2-1.
The Titans already have six penalties for 50 yards in this game. That's gift-wrapping scoring opportunities for a Denver offense that struggles to score points on its own.
This is an area that has plagued the Titans for years now. Stupid penalties can hamper the best of defenses, five yards at a time.
Defensive end Jason Jones had a stupid blow to Kyle Orton's head that put the Broncos into the red zone on their first scoring drive. It was uncalled for and put the defense in a tough spot.
You have to wonder if this was a message being sent from the defense after Orton called the Titans a dirty team following last season's meeting.
Other Titans players were seen tagging Jones's hand as if he just got a sack.Those things have to stop in the second half.
Stretch Denver's Defense
Chris Johnson continues to see no running room and some of that can be put on him.
To the same token, Denver still seems to be stacking up the box on Johnson as opposed to worrying about Kenny Britt and company.
The only way Johnson is going to see more running room is if the Titans force the Denver secondary to respect the deep threat of Nate Washington and, to a lesser degree, tight end Jared Cook.
This may be even more of a challenge now that Britt has gone down with an injury that will most likely sideline him for the game, but they have to maximize Johnson's running room by using the passing game in a more vertical fashion.
That's why they went out and got a guy like Matt Hasselbeck.
All it would take is one or two deep strikes and Denver would stretch out more.
Use Javon Ringer More
It continues to baffle me why the Titans don't use Javon Ringer as much as they should.
Ringer is one of those rare running backs that will always get you positive yards and churn those legs for the first down.
There are so many teams in the NFL that have moved to using two and even three running backs in their offensive system, but Ringer rarely sees more than five offensive touches in a game.
Ringer illustrated this early in the second quarter when he turned a seemingly short reception into a first down.
Just because you paid all this money to Chris Johnson doesn't mean you can't use your other talent, and Ringer has a ton of talent that can't be wasted.
Don't Get Too Conservative
We became all too familiar with conservative football when Jeff Fisher was head coach. Sometimes it worked to the team's advantage, but it also led to the opposition storming back to win.
The Titans finally have an offense that is full of several reliable weapons; they have to make sure they don't hamper those weapons by settling for two short runs and a 3rd-and-long pass attempt.
Keep the offensive play-calling creative and balanced until late in the fourth quarter. Playing to win usually beats out playing not to lose.
Keep Blitzes to a Minimum
Kyle Orton may not be a Pro-Bowl-caliber quarterback, but he's still good enough to pick defenses apart if you continue to blitz him.
Blitzing erratic quarterbacks is one thing because you force them into dumb mistakes. The way you beat Orton is by disguising coverages and baiting him into throws that seem open when the ball leaves his hand.
Jason McCourty got his second interception of the season midway through the second quarter after the Titans blitzed Michael Griffin, but also dropped everyone else back into coverage.
Let Orton make his own mistakes, which he usually will. However, if you open up the secondary for him by sending the whole farm, he will find his two biggest weapons in Brandon Lloyd and Eric Decker.