Scouting preview: Why the Jets should be a pushover for the Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Derrick Henry has run for over 353 yards on 80 rushes and leads the Titans with 12 catches.

Henry has 13 more carries than the second-leading running back through three weeks, Joe Mixon. Nick Chubb ranks fifth and has 60 percent of Henry's workload.

The Titans are probably facing the winless New York Jets without their two best and most productive wide receivers in Julio Jones and A.J. Brown.

Corey Davis

They are both dealing with hamstring injuries.

In a game against a very poor team like the Jets, I am sure the Titans were wanting to rest their superstar Henry, giving him a week with fewer snaps, hits, and punishment. But he may be forced to play a larger role now because of Tennessee’s depleted receiving group.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When the guy on the chain gang holding the sign that tells everyone what down it is flips it from two to three, it’s typically a signal for Derrick Henry to head to the sideline.

Players and coaches like to say third down is the money down, but most of the time when the money down arrives the Titans’ best player exits the field.

Often, it makes sense.

Derrick Henry

Pool photo/ Donald Page, Tennessee Titans

While Henry has become a better pass catcher, he still has limitations in the passing game. While he appears to be doing better work in his chances in blitz pick-up, all indications are he’s not the preferred option there.

And while I am all for running him as much as necessary and worrying about the wear and tear later – a strategy the Titans also seem to be taking – he does need some snaps off.

Per profootballreference.com, he played 59 percent of the Titans’ snaps in 2019, 66 percent last season and 71 percent so far this season.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bud Dupree made an extra $15,625 for being active Sunday despite not playing a snap.

His contract calls for that amount in per-game bonuses for when he is active, a bonus that maxes out at $250,000.

That means 16 of the 17 games will get him the full bonus.Bud Dupree

Pool photo: Donald Page/ Tennessee Titans

By being active against Indianapolis, he can miss a game at another point in the season and still get the full bonus.

The $250,000 is hardly big money for Dupree in the context of the five-year, $82.5 million contract he signed March 15, 2021 with Tennessee after four years in Pittsburgh.

He got a $16 million signing bonus and $35 million guaranteed. [Unlocked]

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Ola AdeniyiNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ola Adeniyi is being hailed for his three games of work on defense, and properly so.

On just 40 snaps, he leads the team with 2.5 sacks and in the win against Indianapolis he did great work to offset the absence of Bud Dupree.

He had minimal chances on defense in three years with the Steelers, maxing out at 144 snaps last season, per profootballreference.com.

Adeniyi is the team’s No. 1 example of following through on Mike Vrabel’s urging that players find a role.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The whole Julio Jones thing was weird, right?

Sunday his final play was Ryan Tannehill’s 28-yard run with 4:13 left in the third quarter. He was downfield blocking and took an odd hop as he finished but TV and coach’s tape didn’t really reveal anything about the play.

He was checked out on the sideline early in the fourth quarter -- we don't know if it's related to that -- and asked back in. Rob Moore was unreceptive and Jones never returned to the game, which was 14-13 when he left.

Julio Jones

Pool photo/ George Walker, The Tennessean

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Scouting review: Colts' failures to play to personnel aided the Titans

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Colts are not even a competitive team at this point. The quick decline is not all personnel. It’s the way the team is calling plays for that personnel.

Jet sweeps without a speed player usually end up with limited to no yards, because the receiver must outrun defenders to the edge, turn upfield and have the burst and explosion to run through defenders.

RogersDP

Chester Rogers/ Tennessee Titans, Donald Page

Players who lack speed and burst can’t do this and the Colts do not have that player on their roster. But they ran one with Ashton Dulin.

The Colts will also run plays into heavy defensive fronts ignoring the pass coverage behind the seven or eight defensive players in the box.

They ran into a five-man Titans’ defensive line. Some plays simply must be checked out of.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. –The highest-price free-agent addition was active only as an emergency guy and the big trade acquisition played only 50 percent of the snaps before he stood on the sideline.

The first-round pick was inactive with an injury and the second-round pick was inactive because he’s not good enough to play yet.

The incumbent star receiver suffered an early hamstring injury and was out after that. The starting strong safety and the pass-catching tight end were ruled out Friday as was a guy once in line to be the third receiver.Ryan Tannehill

© Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

With all those holes, three turnovers and no takeaways, the Titans relied on Derrick Henry and enhanced roles for a lot of players who usually play smaller parts en route to a 25-16 win over the Colts at Nissan Stadium.

They are 2-1 with a good-looking two-game road trip ahead against the Jets and Jaguars.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans rookie pass rusher Rashad Weaver suffered a broken right fibula in Sunday’s win against the Colts.

The degree of the injury and timetable for his recovery is unclear. It was announced as an ankle injury during the game.

A doctor familiar with such injuries but not with Weaver's case told me six to 12 weeks is a good general range without more information.

The fourth-round pick played an expanded role against Indianapolis with Bud Dupree (knee) active only as an emergency option.

Rashad Weaver

© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Weaver suffered the injury late in the third quarter, left the field with help while putting no weight on his right leg, went directly to a cart and was driven to the locker room.

Without him, the Titans have starters Harold Landry and Dupree, when he’s healthy, Derick Roberson, who missed Sunday’s game with a knee issue, and Ola Adeniyi who’s rushed the passer well in his chances. They can also play Denico Autry on the edge. [Unlocked]

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