The Tennessee Titans focused a lot of effort this offseason on improving what was one of the least efficient offenses in 2015. They had the third-worst overall offense last season, averaging a meager 311.8 yards a game. They were the 25th-ranked passing and rushing offense in yards per game, and they averaged a paltry 18.7 points.
The Titans scored 14 points or less in nine of their 16 games last season, and the only had one 100-yard rusher in a single game last season. And that came from quarterback Marcus Mariota in Week 13 against Jacksonville.
Tennessee needed to make a number of moves on offense this offseason. And they did just that, totally revamping their backfield and adding a few new names to a depleted wide receiving corps.
But the Titans’ scrimmage on Monday night proves they still have plenty of work to do with that restructured offense.
There’s always two ways to look at a performance in a scrimmage when an offense does poorly: Either the team’s defense is just really good and is going to make every offense they play look bad, or the team’s offense is just bad, and the defense only looked good because of how bad they are.
Typically, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And that’s probably the case for Tennessee. But the results from the team’s brief scrimmage on Monday should still be a little worrisome.
The defense forced at least three turnovers during the scrimmage, including backup safety Damien Stafford intercepting a Marcus Mariota pass. And Mariota wasn’t at all pleased with his performance during the scrimmage.
“It’s unacceptable, my play today,” Mariota stated after the scrimmage. “I can’t be turning the ball over like that. I’ve got to be putting these guys in better situations. But all in all, I’m glad we were able to come out and finish the drives that we did, and we had a pretty good red zone (drill) as well.”
It is just a scrimmage, but the Titans’ offense looked out of sync quite a bit during it. Yes, the offense was able to finish some drives and score, but the defense definitely had the advantage during the scrimmage. Not only that, but the Titans committed several offensive penalties in the red zone. Those kinds of penalties will kill teams in the regular season.
Tennessee’s defense may be improved, but they weren’t the only reason the Titans’ offense struggled on Monday. The Titans got in their own way on offense as well, and that happened far too often last season as well. The Titans tied Dallas for the most giveaways in the NFL last season, allowing teams to take the ball away from them 33 times last season.
If the Titans are going to improve at all on offense in 2016, they need to cut down that number significantly.
Luckily for the Titans, Monday’s scrimmage was just the first of many opportunities to hone their skills and work on their efficiency. They’ll have another chance to do just that when they take the field for their first preseason game on Saturday against San Diego.
But for now, the Titans still have plenty of work left to do on offense.