Resilient is the best way to describe the Tennessee Titans.
Their brand of football is not glamorous, but it works.
No one gave them a chance when Derrick Henry went down with a potential season-ending foot injury.
After all, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year was the heart and soul of their offense.
— Ryan Tannehill (@ryantannehill1) November 3, 2021
Around three-fourths of their snaps go through him because he’s that dominating.
If he goes down, how will the Titans generate their points?
However, the team from Tennessee stayed true to their moniker against the Los Angeles Rams
They played like titans against one of the NFL’s best teams and emerged on top with a 28-16 win.
Everyone thought that the Rams would easily roll over the Titans.
Their offensive line is also solid, allowing Stafford time to complete throws.
We have a brand of football. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/VLygczlGDB
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) November 9, 2021
However, the defense continued to struggle despite their winning record.
Tennessee rose to the challenge against their more famous counterparts.
The Rams’ offensive line is one of the NFL’s top units.
They have All-Pro left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who continues to protect blindsides at 39 years old.
Playing left tackle at age 40 is crazier than playing QB at age 44
Aka Andrew Whitworth > TB12 pic.twitter.com/vUHu1fVn3k
— Talkin’ Jake (@TalkinJake) November 8, 2021
However, the Titans defense disrupted the line of scrimmage all game, making Stafford uncomfortable in the pocket.
As a result, Tennessee had five sacks against the Rams.
But Jeffery Simmons was the biggest thorn for the Rams because his bull rush was online all game.
BULLRUSH. BULLDOG. 🐶 @GrindSimmons94
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) November 8, 2021
The defensive end from Mississippi State kept on disrupting the interior to take away Stafford’s shot of completing long throws.
The third-year pro finished with three sacks out of his numerous quarterback pressures.
His presence limited the Rams to one passing touchdown, which went to running back Sony Michel.
Kupp and Robert Woods did not have 100-yard receiving games as well.
— NFL (@NFL) November 8, 2021
The Titans defense played so flawlessly that perhaps head coach Mike Vrabel is asking why it took a significant injury for their A-game to emerge.
Regardless of the timing, it’s the defense’s turn to cover for their offense’s shortcomings.
It won’t be every game that the Titans will score 21 points in a quarter to put the contest away essentially.
Yet, they always have a chance to win if their defense can limit their opponent’s chances.
It Would Take A Unit To Replace Henry
No one player could fill the enormous void that Henry left.
However, the Titans tried to compensate for the loss by getting contributions from everyone.
The offense did not have eye-popping stats, but they did enough to give the Rams their second loss in nine games.
The Titans understood that Peterson is not the same explosive running back he once was.
Adrian Peterson gets his first TD as a Titan 💥
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 8, 2021
But they found him helpful during goal-line situations.
Tennessee finished with 195 total yards, but it was enough to improve their record to 7-2.
More importantly, they only had four penalties for 15 yards.
Their offense will open up once they get the hang of playing without Henry.
Vrabel’s scheme may not look pretty, but it gives them wins.