The most interesting page in the Titans’ playbook
If any other team ran this play, it would be totally awesome. Stephen White walks us through some kind of weird downfield wide receiver screen pass.
I’m not sure if anybody who wasn’t paid to do so actually watched the Jets and Titans game last weekend. Truth be told, those of you who didn’t watch didn’t miss all that much. However, I did see something at the end of the game that caught my eye. With six seconds left in the game, the ball at their own 42-yard line and down five points, the Titans found themselves in a situation where they had to attempt some kind of Hail Mary play to try to get the ball into the end zone or the go home with yet another loss.
They ran what I can only describe as a downfield wide receiver screen. It didn’t work, but if I were an offensive coordinator, I would put that one in my playbook, if it weren’t in there already.
Probably need to click on this screen shot to embiggen it so you can see the detail but, the two red circles contain three blockers and one guy to receive the ball. The blue circles hold defenders, a total of seven, I believe.
The only thing that actually went wrong with the play is that the quarterback didn’t make an accurate throw to the receiver. Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples was bearing down on Titans quarterback Charlie Whitehurst who probably had a lot to do with why the pass was so far off course. There’s also the fact that sometimes Whitehurst can’t hit a fat bear in the ass with a two-by-four.
But ignore all that and just imagine if an accurate quarterback makes this throw, where does receiver Nate Washington end up getting tackled, provided his three receiver buddies all make good faith efforts to block for him? Does he get tackled at all? I say he at least gets to the 20-yard line before he has to try to juke or run through somebody. Considering the circumstances, I would say I’d take that situation every single time if I could.
Remember this, also. The Titans didn’t have to wait until there were only six seconds left to try this play. Oh wait, that reminds me, they didn’t wait until there were only six seconds left to try this play. In fact, the Titans pretty much ran the same route combination on the first play of the drive when they had 21 seconds left. Whitehurst did actually complete the pass that time, and that’s how they got down to the 42-yard line in the first place. However, the pass was so inaccurate that Washington fell down making the catch. Had Whitehurst hit him in stride, then it could have turned into something like a punt return situation considering how his blockers were positioned. All he would have needed was one crease and bam, Washington is in the end zone with the game-winning touchdown. He could have been the hero.
That’s if Whitehurst wasn’t one of the all-time worst player haters in known history.
I’m still coping that play, though. For football reasons.