Updating field postion and the Titans’ offense

Four weeks into the season, I noted the Titans were doing a quite poor job of converting possessions that started in opposing territory into points. After this past Sunday’s game, when the Titans got six points out of four possessions that started in Tampa Bay’s half of the field, I thought it was time to update those numbers.

And despite Sunday’s performance, good news. The Titans are now more productive on drives starting in opposing territory than they are on drives starting anywhere else on the field. Yup, with touchdowns against the Steelers, Colts, and Falcons, the Titans are averaging 2.06 points per possession.

If you read the prior post, though, you’ll note that the Titans were averaging more points than that on drives that started in all three zones of their own territory, inside the 20, on the 20, and from the 21 to midfield. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. They’re now averaging 1.89 points starting from the 21 to midfield, and 1.76 points when starting inside their own 20. The problem area now looks like their own 20, where they’re averaging only 1.47 points per possession. That’s virtually identical to their success the second half of last season, when the offense could hardly move the ball at all.

Really, though, what these numbers are telling us is something novel nor interesting: the Titans have struggled to move the ball offensively for most of the season. Without Kenny Britt, the receivers haven’t been anywhere near consistently productive, and before last Sunday Chris Johnson was ineffective running the ball in imperfect situations. The one curious thing I’ll add is there’s not much separation between how good the Titans offensively are when they start in their own end, and the reason is clear from the Premium DVOA database: the Titans are terrible between the 40 and the opposing 40, and bad between the opposing 40 and the 21.

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