2020 Week 1 Analysis: Titans @ Broncos (By Ross Jacobs)
-What a strange game. Obviously the Tennessee kicking fiasco stole the show, but it was a strange game in more ways than that. The Titans are having nightmares after dealing with kicking woes last year, but you have to imagine Gostkowski will fix whatever the issue was. He's too good not to.
-Where and when did Ryan Tannehill become a solid NFL QB? I really expected to see some regression from him this year, and it's possible we still will, but he looked just as calm and comfortable as he did during his banner 2019 season. The only thing I can come up with is his old head coach from Miami, Adam Gase, really is the worst coach ever. It's either that or the Tennessee coaching staff is pretty great, but then why didn't they fix Mariota? I'm sticking with Gase sucks for now. Either way Tannehill looked pretty darn good, and the Titans have a shot so long as he's playing well.
-The 2019 NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry couldn't find any room all night, but that has more to do with a very good Denver run defense than any looming problem with the Titans. He'll get his yards soon.
-The Broncos defense was quite impressive here even with the loss of star LB Von Miller. Tennessee moved the ball but not without some struggles.
-I feel bad for Phillip Lindsey. He deserves so much better than this. First he's disrespected by the coaches giving carries to a very average Melvin Gordon, and then he gets hurt. How anybody could watch this game and claim Gordon deserves carries over Lindsey is beyond me. Lindsey was by far the more explosive and energetic of the two. He should be featured in this offense. Hopefully he can get out of Denver soon and to a team that knows what to do with him.
-Noah Fant is so smooth it's unreal at times. He was phenomenal here. How many times does he have to take a short dump pass and rip off a 30 yard run like it's nothing before this coaching staff makes a more concerted effort to get him the ball? Especially with your top receiver Sutton out of the game.
-I wasn't a Drew Lock fan when he came out of Missouri, and I'm not now, but you have to give the kid some credit. He doesn't ever look fazed. He borders on Jameis levels of cockiness/confidence, but unlike Jameis he plays within himself most times. Sure you get a really stupid pass every now and then, kind of Brett Favre-esque, but for the most part he plays pretty solid. I definitely do not see a star here, but I don't think he's going to turn into Blake Bortles or Jameis Winston either.
-This would have been a solid win for Tennessee if it weren't for the crazy kicking mess. They controlled the game well even though Denver kept fighting. You have to think they are still in the playoff mix, although they'll be chasing the Chiefs and Ravens again.
-AJ Brown really disappeared here and it's a little concerning considering Tannehill attempted over 40 passes, but I wouldn't jump off a cliff worrying. Denver did a good job keeping him locked up but most teams will have a tougher time of it.
-Ditto Derrick Henry. He tends to get better as the weather gets colder so just hang in there and be patient. Panicking will only hurt you.
-Jonnu Smith really needs more touches. He's so smooth and so athletic, but Tennessee never seems to make much of an effort to feed him. He's a TE1 but not sure how high he can go
-The only Denver player I'd be interested in until Sutton comes back is Noah Fant. Like Jonnu he'll be a TE1 but he may be capped as a top 10 guy instead of top 2 or 3 which he is certainly capable of with more targets.