Earlier this season, the Tennessee Titans defense was on pace to allow the most points in league history. The Titans were allowing over 34 points a game and had allowed 30 or more points in seven of their first nine games this season.
The defensive struggles prompted coordinator Jerry Gray to move to the press box from the sidelines in hopes of finding some kind of a spark for his struggling unit.
While it seems a little ridiculous that Gray moving upstairs immediately cured all of the Titans woes, something has changed to help turn the Tennessee defense around.
According to Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press, the Titans rank in the top five in six different defensive categories since Nov. 11. The Titans are fourth in scoring defense since then allowing just 17.6 points per game. They are also third in total defense (286 yards per game), first in sacks per game (3.4), second in interceptions (10) and second in opponent’s passer rating (60.7).
”We knew it wasn’t all the defense,” Titans head coach Mike Munchak said. ”It was turnovers, it was the offense. It was a lot of things that were leading to statistically things looking worse than they were. We obviously weren’t playing as well as we needed to play on either side of the ball.”
The strong performances haven’t waned despite being without starting middle linebacker Colin McCarthy the past three games due to lingering concussion symptoms. The Titans forced five turnovers from New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the Titans 14-10 win over the Jets on Monday night. Tennessee intercepted Sanchez four times and recovered a fumbled snap inside the final minute to secure the victory.