I’m sure everyone is well aware of the success that shutdown corners Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Champ Bailey have had this year. Well, in Tennessee, they have the opposite thing going on, which is surprising considering how strong their defense was last year.
However, this year has been a different story. They enter the week 31st in the league in both passing yards and passing TDs allowed per game at 288 and 13 respectively. I know that Andre Johnson helped skew that number in the wrong direction with his 10 catch, 149 yard, 2 TD performance in Week 2, but there is more to the story.
Tennessee has allowed TDs from the opposing team’s #1 WR in every game so far this year, seven total. Here’s a look at the damage:
- Week 1: Santonio Holmes – 9 catches for 131 yards, TD
- Week 2: Andre Johnson – 10 catches for 149 yards, 2 TDs
- Week 3: Jerricho Cotchery – 8 catches for 108 yards, TD
- Week 4: Mike-Sims Walker – 7 catches for 91 yards, 2 TDs
- Week 5: Reggie Wayne* – 6 catches for 60 yards, TD
* Reggie Wayne also dropped an easy second TD
When you consider this trend, it’s easy to assume that Randy Moss will torch the Titans this weekend. However, Tom Brady just hasn’t been the same so far this year. He seems timid when taking deep shots. His longest completion thus far is 36 yards. Looking at the QBs in the top ten in passing yards, he has the lowest long completion. Other than Kurt Warner, who’s long is 40 yards, everyone else is 51 and higher. Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers, and even Kyle Orton have had 72+ yard plays.
Randy Moss is averaging a career low 12.2 yards per catch. Moss is being used in short, quick routes. That’s the reason I picked Wes Welker to outperform Randy in this week’s Out on a Limb picks. While this is a prime time for the Brady and Moss combo to bust out, I’m not sure they are ready for it. Getting the confidence to step up into pressure and throw a deep strike isn’t an easy task. Aside from the obvious knee injury, I’m sure somewhere in the back of his mind is the “stomp you out” approach that the Giants executed to perfection in the Super Bowl.
Like I said, this is the perfect week for the Pats to break out the deep ball. I just am not confident they can. That said, Brady, Moss, and Welker all make excellent plays this weekend.