Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports – LA Chargers
Arthur Smith: Stock down
It is important that we do not take too much away from this game when it comes to Arthur Smith. This one loss does not make him a much worse option at head coach for the LA Chargers and does not give Brian Daboll some huge advantage over him.
Daboll could very well have a terrible game next week and then they are in the same boat. Everyone has their bad days and this was a bad day for the Titans’ offense. That does not take away his achievements from the last two seasons and how good the Titans’ offense has been in that stretch.
However, it is impossible to try and spin this game as a good or a neutral thing for Smith. It does hurt his stock some and the LA Chargers will rightfully look at this game with some questions. They can also look at the team making the AFC Championship Game last season too.
Derrick Henry could not get anything going and that completely stagnated the Titans’ offense. The Titans were only able to piece together 209 yards of total offense and the impact on the running game was having an effect on Ryan Tannehill. It was not a pretty game to watch.
The sad thing is that the Titans came out of the gate really strong. Tennessee took a 10-point lead in the first quarter and Smith’s playcalling was particularly solid. The way he balanced the run and the pass was fantastic. The problem is that the team shelled up after that, tried pounding the rock and just could not get anything going.
The Titans had 94 yards of total offense after their field goal in the first quarter. They were not helped by Mike Vrabel, who made the awful decision to punt on fourth and short in the fourth quarter, but that is beside the point.
Smith would still be a really good hire for the LA Chargers and is someone who would get a lot out of Justin Herbert and the offense. His stock, though, still went down.